By Beatrix Berry
California Climate Action Corps Fellow Jhakarin with site supervisor Nancy
From wildfire mitigation workshops, to education on waste diversion regulations, California Climate Action Corps Fellows have been hard at work in their communities. SEI has partnered with California Volunteers and Bay Area Community Resources to support the California Climate Action Corps(CAC) program. The current program year has been filled with success stories and positive impacts as this powerful cohort of fellows have supported their communities in climate action and solutions.
CAC Fellows are placed throughout California and work primarily with communities who are being disproportionately impacted by the changing climate. In Redlands, California, three fellows, Calhoun, Bryan and Jenny, are currently working on the University of Redlands farm. In the area surrounding their site, there is little to no tree cover and therefore very limited shade. As a result, in the changing climate, their community and community members struggle to stay cool. These three fellows are working to cool down their community by increasing access to trees that can be planted by those who live in the area.
Calhoun, Bryan and Jenny, have worked hard to raise saplings and organize events to give them to the community for free. Jenny and Bryan are returning fellows and have been able to continue their impact this year. In a recent event they gave away 2,230 tree saplings to their community.
In LA, fellows Mariel and Jhakarin with FoodCycle LA have been doing incredible work facilitating pick up and donations of food in line with SB1383, a California state law. SB1383 regulates methane emissions created by food waste in landfills, so recovering edible food is a key part of complying with this law. On Earth Day, FoodCycle LA teamed up with Thrive Market and Alma Backyard Farms to donate produce to the community. This event took place at Alma Backyard Farms in Compton; Alma’s mission is to “re-claim lives of formerly incarcerated people, re-purpose land into productive urban farms, and re-imagine community as a place for people & plants to thrive”.
At the Alma Backyard Farm, Mariel, Jhakarin, and team, packed and distributed 250 tote bags filled with organic groceries, fresh produce, distributed free seedlings from the garden, and also provided amazing & nutritious juices blended right there at the farm from their harvest. Together, they donated a total of 4,135lbs of produce.
Reflecting on the experience, Mariel said, “My involvement for the event with Jhakarin included organizing and packing tote bags, guiding the community around the farm, and talking to community members about our organization, what we do, and how they can get involved. It was definitely my favorite day of the fellowship so far! The concept of Alma is so beautiful, heartwarming and impactful, and the farm itself is just breathtaking. To be outside in nature and interacting with the community there was a moving and beautiful experience.”
With the fellowship coming to an end in September, we are thrilled to see the great impacts of the work these fellows have been doing. Learn more about California Climate Action Corps here.
The SEI Team
Environmental education and workforce development experts share stories from the field