Fall 2022-23 Fellowship Projects

Projects will continue to be added as descriptions become available. Please note that project listings are subject to change and final availability is contingent upon a variety of factors, including fellow placement.
 
RegionOrganizationDescription
Central ValleyBeautify Fresno / City of Fresno

Residential Food Waste Education and Outreach Program

City: Fresno
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The City of Fresno's Beautify Fresno program helps the City's Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Utilities implement its residential food waste education and outreach education program concurrent with implementation of residential food scraps/organics collection services to reduce and divert food waste from landfills.

Fellows will help identify individuals willing to volunteer their time to help transfer food surpluses from local wholesalers, restaurants, food producers and farmers to social service agencies serving the food insecure in underserved neighborhoods within the City of Fresno.
Los AngelesBreathe Southern California

Community Engagement Fellow

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Breathe Southern California (Breathe SoCal)'s BlueSky LA Program encourages Angelenos to participate in monthly climate-related volunteer opportunities throughout Los Angeles. This program will achieve measurable reductions in criteria and climate pollutant emissions, as well as build community resilience through education and volunteer projects, beautify local communities, and help clean the air before the world comes to visit for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

Fellows will conduct outreach and recruit volunteers for monthly community volunteer projects, help develop a volunteer database, and organize and implement volunteer events ranging from tree planting and urban gardening to organic material composting.
Butte & Surrounding North State CountiesButte County Fire Safe Council

Community Education and Program Development to Strengthen Wildfire Resilience and Improve Forest Health

City: Paradise
Project Focus: Wildfire Resiliency
Butte County Fire Safe Council (BCFSC) provides safety in Butte County through wildfire hazard education, mitigation, and wildfire recovery. Fellows will support volunteer programming and have opportunities to support creation or development of a Butte County Biochar program; a prescribed fire education program; school field trips and classroom visits about wildfire resilience and forest health; a “Doom the Broom” program to eradicate invasive broom plant from Paradise Ridge; outreach and adoption of the Wildland Fire Assessment Program to provide residents free home and property inspections and recommendations; and a student volunteer program with CSU Chico and Butte College for monthly volunteer workdays or education events. These projects will educate community members, increase volunteer engagement, and mitigate wildfire risk.

Fellows will lead the re-vitalization of BCFSC's volunteer program by helping to recruit, train, and support a group of 5-10 volunteers who will table at community events for wildfire resilience, support Wildfire Ready Raccoon, co-lead community workshops with staff, assist with field trips and school visits, and disperse wildfire resources to rural communities. Fellows will also engage youth groups, college students, and community volunteer organizations in community workdays for invasive species removal, forest thinning, re-foresting with climate-appropriate species, or defensible space assistance.
Butte & Surrounding North State CountiesButte Environmental Council, Inc.

Community Greening and Waste Reduction Action, Outreach, and Education

City: Chico
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Landfill Waste Reduction
Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a regional grassroots-driven environmental nonprofit dedicated to action, advocacy, and education in Butte County and the surrounding region, which has been heavily impacted by climate disasters including the Oroville Dam spillway emergency, the 2018 Camp Fire, the 2020 North Complex Fire, and the 2021 Dixie Fire.

The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing urban forest canopy and diverting food waste from landfills and into community garden composting systems through action, outreach, and education. Fellows will help plant more than 150 trees on school campuses and in community parks in the region, and provide support for community gardens and grassroots household food composting initiatives. Fellows will recruit volunteers for tree planting, provide outreach to community members to sign up for food waste pickup; support local climate education initiatives by providing research and social media outreach; and support youth education programs that engage students in education on recycling, composting, and community air protection. Fellows placed with BEC will develop a wide range of skills involving community outreach; data collection, tracking, and reporting; event organizing; stakeholder engagement; graphic design and social media outreach; technical writing; greenhouse gas emissions reduction analysis; waste reduction analysis; and more. Fellows may also have opportunities to cross-train with partner organizations as opportunities arise in traditional ecological stewardship, community gardening and regional food security efforts, prescribed burn workshops, water quality testing, and more.
San DiegoCalifornia Conservation Corps - San Diego District

Engaging San Diego's Youth in the Reduction of Greenhouse Gasses

City: San Diego
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency
The California Conservation Corps' (CCC) mission is to protect and enhance California’s natural resources and communities while empowering and developing young adults through hard work and education. Through this project, CCC Fellows will engage with elementary, middle, and high school students throughout San Diego County in conservation activities including habitat restoration, fire fuel reduction, and organic waste and food recovery. Through partnerships with schools and community nonprofits, CCC San Diego will mobilize hundreds of student volunteers in the design and implementation of these projects to educate San Diego’s youth on the impact of global warming and the importance of public policy and conservation projects in resource recovery.

