Civic Works Highlighted for Work on Cool Roofs in Baltimore

Ed Sheeks, project leader with Civic Works, sits on a cool roof he and a crew installed. Also from CIvic Works are left, front to back, Crystal Hudson, James Simpson, and Daysha Bragg. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / September 26, 2013)

Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun

Push urged for more cool roofs in Baltimore
White or light coatings reduce energy costs, last longer

By Timothy B. Wheeler

Leigh Peterson has one of the coolest roofs in Baltimore. Her rowhouse near Patterson Park sports a blinding white cap, topped by a row of shiny solar panels.

Peterson, 29, a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, doesn't need to see her roof to know it's cool, though. She just has to count the dollars she's saved on air conditioning. She got her roof coated as part of a comprehensive energy retrofit of her 109-year-old house, and her August electricity bill was about half what she paid last year.

"I'm a grad student, so I'm always into saving money, because I don't have much of it," she said. "But I'm also environmentally concerned as well."

Peterson is one of a small but growing number of Baltimoreans putting energy-saving "cool" roofs on their homes or places of business. A new report by the Abell Foundation suggests white or cool roof systems like hers could help fight global climate change while also making the city a healthier place to live — and urged local and state governments to do more to expand installation efforts.

"Longer lasting, cost-competitive and often safer to install than traditional black roofs, cool roofs could become Baltimore's next climate mitigation priority and environmental target," concluded the report, written by Joan Jacobson, a freelance journalist, researcher and former reporter for The Evening Sun and The Baltimore Sun.

Ideal for flat or gently sloping surfaces, cool roofs involve more than slathering a coat of white or shiny metallic paint on an existing layer of tar. They come in two basic types, both intended to reflect sunlight and keep the building below from heating up as much. One involves applying a liquid acrylic coating that dries into a rubber-like surface, while the other features a thin membrane laid down over the roof to seal it.

They can reflect up to 80 percent of sunlight they receive, the report says. Studies show they can cut air-conditioning costs by up to 20 percent and even lower indoor temperatures inside buildings without air conditioning. White or light-colored roofs may reduce the amount of solar heat homes get in winter, but the savings in warm weather more than offset any extra heating needed when it's cold in all but the northernmost climes, studies show.

There are health benefits as well, advocates say. Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance, said a study his group just finished in Washington found that in areas where cool roofs were installed along with tree plantings at the street level, heat-related deaths declined by 6 percent to 7 percent. This past summer's relatively cool, rainy weather resulted in 15 heat-related deaths in Maryland, about a third as many as in 2012 and the fewest since 2009, according to the state health department.

Cool roofs can cost about the same as traditional ones, proponents say. Installation and materials range from $3.90 to $9.50 per square foot, compared with $4 to $8.25 per square foot for an asphalt roof, according to the report. Upkeep on cool roofs also is less, because they don't heat up and crack as much.

New or existing roofs covered with liquid coatings can easily last a decade, the report said, and two to three times longer with regular recoating every five years. The membrane roof coverings generally require replacement of the existing roof first, but also can last 25 to 30 years with minor maintenance.

Hundreds of cool roofs have been installed across Baltimore since the first one went on a home in Charles Village in 1981, according to the report. The city's housing and community development department has helped pay for reflective roofs on about 130 homes occupied by low-income families, while Civic Works, a nonprofit group affiliated with Americorps, has installed another 150, according to John Mello, the group's green project director.

The city has since made cooling homes and businesses with reflective roofs part of its climate action plan, so municipal agencies are ramping up their efforts. This year, the report notes, the city got $2.8 million from the state to make grants to low-income homeowners to put cool roofs on 500 homes as part of a weatherization program.

The city also hopes to put cool roofs on 22 to 50 homes a year as part of its "Baltimore Energy Challenge," which works to install a variety of energy efficiencies in homes as well. Alice Kennedy, city sustainability coordinator, said she expected to spend about $100,000 a year over the next three years on the effort, which targets low- to moderate-income households.

