California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that the University of Redlands, along with several other organizations, will participate in the state’s newest program to battle the devastating effects of climate change. This program – California Climate Action Corps – is a key part of California’s comprehensive climate strategy and deploys trained volunteers statewide to support climate action projects in communities across California.
As the only university selected to participate in the inaugural launch of the program, the University of Redlands welcomed three fellows to campus in late January to assist in developing a plan specific to Redlands.
“From fires and smoke to record high temperatures, nearly every Californian has been impacted in some way by climate change. Even with the bold climate policies our state has enacted, we must – and can – do more at every level,” Newsom said. “No state has mobilized and organized citizen climate action at scale. California’s Climate Action Corps not only aims to do that but to serve as inspiration for similar action across the country and globe.”
The University of Redlands’ fellows will spend the next eight months launching a new urban forest program through the University’s Office of Community Service Learning. By utilizing the Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF) land, the fellows will plan and establish a nursery to grow trees and then work with U of R students and the local Roots and Shoots chapter to distribute them throughout the community.
“Public service and civic engagement are key pillars of the University of Redlands mission,” said Tony Mueller, director of Community Service Learning. “As participants in this statewide program, we have the opportunity to create a local program that will not only benefit our community but may become a model for other communities as well. Through this project, we hope to inspire students and the community to take ownership in reversing the harmful effects of climate change in our local neighborhoods and across California.”