Fellows will coordinate project logistics between collaborating entities and work with student leaders (Chavistas) of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, across multiple elementary, middle, and high school campuses within the two largest school districts in San Diego County. Together, Fellows and Chavistas will engage students in experiential learning within fuel reduction and habitat restoration projects. Fellows will provide project-based climate education with a focus on invasive species, native flora and fauna, and the impact of wildland fires on ecosystems and climate. Fellows and Chavistas will also engage school leaders in organizing organic waste and food recovery programs and education across multiple school sites, including diversion programs for school food waste and educating school leaders and students. This partnership targets schools and CCC Corpsmembers who fall within historically underrepresented, low-income communities of color in an effort to address and mitigate the impacts of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, unsustainable land use patterns, and chronic illness/disease on their local communities.
Butte & Surrounding North State CountiesCalifornia State University, Chico

Chico Call to Community Climate Action

City: Chico
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency
California State University, Chico stands on the traditional lands of the Mechoopda people and works to protect the state’s natural resources through climate projects focused on habitat restoration, fuel reduction, wildfire resilience, environmental education, urban greening, and more.

Fellows will implement forest improvement and wildlife resilience plans; support emergency preparedness training for campus students, faculty, and staff; and lead volunteer projects for habitat restoration, urban greening, and food security. Fellows will also research and promote residential and institutional composting solutions and pilot new systems for food redistribution across the community.
Los AngelesCalifornia State University, Northridge

Urban Regenerative Food and Greening Program

City: Northridge
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
California State University, Northridge (CSUN)’s student-centered interdisciplinary project focuses on food insecurity and health equity issues that intersect efforts to strengthen climate resiliency in at-risk communities of color, as well as strengthening urban biodiversity in local communities facing environmental racism. The project entails managing outdoor and indoor farms to address climate change and food insecurity in the San Fernando Valley through three sites - a hydroponic container farm; an urban orchard focused on regenerative agriculture with intercropping of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, cover crops, native plants, and coffee; and a 400-tree orange grove.

Fellow duties include planting, maintaining, and harvesting fruits and vegetables for the CSUN Food Pantry and volunteers; converting underutilized areas into biodiverse habitats for pollinators; conducting surveys, biodiversity inventories, and ecosystem assessments to make comparisons and recommendations; keeping detailed records of research and findings to contribute to ongoing research related to biodiversity and climate change; and creating educational content related to biodiversity, urban farming, and climate change. Fellows will develop expertise in regenerative urban farming practices, closed-loop food systems, food security, and more while participating in outreach and education of students about gardening and composting in small spaces.
Butte & Surrounding North State CountiesCenter for Healthy Communities - Chico State Enterprises (CSE)

530 Food Rescue Coalition Project

City: Chico
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The 530 Food Rescue Coalition (FRC) is an innovative project focused on increasing edible food recovery and access to healthy food in Butte County and neighboring counties. The project is designed to support local jurisdictions in meeting SB 1383 state-mandated edible food recovery goals to reduce food waste, the single largest component of municipal landfills.

Fellows will be trained in volunteer outreach, dispatch operations, and project promotion. Fellows may also provide support for neighboring counties to adopt this model to provide edible food recovery, as well as be trained to support the Market Match program at area farmers markets. Market Match nutrition incentives help low-income residents stretch their CalFresh shopping dollars to afford more healthful, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. As a direct result, the program also supports small and mid-sized local farms and boosts the local economy. This project will increase the regional local food system’s resiliency in the aftermath of climate change-driven emergencies.
Tribal CommunitiesChicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California

Chicken Ranch Rancheria Edible Food Recovery, Onsite Organic Waste Handling, and Tribal Garden Program

City: Jamestown
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Chicken Ranch Rancheria is the ancestral homeland of the Me-Wuk Indians, one of two federally recognized Tribes within Tuolumne County. This project is a unique opportunity to help a small, rural community move towards eco-conscious and sustainable ways of living for the long-term sustainability of the Tribe on its homeland, as well as the greater community.

This project aims to reduce the amount of organic waste entering the landfill from entities on tribal land through diversion of recoverable edible food generated at the Chicken Ranch Casino from the landfill to shelters, food banks, and local communities in need, as well as diversion of organic kitchen waste for onsite composting at the Tribal Garden. This project will help address the State and Tribe's goals to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions (methane) by removing organics from the Tribe's waste stream. The Fellow will: a) help formalize a process of moving organic food waste from Casino to onsite composting and assist with maintenance of garden; b) gather and deliver recoverable edible food from the Casino to food banks, shelters, and local communities in Tuolumne County experiencing food insecurity; and c) help educate Chicken Ranch Rancheria Community and greater Tuolumne County on the importance of diverting organic waste from our landfills. This unique opportunity to serve with a federally recognized Tribe will provide experience partnering with tribal, federal, and state entities while learning about the application of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and cultural traditional ecological knowledge.
OtherCity of Long Beach

City of Long Beach Climate Action Support

City: Long Beach
Project Focus: Urban Greening
The City of Long Beach is very diverse, which is a source of strength, vibrancy, and resilience, but it also has racial and economic disparities that result in some communities experiencing disproportionate environmental health burdens. This project will prioritize serving those communities that experience these disproportionate environmental health burdens.