But more could be done, the Abell report argued. It suggests Baltimore and Maryland imitate aggressive installation campaigns in other cities and states. In particular, Jacobson urged the city to mandate cool roofs on new and renovated structures as part of its green building standards, much as California has done.

"I think there's some real opportunities, looking at neighboring cities, to take what they're doing and do it in Baltimore," Shickman agreed. New York City, for instance, has worked with local energy companies and corporations to coat government buildings and require cool roofs on all new and renovated private buildings.

City Hall isn't prepared to go that far. Rather than require it, Kennedy said local officials hope that by spreading the word about the savings and other benefits building owners will readily embrace cool roofs.

"It's something we would definitely like to encourage," she said.

Many appear to have gotten onto the bandwagon already, Kennedy said. From her window in the Benton city office building downtown on Baltimore Street, Kennedy said, two-thirds of the roofs she could see have white or reflective coatings.

Washington, D.C., also has a cool roof law, Shickman said, but there developers already are embracing cool roofs as they strive to meet the voluntary green building standards set under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Cool roofs are encouraged under those guidelines, he noted.

The Abell report also called for the state to make cool roofs eligible for financing and rebates now offered for upgrading the energy efficiency of a home or business. The state does have a goal of reducing energy consumption 15 percent by 2015, it pointed out.

The Maryland Energy Administration does not provide any financial incentives to install cool roofs now, but spokeswoman Devan Willemsen said that might be about to change. If lawmakers approve the funding, the state energy office is preparing to roll out a new competitive energy-efficiency grant program targeting low- and moderate-income households, and one of the upgrades the program would pay for is a cool roof.

"We're definitely in support of cool roofs," Willemsen said.

The Abell report also urged the city's school system to integrate cool roofs into its planned $1.1 billion overhaul of 40 school buildings.

Lighter-colored roofing materials went on about 20 city schools that have been renovated or weatherized, the report says. But those crushed-granite and ceramic materials don't yield the same energy savings a true cool roof would.

Keith Scroggins, chief of facilities for the city school system, said administrators are looking at cool roofs, as well as "green" roofs, those which have vegetation planted on them to absorb rainfall and control storm-water runoff.

"As we get closer to design of the first group of schools, we expect to decide on a variety of energy efficient options," Scroggins said.

With storm-water control a priority in Baltimore because of the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, some might think green roofs would take precedence over cool roofs. Shickman said it's a false choice, as both can go on larger buildings, and with smaller structures the runoff controls can be installed on the ground.

The biggest problem with cool roofs, experts warn, is they can cause or worsen moisture damage if not properly insulated and ventilated.

Stanford University researchers also have suggested that cool roofs might actually warm the planet if they went global, because they'd reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and warm the many fine particles floating in the air. That's a distant worry for now because cool roofs are nowhere near widespread.

Peterson, an area vice president of the Patterson Park neighborhood association, said she put leased solar panels on her roof first, as a hedge of sorts against rising electricity rates, then had the cool roof installed. It was part of a $3,000 complete energy retrofit of her drafty home, she said. Technicians sealed up cracks, put in additional insulation and installed a new hot-water heater.

The payoff: electricity bills of $100 to $120 for her 1,000 square foot home even with her central air running.

"That is pretty wonderful," Peterson concluded.

Tim.wheeler@baltsun.com

An earlier version misstated the size of Leigh Peterson's home. The Sun regrets the error.

Cool roofs

Designed to reflect sunlight and have lower temperatures than traditional black or dark roofs.

Though many are white, they can be other colors as long as they include reflective material.

Ideal for flat or gently sloped roofs, best when put on new or replacement roofs.

Two basic types: "elastomeric" roof with a multi-layer liquid coating, reinforced with mesh, or prefabricated membrane sheet.

Can reflect up to 80 percent of sunlight, reduce air-conditioning costs by up to 20 percent.

 

Boiler Plate: 
Push urged for more cool roofs in Baltimore. White or light coatings reduce energy costs, last longer.

The Corps Network Attends First Covening of the Opportunity Youth Network

Earlier this week, Mary Ellen Ardouny and Tyler Wilson of The Corps Network attended the first in-person convening of the Opportunity Youth Network in Maryland.

