chapter  5
Creating a Civic Spark
Using AmeriCorps National Service to Catalyze Rural Climate Change Action
WithKif Scheuer, Kristen Wraithwall, Kristin Brubaker
Pages 18

California is leading the nation in state-initiated climate change policy, although much of the mitigation and adaptation action falls on local governments to implement. Many local governments – particularly the smaller and more rural communities – lack technical or staff capacity to act. CivicSpark, an AmeriCorps National Service program, was created in 2014 to provide capacity building support to local governments throughout California. Over an 11-month service year, 70 AmeriCorps members build capacity for local governments by implementing projects and tracking impacts. This chapter will outline the broad problem facing rural climate action, describe the CivicSpark program basis and work to date, and provide case study and programmatic results from CivicSpark activity in three rural regions in California. Overall, the chapter will highlight an innovative and replicable model for catalyzing climate action in rural communities.