Fellows can expect to work closely with the City of Long Beach Office of Sustainability and Department of Development Services to develop strategies for outreach and engagement with the community to increase access and opportunities for climate action education, support on-the-ground climate adaptation strategies such a tree planting and urban agriculture, and increase the use of solar power. Fellows will organize and conduct community climate action education through the Willow Springs Park outdoor sustainability education space, support the City’s pilot Climate Ambassador Program, support the City’s urban heat island mitigation and food security goals through strategic neighborhood tree planting and urban agriculture, and conduct outreach to help facilitate free and reduced-cost solar installation options for low-income or qualified households in partnership with GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles and other community partners. All these initiatives will help implement the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
Los AngelesCity of Los Angeles, LA Sanitation and Environment

Building Climate Resilience in LA through Food Rescue, Organics Recycling, & Nature-Based Solutions

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The City of Los Angeles is a global leader in environmental action. Through the Sustainability pLAn, LA has committed to a number of aggressive actions to combat climate change and improve the environment. As LA’s lead environmental agency, Fellows serving with LA Bureau of Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) will have a unique opportunity to support the efforts of the nation’s second largest city in climate resiliency efforts as it works to implement SB 1383, the law that established statewide targets to reduce organic waste disposal in landfills.

Fellows will assist with aspects of SB 1383 research, implementation, and outreach via three program areas: 1) commercial/franchise, 2) residential, and 3) community. Fellows will work collaboratively, but support either commercial/franchise efforts (“Food Rescue Fellow”) or community efforts (“Green & Brown Infrastructure Fellow”). The Food Rescue Fellow will identify Tier 1&2 Edible Food Generators (EFGs) operating in the City of Los Angeles and ensure that they partner with Food Rescue Organizations (FROs) to rescue and redirect edible food that would otherwise be disposed of to food-insecure individuals. The Green & Brown Infrastructure Fellow will support the RegenerateLA project, which aims to develop a network of community composting sites in partnership with LA Compost at parks that will locally compost organic waste and serve as education hubs. Both Fellows will assist with volunteer engagement and public outreach on climate change, resilience, food rescue, composting and other relevant climate topics.
Central ValleyCity of Modesto

City of Modesto Food Recovery Program Implementation

City: Modesto
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The City of Modesto plans to address commercial edible food recovery and climate change at the same time with the implementation of SB 1383, the law that established statewide targets to reduce organic waste disposal in landfills. The City plans on diverting edible food waste from landfills to help food insecure people in the City and in Stanislaus County.

Fellows will help the City reach out to wholesale food vendors, food service providers, food distributors, and grocery and supermarkets to establish food donation tracking forms, contractual agreements with food donation recipients, and inspections. Fellows will assist with site visits, establish positive working relationships with local businesses, and distribute education and outreach materials. Fellows will support the Green Waste Program by educating residents and businesses on the importance of recycling organic waste and performing route reviews to determine contamination levels and where education is needed. Fellows will also help the City create a volunteer database to assist with the daily recovery of edible food that can be matched with recipients to reduce food insecurity while also reducing short-lived climate pollutants.
OaklandCity of Oakland

Transformational Climate Resilience - Creating Food Security and Equitable Decarbonization in Frontline Communities

City: Oakland
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency / Social & Environmental Justice
The City of Oakland aims to provide comprehensive outreach, engagement, program delivery, and support for an ambitious and impactful set of programs to increase climate justice. This includes efforts to recover wasted food and redistribute to communities of need, rapidly scale up efforts to replace natural gas systems with clean electric alternatives in homes and businesses, pilot creative methods for reducing wildfire risk through carbon sequestration efforts, and provide critical linkages between collaborative efforts by City, County, regional agencies, and community-based organizations. These integrated programs will implement a large portion of the City's Equitable Climate Action Plan, which will achieve a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while prioritizing frontline communities most impacted by climate change.

Fellows will be part of a large cohort responsible for significant outreach and engagement efforts, working with homeowners, businesses, community partners, and stakeholders to generate program participation. Fellows will use knowledge and perspective gained through field work and build policy experience by helping increase community partner participation in City efforts and assist in program design and refinement. Fellows’ support will result in reduced heat island effect, lower utility bills, lowered risk of impact from fires, increased resiliency in homes and businesses, expanded economic development for local businesses, reduced food scarcity in existing food deserts, reduced incidence of hunger and food insecurity, cleaner indoor air quality, improved health outcomes, and expanded volunteerism. Fellows will help expand the number of sites supported at major volunteer events, increase volunteer participation through outreach, and link existing volunteer efforts at private events with City-led programs.
San DiegoCity of San Diego Environmental Services Department

Organic Waste Recycling, Food Recovery, and Recycling - Community Engagement and Tracking to Mitigate Climate Change

City: San Diego
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The City of San Diego's Environmental Service Department (ESD) is implementing programs to meet California Senate Bill 1383 and the City’s Zero Waste Plan that is a key strategy in the City’s Climate Action Plan, which includes a Climate Equity Index to identify communities of concern that have less access to information and opportunity. The overall goals are to reduce waste and mitigate climate change by reducing short-lived climate pollutants produced when organic material is landfilled and reduce greenhouse gas emissions because items made from recycled material require less energy to produce than items made from virgin material.