OYN was launched in early 2013 to bring together representatives of organizations working to reconnect opportunity youth in America (youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and are not working). A group of about 80 representatives from the nonprofit sector, the private sector, government, education, and youth-led organizations – all of whom work at the national level – currently participate in OYN. 

The goal of the meeting was to continue laying the framework for collaboration among all groups, and harness a collective impact without creating new initiatives. Members of The National Council of Young Leaders, including Corps Network Representatives Philan Tree and JR Daniels also attended the meeting and provided an essential voice for youth in the strategic planning process and working groups. The Council has already published a report of Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America.

Members of the National Council of Young Leaders speak at the Opportunity Youth Network convening.

VIDEO: Corps Partner to Restore the Escalante River Watershed

Civic Works Highlighted for Work on Cool Roofs in Baltimore

Ed Sheeks, project leader with Civic Works, sits on a cool roof he and a crew installed. Also from CIvic Works are left, front to back, Crystal Hudson, James Simpson, and Daysha Bragg. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun / September 26, 2013)

Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun

Push urged for more cool roofs in Baltimore
White or light coatings reduce energy costs, last longer

By Timothy B. Wheeler

Leigh Peterson has one of the coolest roofs in Baltimore. Her rowhouse near Patterson Park sports a blinding white cap, topped by a row of shiny solar panels.

Peterson, 29, a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, doesn't need to see her roof to know it's cool, though. She just has to count the dollars she's saved on air conditioning. She got her roof coated as part of a comprehensive energy retrofit of her 109-year-old house, and her August electricity bill was about half what she paid last year.

"I'm a grad student, so I'm always into saving money, because I don't have much of it," she said. "But I'm also environmentally concerned as well."

Peterson is one of a small but growing number of Baltimoreans putting energy-saving "cool" roofs on their homes or places of business. A new report by the Abell Foundation suggests white or cool roof systems like hers could help fight global climate change while also making the city a healthier place to live — and urged local and state governments to do more to expand installation efforts.

"Longer lasting, cost-competitive and often safer to install than traditional black roofs, cool roofs could become Baltimore's next climate mitigation priority and environmental target," concluded the report, written by Joan Jacobson, a freelance journalist, researcher and former reporter for The Evening Sun and The Baltimore Sun.

Ideal for flat or gently sloping surfaces, cool roofs involve more than slathering a coat of white or shiny metallic paint on an existing layer of tar. They come in two basic types, both intended to reflect sunlight and keep the building below from heating up as much. One involves applying a liquid acrylic coating that dries into a rubber-like surface, while the other features a thin membrane laid down over the roof to seal it.

They can reflect up to 80 percent of sunlight they receive, the report says. Studies show they can cut air-conditioning costs by up to 20 percent and even lower indoor temperatures inside buildings without air conditioning. White or light-colored roofs may reduce the amount of solar heat homes get in winter, but the savings in warm weather more than offset any extra heating needed when it's cold in all but the northernmost climes, studies show.

There are health benefits as well, advocates say. Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance, said a study his group just finished in Washington found that in areas where cool roofs were installed along with tree plantings at the street level, heat-related deaths declined by 6 percent to 7 percent. This past summer's relatively cool, rainy weather resulted in 15 heat-related deaths in Maryland, about a third as many as in 2012 and the fewest since 2009, according to the state health department.

Cool roofs can cost about the same as traditional ones, proponents say. Installation and materials range from $3.90 to $9.50 per square foot, compared with $4 to $8.25 per square foot for an asphalt roof, according to the report. Upkeep on cool roofs also is less, because they don't heat up and crack as much.

New or existing roofs covered with liquid coatings can easily last a decade, the report said, and two to three times longer with regular recoating every five years. The membrane roof coverings generally require replacement of the existing roof first, but also can last 25 to 30 years with minor maintenance.

Hundreds of cool roofs have been installed across Baltimore since the first one went on a home in Charles Village in 1981, according to the report. The city's housing and community development department has helped pay for reflective roofs on about 130 homes occupied by low-income families, while Civic Works, a nonprofit group affiliated with Americorps, has installed another 150, according to John Mello, the group's green project director.

The city has since made cooling homes and businesses with reflective roofs part of its climate action plan, so municipal agencies are ramping up their efforts. This year, the report notes, the city got $2.8 million from the state to make grants to low-income homeowners to put cool roofs on 500 homes as part of a weatherization program.

The city also hopes to put cool roofs on 22 to 50 homes a year as part of its "Baltimore Energy Challenge," which works to install a variety of energy efficiencies in homes as well. Alice Kennedy, city sustainability coordinator, said she expected to spend about $100,000 a year over the next three years on the effort, which targets low- to moderate-income households.

But more could be done, the Abell report argued. It suggests Baltimore and Maryland imitate aggressive installation campaigns in other cities and states. In particular, Jacobson urged the city to mandate cool roofs on new and renovated structures as part of its green building standards, much as California has done.

"I think there's some real opportunities, looking at neighboring cities, to take what they're doing and do it in Baltimore," Shickman agreed. New York City, for instance, has worked with local energy companies and corporations to coat government buildings and require cool roofs on all new and renovated private buildings.

City Hall isn't prepared to go that far. Rather than require it, Kennedy said local officials hope that by spreading the word about the savings and other benefits building owners will readily embrace cool roofs.

"It's something we would definitely like to encourage," she said.

Many appear to have gotten onto the bandwagon already, Kennedy said. From her window in the Benton city office building downtown on Baltimore Street, Kennedy said, two-thirds of the roofs she could see have white or reflective coatings.

Washington, D.C., also has a cool roof law, Shickman said, but there developers already are embracing cool roofs as they strive to meet the voluntary green building standards set under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Cool roofs are encouraged under those guidelines, he noted.

The Abell report also called for the state to make cool roofs eligible for financing and rebates now offered for upgrading the energy efficiency of a home or business. The state does have a goal of reducing energy consumption 15 percent by 2015, it pointed out.

The Maryland Energy Administration does not provide any financial incentives to install cool roofs now, but spokeswoman Devan Willemsen said that might be about to change. If lawmakers approve the funding, the state energy office is preparing to roll out a new competitive energy-efficiency grant program targeting low- and moderate-income households, and one of the upgrades the program would pay for is a cool roof.

"We're definitely in support of cool roofs," Willemsen said.

The Abell report also urged the city's school system to integrate cool roofs into its planned $1.1 billion overhaul of 40 school buildings.

Lighter-colored roofing materials went on about 20 city schools that have been renovated or weatherized, the report says. But those crushed-granite and ceramic materials don't yield the same energy savings a true cool roof would.

Keith Scroggins, chief of facilities for the city school system, said administrators are looking at cool roofs, as well as "green" roofs, those which have vegetation planted on them to absorb rainfall and control storm-water runoff.

"As we get closer to design of the first group of schools, we expect to decide on a variety of energy efficient options," Scroggins said.

With storm-water control a priority in Baltimore because of the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, some might think green roofs would take precedence over cool roofs. Shickman said it's a false choice, as both can go on larger buildings, and with smaller structures the runoff controls can be installed on the ground.

The biggest problem with cool roofs, experts warn, is they can cause or worsen moisture damage if not properly insulated and ventilated.

Stanford University researchers also have suggested that cool roofs might actually warm the planet if they went global, because they'd reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and warm the many fine particles floating in the air. That's a distant worry for now because cool roofs are nowhere near widespread.

Peterson, an area vice president of the Patterson Park neighborhood association, said she put leased solar panels on her roof first, as a hedge of sorts against rising electricity rates, then had the cool roof installed. It was part of a $3,000 complete energy retrofit of her drafty home, she said. Technicians sealed up cracks, put in additional insulation and installed a new hot-water heater.

The payoff: electricity bills of $100 to $120 for her 1,000 square foot home even with her central air running.

"That is pretty wonderful," Peterson concluded.