Fellows will help implement a paradigm-changing program on a large-scale throughout the city, while focusing on the specific needs of diverse neighborhoods and communities. Fellows will support community engagement to promote organic waste and commodities recycling, commercial food recovery outreach, and waste characterization tracking to collect data about material discarded in organic waste and recycling bins. These projects will result in more residents, businesses, and special events being actively engaged in organic waste recycling, improved recycling practices, and food recovery programs. Fellows will also engage volunteers in community climate action events and act as “Recycling Ambassadors” to advise volunteers on proper sorting of collected material and the importance of recycling to save resources, reduce energy use, and mitigate climate change.
San JoseCity of San Jose

Climate Smart San Jose

City: San Jose
Project Focus: Urban Greening
The City of San José’s Climate Smart team facilitates the City's community-wide climate action efforts under the Climate Smart San José plan. The City has set an ambitious goal for San José to be carbon neutral by 2030. The team works directly with community based organizations to develop projects and programs that center the most marginalized communities’ needs and create equitable communities that are climate resilient and carbon neutral.

Fellows will support the Climate Smart team in community engagement using different approaches based on the needs of each neighborhood for the Zero Emissions Neighborhood (ZEN) pilot and GoGreen Teams programs. ZEN is intended to implement a suite of Climate Smart sustainability measures for an estimated 40 single-family and/or multi-family homes in a disadvantaged neighborhood in San José. The GoGreen Teams is San José’s new team-based community engagement strategy to support the Climate Smart Challenge - a digital platform that tracks climate actions and benefits of those actions. Fellows will aid the City and its residents in adopting and expanding new urban greening engagement strategies; creating educational materials, presentations, and workshops; recruiting volunteers to participate in ZEN and GoGreen Teams programs; expanding and maintaining partnerships with community-based organizations, neighborhood groups, and individual residents by forming more consistent relationships and offering more workshops; and expanding climate-related informational resources that will enable Climate Smart to solidify and expand programming.
OtherCity of Watsonville

Growing Resilient Communities through Emergency Preparedness and Urban Greening

City: Watsonville
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Emergency Preparedness
The City of Watsonville prides itself in being an innovative regional leader in sustainability. Project goals include educating and preparing residents for extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and flooding; creating an Emergency Preparedness Coalition to offer seasonal emergency preparedness fairs; establishing a youth-led program that includes climate change education, preparedness, and climate actions projects; and supporting Watsonville schools in waste reduction and urban greening projects.

Fellows will support these goals by preparing residents for climate-related emergencies, educating and involving residents in the implementation of urban greening plan projects in the city and in schools, and increasing food-waste recycling and edible food-waste recovery in schools to help meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. Fellows will collaborate with residents and the city to identify locations for the planting of shade trees, make recommendations for the City to adopt and promote boulevard gardening, recruit volunteers for urban greening community projects and offer participants emergency preparedness resources, collaborate on youth-led conservation projects, assess waste infrastructure needs at schools to improve waste separation and recover edible food waste, and develop education materials to support the program.
Los AngelesCity Plants

Closing LA's Urban Forest Equity Gap Through Community Empowerment

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening
City Plants prioritizes tree planting, outreach, and education in priority equity regions of the city, working toward Mayor Garcetti’s goal to increase canopy by 50% by 2028. City Plants partners with regional, state, and federal urban greening organizations implement a grassroots community organizing program to plant trees in historically disinvested, low-canopy communities in Los Angeles, focusing on the role of trees in urban cooling and public health through its Tree Ambassador / Promotor Forestal program. This program hires community members in low-canopy regions to organize fellow neighbors to plant and care for trees in their communities. Fellows will implement a multi-stakeholder, 10-month, bilingual training curriculum to train Tree Ambassadors to deliver climate education conveying the critical role of a healthy tree canopy in enhancing neighborhood resilience and public health. Fellows will help onboard 8 - 10 Tree Ambassadors/Promotores; coordinate monthly training sessions; develop educational training materials, presentations, and toolkits; and support Tree Ambassadors in planning and implementing street tree planting events and yard tree adoption events.

The goal for Commonwealth Nursery, an 11-acre site in Griffith Park, is to become an urban ecological laboratory and training ground, where trees are grown, people are trained, and a city is transformed. The nursery is home drought-tolerant trees grown to support City Plants’ free tree program and various green infrastructure, urban forestry, climate resilience, and biodiversity projects throughout LA. Fellows will build regional partnerships with local community and city agencies while supporting the Nursery Manager in implementing best management practices for nursery development, developing a local tree seed saving and transplanting volunteer force, supporting the implementation of a workforce development training curriculum for budding urban foresters, and propagating 5,000 new saplings.
OaklandCommon Vision

Growing Climate Resiliency through Urban Agriculture and School-based Food Hubs

City: Oakland
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Common Vision will work with six school-based urban agriculture and food hub sites to increase capacity for urban greening, natural resources conservation, environmental education, resilient food systems, and tree planting. The project will provide training and education for sites in severely disadvantaged communities to develop capacity as resilience hubs - public commons that can serve as demonstration sites for climate solutions. The project will improve public health by expanding a healthy tree canopy to reduce air pollution and mitigate urban heat island effect, while also increasing stormwater capture. Common Vision is also helping achieve state goals for recovering edible food, as legislated by SB 1383, through partnerships to recover 600,000 pounds of high-quality edible food to distribute at school-based urban agriculture sites located at Title 1 schools in severely disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Fellows will work with garden educators and site supervisors on planting, maintenance, conservation and community education activities; help to organize monthly volunteer work parties; participate in food recovery and distribution activities one day per week; assist with educating the community about the beneficial role of trees in combatting climate change; plant, maintain, and distribute trees to families; and participate in large-scale green barrier and hedgerow planting in West Oakland.
San JoseCounty of Santa Clara