Tim.wheeler@baltsun.com

An earlier version misstated the size of Leigh Peterson's home. The Sun regrets the error.

Cool roofs

Designed to reflect sunlight and have lower temperatures than traditional black or dark roofs.

Though many are white, they can be other colors as long as they include reflective material.

Ideal for flat or gently sloped roofs, best when put on new or replacement roofs.

Two basic types: "elastomeric" roof with a multi-layer liquid coating, reinforced with mesh, or prefabricated membrane sheet.

Can reflect up to 80 percent of sunlight, reduce air-conditioning costs by up to 20 percent.

 

Boiler Plate: 
Push urged for more cool roofs in Baltimore. White or light coatings reduce energy costs, last longer.

The Corps Network Attends First Covening of the Opportunity Youth Network

Earlier this week, Mary Ellen Ardouny and Tyler Wilson of The Corps Network attended the first in-person convening of the Opportunity Youth Network in Maryland.

OYN was launched in early 2013 to bring together representatives of organizations working to reconnect opportunity youth in America (youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and are not working). A group of about 80 representatives from the nonprofit sector, the private sector, government, education, and youth-led organizations – all of whom work at the national level – currently participate in OYN. 

The goal of the meeting was to continue laying the framework for collaboration among all groups, and harness a collective impact without creating new initiatives. Members of The National Council of Young Leaders, including Corps Network Representatives Philan Tree and JR Daniels also attended the meeting and provided an essential voice for youth in the strategic planning process and working groups. The Council has already published a report of Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America.

Members of the National Council of Young Leaders speak at the Opportunity Youth Network convening.

Montana Conservation Corps helps build "Vigilante Bike Park"


 

Taken from the Helena Independent Record 
By Al Knauber, PHOTOS by Eliza Wiley, Independent Record

More than a year’s worth of planning became a reality in about five hours of work.

The Montana Conservation Corps, which has helped build trails across the state, wanted to do a project with greater visibility and enlisted the aid of Carroll College students in late September. The group assembled at Helena’s Centennial Park for the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day.

With shovels and sweat, they and other volunteers, numbering 112 in all, created Vigilante Bike Park, Helena’s bike park.

T&E The Cat Rental Store provided a “skid-steer,” a small piece of machinery that’s been compared to a mini-bulldozer, that Joe Robbins drove that day. Chris Charlton of Jefferson City brought one too and helped move dirt for the first track at the bike park, said Will Harmon, who has long wanted to see a bike park in Helena and participated in the effort to make it a reality.

Only a small portion of the 3.9 acres set aside for bicycling at Centennial Park was used to build this first track.

By the end of that day, a rider gave the track a test drive. It passed the test.

The track isn’t just for mountain bikes; it is designed for those who relish the chance to jump and flip and twist on smaller BMX bikes.

Amy Teegarden, Helena’s parks and recreation director, said she’s heard the track has been called “sick,” a designation that pleases her.

In the vernacular of those who ride, she explained, this is a compliment.

The first track is what’s called a “pump track” and relies on a rider’s initial momentum and the spacing between rises and dips in the track and berms instead of pedaling to keep a rider speeding along.

Riders push down on their handlebars and pedals as they descend from each rise on the track to accelerate and then rise up from that squat position as the bike crests the next hill. The result of this physical workout converts gravitational force into speed.

But that’s the scientific explanation for what riders say is fun.



 

“It’s like a mini-roller coaster for bikes,” Harmon said.

“It’s like the craziest mountain biking you’ve ever been through, but it’s condensed into a 300 foot loop,” he added.

Get him talking about the course and the excitement is evident in his voice. Harmon is an avid bicyclist himself, as are his two sons, and he has bicycles specially designed for the type of riding he will do. One of them is intended to be taken to the top of ski slopes in the summer and ridden to the bottom. He grins when he explains this. His trio of bicycles, he said, is worth more than his car.

This first pump track is one of three that will be built, say Harmon and Pat Doyle, the Helena Tourism Alliance’s community outreach director. One of the other two pump tracks will be less challenging and intended more for children who are just beginning to develop their bicycling skills. The third pump track will be more advanced and have more of those features that BMX riders want to see.

Having a bike park that is appealing to BMX riders is important.

Centennial Park was built atop a former city landfill. A few feet beneath the surface is a liner that keeps snowmelt and rain from leeching contaminants out of the buried garbage. As plans were made for how to convert the site into a recreational attraction, an area for BMX riders was proposed, Teegarden said.

However, in the five years that she’s been the parks director, that focus has shifted to mountain biking.

Despite that shift, providing for BMX riders has remained important because without a place to practice, these riders have been using the skate park as a place to ride.

The skate park, however, wasn’t built for multiple use, Teegarden said.

The bike park isn’t intended to be just a place to ride, said Doyle, but a place for people “to get more comfortable on mountain bikes before they go out on trails.”

A skills track is planned for the bike park that will also allow riders to traverse a portion of city history. Granite slabs salvaged as old buildings were demolished in the 1970s during the urban renewal movement will be incorporated into this design.

“We’ve incorporated it into various parks including the walking mall,” Teegarden said of the granite slabs.

Bike park features are being designed by the city with suggestions from those who ride mountain bikes, Harmon said. Industry standards for bike park features are being used in the design.

“One of the really unique things about this process is that it’s on city land,” Doyle said.

Other communities, he explained, have struggled to find locations for their bike parks. Doyle predicts communities will see the value of bike parks and embrace them in the coming years even if for now it has yet to blossom as an accepted urban recreation.

“It’s a very proactive thing for the city to do,” he added.

Some 2,000 cubic yards of dirt will be needed to make the entire park a reality, as will about $180,000.

The installation of the first pump track cost about $5,000. This is less than was anticipated because of the volunteer labor, Teegarden said.

The city contributed land for the bike park and some $20,000.

Doyle and Harmon say they see a return on the community investment in a bike park.

Having the first track in place at the bike park gives people more of an idea of what the facility will offer, Doyle said, and will help with fundraising.

He said he sees the bike park as a tourism attraction and said, “This bike park will be the first of its kind in the state.”

“People are always looking for other places to ride,” he continued. “Helena is already an incredible place to ride.”

“Right now, it’s a little bit of an underground tourism niche,” Harmon said of those who seek out bike parks.

But he, too, sees the potential.

“The people who do this stuff aren’t shy about spending money on their sport,” Harmon said. “And they travel.”

Centennial Park has become more than a showcase for urban recreation. The area set aside for dogs to run off-leash was made possible by donations as was the installation of a roughly 11-foot-tall climbing boulder. Making the bike park a reality will rely on the same sorts of community support.

Donations are being accepted by the Helena Recreation Foundation, which has a nonprofit tax status allowing for tax-deductible donations to be made to the bike park, Doyle said.

Harmon looks for the first two phases of construction to be completed in about a year from now. He and Doyle say they appreciate the city’s efforts to make the bike park a reality.

“We can’t thank Craig (Marr, Helena’s parks’ superintendent) and Amy enough. They’ve been tremendous,” Harmon said, adding, “The city is lucky to have them, not just as employees, but as people with vision and insight.”

Bette Midler, founder of NYRP, to receive Rockefeller Foundation Award

Taken from Philanthropy News Digest 

Rockefeller Foundation Announces Winners of 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal, which is awarded annually to individuals whose work creates new ways of seeing and understanding New York City.

Entertainer Bette Midler, who in 1995 founded the New York Restoration Project, which works to restore parks, save community gardens, and beautify neighborhoods throughout the city, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership. Ian Marvy, founding director ofAdded Value, whose urban community farm provides educational opportunities and fresh produce in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, will receive the 2013 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism.

Midler plans to donate the $100,000 award that comes with the honor to NYRP, while Marvy will donate his $100,000 prize to Added Value in honor of his late mother.

"The Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal recognizes New Yorkers who intervene in and use the urban environment to build a more equitable city for all of us," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "It is completely appropriate for us to honor Ms. Midler's work in light of her work to bring verdant recreational space to so many New Yorkers in so many different communities. It is also appropriate that we honor Mr. Marvy's work with community youth in bringing fresh produce to what had been a food desert."