Santa Clara Valley Urban Forestry Alliance

City: San Jose
Project Focus: Urban Greening
The County of Santa Clara’s Santa Clara Valley Urban Forestry Alliance (SCVUFA) is a region-wide initiative that aims to facilitate urban forestry management collaboration and communication throughout the County. SCVUFA uses its network to identify the volunteer efforts that best match areas of need and focus those efforts.

The Fellow will facilitate regional cooperation; increase stakeholder and community awareness and engagement in local urban forestry; support the County’s 1,000 trees-per-year investment to ensure that these trees go into areas of greatest need; expand development and sharing of policy resources, educational materials, and data; publicize community events and encourage participation; and analyze environmental and demographic data to engage areas of environmental need and inequality most effectively. The Fellow will also support volunteer engagement among regional stakeholders and facilitate urban forestry and urban greening volunteer efforts.
Los AngelesCULTIVALA, INC.

CULTIVALA: Increasing Food Security Through Urban Agriculture in Los Angeles

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Urban Agriculture
CultivaLA transforms healthy food access and wellness through people, social enterprise, and environmental justice.

Fellows will grow fresh herbs and vegetables at urban garden sites, educate the community on urban agriculture and sustainable farming practices, and encourage social enterprise. Fellows will rotate between CultivaLA Earthworks 5.5-acre urban farm located in South El Monte and a 0.16-acre urban community garden in the Westlake/Pico Union neighborhoods. Fellows will educate the local community on the importance of urban agriculture and the impact of local food sources through workshops and training modules. They will also conduct community outreach and “grab and go” produce distributions to provide food resources directly to families impacted by COVID-19.
Los AngelesEmpowerment Institute -- Cool LA Initiative 200

Cool LA: Empowering Our City to Become Carbon Neutral by 2030

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency / Carbon Neutrality
The City Council of Los Angeles has set a moonshot goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 without offsets. The Cool LA Initiative, part of the Cool Blocks program and Cool City Challenge, has launched a climate mobilization across LA to do what is necessary to achieve this goal by enabling Angelenos to come together to take authentic climate action and build climate resilience.

This project empowers residents to participate in the Cool Block program – a block-based behavior change program that helps households reduce their carbon footprint by a minimum of 25%, reduce their water use during California’s climate-exacerbated megadrought, and develop a disaster resilient block or multifamily dwelling. Fellows will assist with Cool Block recruitment, support, and data management, as well as development of the ambitious Moonshot Climate Action Plan. Only six cities worldwide have set such an ambitious goal. The Cool Block goal is recruitment of 200 Cool Block teams of 5-8 households to complete the 8-meeting program in 2022 and 200 more in 2023. The program includes modules on emergency preparedness, water and energy conservation, waste reduction, and community building with a requirement that Cool Block teams take actions in each area. Fellows will be a resource to assist the Cool Block leaders and teams in achieving these actions. The Cool Block program is designed to work with every sector of the LA community with a special emphasis on those communities who have historically experienced climate risk disparities.
OtherFood Exploration and Discovery

Monrovia Urban Greening and Food Science Fellow

City: Monrovia
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Water Use Reduction
Food Exploration and Discovery (Food ED) is working with the City of Monrovia, schools, and community to address food waste recovery, urban greening, and reducing water use. Projects directly relate to local and state goals of reducing food waste in landfills, engaging people around organic waste bill SB 1383, improving garden and food science education to include more STEM and climate change pedagogy, and mobilizing urban greening around drought tolerant and native landscaping that encourage a healthy ecosystem and local pollinators.

Fellows will support educational and volunteer programs to address climate resilience by serving as garden and food science educators running workshops, serving in schools, and directly overseeing volunteer recruitment and compost programs. Fellows will help empower people to make changes that reduce food waste and pursue green living for a healthier world and climate.
Inland EmpireFood In Need of Distribution (dba FIND) Food Bank

Volunteer Leader to Increase Food Distribution and Reduce Pollutants

City: Indio
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Food In Need of Distribution, Inc. (FIND Food Bank) is the largest food rescue organization in its 5,000-square-mile service area that includes 23 cities/unincorporated communities. FIND rescues nearly 24 million pounds of food annually from local farmers, local grocers, and retailers on a weekly basis for distribution to those in need. With the passing of the new California law, SB 1383, even more food will be available for rescue through local restaurants and businesses. 

Fellows will facilitate and supervise volunteers and support volunteer events in warehouses, distribution sites, offices, and special events, including, but not limited to, Youth Saturday, Sorting Events, and Holiday events. Fellows will help recruit volunteers for local restaurant and business food recovery efforts through the MealConnect program and support volunteer recognition. By overseeing, engaging with, and helping alongside volunteers, Fellows will help FIND end hunger for today, tomorrow, and a lifetime. In addition, by providing food to those who are food insecure, Fellows are providing a base for lifelong learning while also working to fight the impacts of climate change.
Los AngelesFoodCycle

Feeding People Not Landfills

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
FoodCycle is focused on reducing the negative environmental impact of food waste and redirecting it to feed people in need. FoodCycle has prioritized directing more food to identified food deserts of Los Angeles where communities are most impacted by systemic racism, food insecurity, and climate change, in addition to experiencing public health issues related to lack of access to healthy food.

This project will help support the implementation of the new SB 1383 law that will help California meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reducing organic waste. Fellows will play a key role in supporting programs that are essential to successful implementation of these laws through outreach and education around food donation requirements and supporting volunteer programs.
Central ValleyFresno Metro Ministry

Engaging Kids in Climate Action - Food Systems, Gardening, Composting

City: Fresno
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Fresno Metro Ministry is a multifaith and multicultural organization dedicated to improving the health, environmental quality, economic development, and overall resiliency of the San Joaquin Valley. This project will help achieve state climate goals by reducing the amount of food waste that goes into the landfill through food recovery and composting, as well as increasing urban greening in some of the most pollution and poverty heavy areas of the city.

Fellows will engage volunteers, community members, and youth in climate action and will provide climate education in community gardens and schools. They will help with urban greening initiatives such as tree planting, edible food recovery and redistribution, organic waste recovery to compost at community gardens, and climate education to inspire children to take action against food waste locally and improve localized low emission food access points. Fellows will recruit volunteers to recover food through gleaning events, community composting initiatives, and planting trees and native plants.
Los AngelesGarden School Foundation

Cafeteria to Compost Program at 24th Street Elementary School

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Garden School Foundation (GSF) provides in-depth garden-based education at Title I schools in Los Angeles, strengthening connections between food justice, environmental stewardship, and community health.

The Cafeteria to Compost food recovery and food waste diversion program educates students about the environmental impact of food waste and the benefits of composting, as well as practical ways to avoid food waste during lunch through share tables, cutting produce, and food redistribution after school. This program diverts over 1,000 lbs. of food waste per month into compost that nurtures the 24th Street Garden, a 1.5-acre garden classroom on the 24th Street Campus. Through the simple daily practice of composting, children learn that they can take concrete action within their own school and homes to address both food access and climate change. Fellows will have the opportunity to support this program through food collection, education for lunch supervisors and students, and compost management, as well as help improve protocols and create a replicable model for LA Unified School District schools and beyond.
OaklandHigher Ground Neighborhood Development Corp

Brookfield Greenway Climate Action

City: Oakland
Project Focus: Urban Greening
Higher Ground Neighborhood Development Corp. (Higher Ground) is a multi-service nonprofit designed to provide elementary education and supportive services to schools, districts, and county offices of education throughout the East Bay. Their mission is to provide services that address the intellectual development of young people through providing comprehensive after school programming, career to college workforce programming, school based behavioral health treatment, professional development, and service-learning experiences.

Fellows will help conduct service days that consist of planting trees, plants, and general maintenance in green areas throughout East Oakland, specifically targeting the Brookfield Greenway at Brookfield Elementary. They will engage community members to discuss solutions on issues such as air quality and sea level rise and develop curriculum for teachers to embed within STEM. This project will address state climate goals by engaging community members in service days that allow community members to volunteer, plant and maintain trees to improve air quality, educate students and community members how this connects to their day- to-day life, and assess participants for feedback and solutions going forward.
Los AngelesHollywood Food Coalition

Rescue and Share Food with Hollywood Food Coalition!

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Hollywood Food Coalition’s Community Exchange program is a concierge food distribution service that provides small to medium-sized nonprofits throughout L.A. County with the food they need, when they need it, so they can focus on their missions. By recovering edible food effectively, they are advancing climate justice, social justice, and food justice. By diverting edible food from landfills, they reduce harmful methane gasses emitted by food waste decomposing in landfills, while sharing over 1,250,000 pounds of rescued food each year with more than 125 nonprofit organizations, improving access to high-quality food for populations all across Los Angeles.

Fellows will help with Community Exchange daily operations, assisting with the intake, sorting, cataloging, and sharing of rescued food. Fellows will also lead volunteers and support data management. Project goals include rescuing more than two million pounds of food, growing the food donor list, and expanding the number of recipient organizations.
Los AngelesL.A. Works, Inc.

Los Angeles Climate Action Volunteer Recruitment, Education & Deployment

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency
L.A. Works is Los Angeles’ oldest and largest volunteer action center, mobilizing volunteers to increase the capacity of partner nonprofits and creating a better city for over 30 years. Team members actively engage with different communities, especially targeting those that remain underserved by traditional support services.

Fellows will help develop outreach programs that educate the public about climate change and organize volunteer events that put solutions into action. Fellows will also help implement L.A. Works’ Climate Action Initiative, including developing online resources and virtual workshops to mobilize climate education, advocacy, and volunteerism.
Los AngelesLA Compost

Reconnecting Angelenos to the Soil & One Another

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
LA Compost is a community-based nonprofit organization that reconnects the people of Los Angeles to the soil and one another. The team actively dismantles environmental injustices through urban farming, recovering and distributing food to neighbors, educating and organizing communities who are often excluded from environmental work, and composting and waste reduction.