Click here for the full press release from the Rockefeller Foundation

Urban Corps of San Diego Hired to Clean City Sidewalks


Story and picture taken from the Carlsbad Patch

Under a new contract with Urban Corps of San Diego County, city sidewalks and other surfaces will be cleaned more frequently while providing much needed job experience to young adults.

The city previously contracted with a private company to do this work.  Under that contract, the Village area and seawall were cleaned twice a year.  For the same cost, Urban Corps crews will perform work throughout the city three times a week, year round. 

“We’ve been employing Urban Corps for 10 years for other projects, and they deliver highly dependable, professional service for a reasonable price,” Dobbs said. “It also helps Urban Corps members develop job skills and gain experience.”

Urban Corps is a locally based nonprofit conservation corps that provides a high school education and job training to young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Since 1989 Urban Corps has given more than 10,000 youths who did not succeed in traditional school settings a second chance to develop new skills and earn an education.

Beginning on Oct. 4, Urban Corps will provide a pressure-washing crew that will scrub sidewalks as directed by the City of Carlsbad Transportation Department street maintenance team.

“Urban Corps will be sending a team with a truck three days a week,” said Clayton Dobbs, a utilities supervisor for the City of Carlsbad. “We’ll focus their efforts downtown and on the seawall, because we get so much foot traffic there, but they’ll be working throughout Carlsbad, wherever we need them.”

The cleaning crews will wear uniforms so they’ll be clearly identified. They will start work in the downtown Carlsbad Village at 6 a.m. and be finished by 9:30 a.m., so they’ll be gone when most businesses open for the day.

Dobbs noted that it’s not just debris and gum that needs a pressure-wash. He said that some parts of the city, especially La Costa, experience algae buildup where groundwater rises to the surface and forms pools on streets and sidewalks.

Pressure-washing sidewalks isn’t the first task that Urban Corps has performed for the City of Carlsbad. The city employs the group to clean litter daily and remove large bulky items that are dumped on the sides of roads. Urban Corps also clears debris from storm water outlets so they flow smoothly, and cleans graffiti from city walls and surfaces.

The contract for the work is not to exceed $68,000 a year, and is renewable every year for five years.

 

Speak Up, Be Heard: Civicorps Hosts Leadership Summit

On September 24th and 25th, Civicorps in Oakland California hosted its first ever Leadership Summit.

Taken from a Civicorps email update

Civicorps' hosted a powerful two-day convening of Oakland youth, community activists, and elected officials to discuss community issues, brainstorm solutions, and inspire action.

Youth heard inspiring speeches from Senator Loni Hancock and Junious Williams at Urban Stratgies Council. They also listened to stories from community activists about transforming passion into action and then brainstormed solutions for local issues with Community Health, Safety, Youth Engagement, and Career & Education Opportunities.

The youth teams then presented their ideas to a panel of decision makers, which included:  

"I learned how to be a leader - how to find my voice." 
- Youth Activist

"I am excited to see young black men talking about community issues."   
- Supervisor Keith Carson   

Click here to read more about the event 

Speak Up, Be Heard: Civicorps Hosts Leadership Summit

On September 24th and 25th, Civicorps in Oakland California hosted its first ever Leadership Summit.

Taken from a Civicorps email update

Civicorps' hosted a powerful two-day convening of Oakland youth, community activists, and elected officials to discuss community issues, brainstorm solutions, and inspire action.

Youth heard inspiring speeches from Senator Loni Hancock and Junious Williams at Urban Stratgies Council. They also listened to stories from community activists about transforming passion into action and then brainstormed solutions for local issues with Community Health, Safety, Youth Engagement, and Career & Education Opportunities.

The youth teams then presented their ideas to a panel of decision makers, which included:  

"I learned how to be a leader - how to find my voice." 
- Youth Activist

"I am excited to see young black men talking about community issues."   
- Supervisor Keith Carson   

Click here to read more about the event 

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