Fellows will assist and co-manage the organization’s weekly Compost Hub Maintenance events, during which volunteers build, turn, water, and sift compost and learn how proper organic waste management supports climate action.
Los AngelesLos Angeles City Council District 4

Community-Based Wildfire Preparedness And Prevention In Los Angeles City Council District 4 / Scaling Up Composting And Edible Food Rescue In LA City Council District 4

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Wildfire Resiliency
The Los Angeles City Council District 4 is home to 270,000 people stretching from Silver Lake to Reseda and includes a vibrant and diverse array of communities. Elected in 2020, Councilmember Nithya Raman serves her constituents in Council District 4 on wide-ranging issues, including wildfire preparedness and organic waste diversion.

Fellows will lead on-the-ground, door-to-door outreach to businesses and residences across Council District 4 to promote composting and increase awareness and compliance with Senate Bill 1383 – a state law mandating commercial organic waste recycling. Fellows will also lead wildfire preparedness and prevention outreach to residents living in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones and help create education programs for fire vulnerable populations.
Los AngelesLos Angeles Unified School District - Local District Central

Zero Waste Fellowship in Cooperation with the LAUSD’s Work-based Learning Partnership Program

City: Los Angeles
Project Focus: Urban Greening / GHG emission reductions
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the largest district in California and embraces its diversity to educate L.A.’s youth and ensure the academic achievement of tomorrow’s leaders.

Fellows will help facilitate a Work Based Learning Partnership and serve on-site at dozens of local community schools, implementing programs focused on Zero Waste to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fellows will also mentor students, parents, and faculty with a focus on developing leadership skills needed to combat climate change and promote sustainability.
OtherMariposa County Planning Department

Mariposa County Strategic Resiliency Implementation Program

City: Mariposa
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Wildfire Resiliency
Located in the Sierra foothills at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County is home to a vibrant, rural community focused on mitigating the effects of climate change with a Strategic Resiliency Implementation Program. This program includes a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) to support a healthier, safer, and more resilient Mariposa County.

The Fellow will help coordinate community engagement and volunteer efforts identified in the CWPP, including working with stakeholders and community members to determine specific Wildfire Protection programs, projects, and implementation tasks.
OtherMundo Gardens

Regenerative Cultura

City: National City
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Mundo Gardens is a non-profit, social justice organization and community garden that is passionate about educating the community and processing organic materials in ways that benefit and uplift local communities and ecosystems. The Community Regenerative Cultural initiative is a collaborative that integrates the efforts of individuals from many walks of life to redefine and redesign waste management dynamics, regreening, tree planting, and connecting to indigenous practices on ancestral Kumeyaay Land in historically undervalued and overlooked environmental justice neighborhoods, as well as empowers residents to take ownership in addressing food insecurity, local resource recovery, and climate resiliency.

Fellows will coordinate and collaborate with local agencies and the community on projects including free tree projects, composting, community gardening, elementary school projects, farmer’s market equity, and more. Fellows will recruit and support volunteers to canvass disadvantaged neighborhoods on a biweekly basis, support a community zero waste farmer’s market, collect and develop a system of community composting, and support various educational and cultural events.
San JoseOur City Forest

Volunteers for A Green & Healthy Silicon Valley

City: San Jose
Project Focus: Urban Greening
Our City Forest is a leading nonprofit in Santa Clara County for urban forestry and environmental education, with programs and services focused on tree planting, lawn conversions, community nurseries, tree stewardship, and job training.

Fellows will recruit and train community volunteers to assist in the planning, caring, and maintaining of trees in high-need areas. Fellows will also support climate mitigation projects and environmental stewardship to strengthen community resilience and deepen residents’ understanding and appreciation of trees in urban ecosystems.
Tribal CommunitiesPauma Band of Luiseno Indians

Climate REZilient Pauma

City: Pauma Valley
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Wildfire Resiliency
Natural hazards like wildfire and extreme heat pose a significant threat to the natural resources, political integrity, economic stability, and health and wellbeing of the citizens of the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians and the residents of the Pauma and Yuima Indian Reservation, located in beautiful rural northern San Diego County.
Climate REZilient Pauma will support the Tribe in mitigating wildfire and extreme heat risks and increasing preparedness for these hazards. The Fellow focusing on urban greening will be trained in the techniques of tree planting and maintenance, including assessing environmental conditions and selecting appropriate tree species, to increase canopy in shade-deprived areas. The Fellow focusing on wildfire resiliency will be trained in native and invasive/hazardous plant species identification and wildfire resilience promotion techniques. Both Fellows will receive training on the foundations of hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, and climate change adaptation. Fellows will collaborate to lead a climate change impact vulnerability and resources assessment, gathering data from both outside and within the Tribal Community, such as Tribal Elders and ecocultural resource experts, and ultimately develop a climate adaptation plan. Fellows will use this information to develop programming for monthly community education and volunteer events, such as engaging Tribal Youth in tree plantings and fire evacuation drills or engaging adults in topics such as home wildfire hardening and extreme heat safety for the whole family. The outcome of these community education events will be greater preparedness for extreme heat and wildfire events for Tribal Citizens and Pauma and Yuima Indian Reservation residents.
San DiegoSan Diego Audubon Society

San Diego Audubon Nature Preserve & Conservation Fellowship

City: San Diego
Project Focus: Wildfire Resiliency
San Diego Audubon Society serves a diverse population, with community-based habitat restoration projects, environmental education programs, and recreational offerings in North County, Metro, East County, and South Bay communities.
Fellows will assist the resident managers at the Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve and Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary with wildfire risk reduction, native plant restoration, and community engagement. In addition, Fellows will support volunteer engagement, research, complete a capstone project, and occasionally work in the field with the conservation department. Fellows will engage the community by interacting with preserve guests and volunteers and educating them about the benefits of native plants for wildlife. Fellows will also assist in creating a fire readiness plan for each of the properties and may create educational materials about fire reduction, the benefits of native plants, and the creation of native seed libraries for distribution. Fellows will help grow SDAS’s volunteer base to support restoration work, sanctuary work parties, weekend guides, and events.
San JoseSan Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School

Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery in Silicon Valley

City: San Jose
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The San Jose Conservation Corps (SJCC) is a non-profit organization providing opportunities for youth ages 17 - 27 to develop valuable work and life skills that empower them to become responsible, productive, and caring citizens.

Fellows will lead a food rescue program and SJCC's Community Market, redirecting free food to its corps members, students, and staff. Fellows will also participate in on-site composting and organic waste recovery efforts and help implement public outreach opportunities like Zero Waste Saturdays to recruit volunteers and engage the community in organic waste programming.
Los AngelesThe Niles Foundation

#UrbanGreeningFoodAccessAndCleanEnergy

City: Culver City
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery / Clean Energy
The Niles Foundation (TNF) develops equitable and sustainable green spaces throughout Los Angeles and serves historically disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.

Fellows will help build local farms, plant trees, maintain gardens and compost sites, and develop education materials for residents. Fellows will also organize, plan, and coordinate community engagement events to facilitate climate volunteerism.
San DiegoTree San Diego

Treejectory Plus

City: San Diego
Project Focus: Urban Greening
Tree San Diego's Treejectory+ program offers a multifaceted education and workforce development program serving disadvantaged and low-income communities through urban-forestry focused education, training, and job placement. This project will include the planting of 150 trees in disadvantaged communities.

Fellows will work directly with disadvantaged communities to conduct outreach and recruitment for tree planting and training exercises; sign up tree planting trainings and Tree Steward educational events; and support tree planting activities with residents and cultivate relationships with local leaders to foster ongoing volunteer engagement strategies.
Inland EmpireUniversity of California, Riverside - Office of Sustainability

Cool Campus Challenge

City: Riverside
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The Office of Sustainability at the University of California, Riverside hosts the Cool Campus Challenge (CCC) to connect students to community based environmental and climate groups early in their higher education career and create an ethos of service in the climate sector through personal, campus, and community action.

Fellows will help implement the CCC by coordinating volunteer opportunities on campus for tree plantings, row crop production, and composting. Fellows will also collect and distribute food on and off campus to communities in need.
Inland EmpireUniversity of Redlands, Office of Community Service Learning

Treestock and Sustainable University of Redlands Farm Stewardship

City: Redlands
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
The University of Redlands strives to combat climate change and improve the quality of life for its campus community by expanding access to public green spaces and urban food gardens.

Fellows will help create a campus tree garden and educate children on tree care and climate change, while developing more opportunities for farming, gardening, and composting. Fellows will also facilitate experiential courses, help oversee volunteers, and lead educational workshops for classes and community programs.
San JoseVeggielution

Veggielution’s Eastside Connect

City: San Jose
Project Focus: Urban Greening / Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
Veggielution connects thousands of East San Jose residents each year with programs focused on food sovereignty, community engagement, and environmental education to increase awareness about the importance of local food systems and access to sustainably grown food.

Fellows will lead volunteers in small-scale organic food production on urban farms and facilitate a farmbox program to divert extra food to communities in need. Fellows will also help pilot a new food scrap collection program and teach residents about composting as a strategy to increase soil quality, reduce water use, and mitigate the effects of climate change.
OtherWhite Pony Express

Food Rescue: Education, Outreach, and Volunteer Engagement - Saving the Environment and Feeding the Hungry

City: Pleasant Hill
Project Focus: Organic Waste & Edible Food Recovery
White Pony Express (WPE) is a volunteer-powered organization working to eliminate hunger, poverty, and waste across the Bay Area. WPE’s Food Rescue Program delivers high quality surplus food to senior centers, school pantries, churches, shelters, and soup kitchens, keeping food out of the landfill and reducing climate-warming pollutants and greenhouse gasses.

Fellows will deliver structured content about WPE’s environmental impact through research, writing, and information-sharing to community members and the general public. Fellows will also support food diversion and redistribution efforts and lead the launch of a new app to create a local, decentralized system for food rescue.