e-News
 
 
 
 
AUTUMN 2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 “The LA Conservation Corps has been a backbone to me and I appreciate it in so many ways because there are not a lot of organizations that help the way they do. LA Corps will not fail you unless you fail yourself.”


– Alexis, Corpsmember

 
 
 
 
 
Corpsmembers Find a New Appreciation
 
 
 
 
As the movement toward ZERO HUNGER and ZERO WASTE has grown across the nation, a handful of young adult Corpsmembers have been at the forefront in LA, leading the Corps Food Waste Prevention & Rescue Program. Heading up this unique community mobilization project in the San Fernando Valley, Corpsmembers Alex, Juan and their peers have found a new appreciation for waste -- food waste. Together, they are working to improve a broken food system while providing food to the hungry.

"This is my first real job. It's interesting to see how people thank us and how they react. You wouldn't expect people to be super joyous when we hand them just one little basket that's for them. Now I know there are more options than just getting rid of whatever food is not being sold by a certain date. We get it to people in need. Instead of putting it to a dumpster, we can give food to people who actually need it, instead of throwing it away." - Corpsmember Alex, age 19
 
 
 
 
How do they do it? A small crew recovers up to 3,100 lbs. of food waste every single day they are on the clock. They collect from local supermarkets, cafeterias, restaurants, convenience stores and even pizza shops. They deliver all the edible food they recover to our food bank partner in Pacoima, MEND (Meeting Every Need with Dignity), who feeds 30,000 people in need every month, of which over 1/3 of their clients fully depend on their food bank. Any inedible foods are taken to local schools to compost in their community gardens. Excess food will go to Kroger's anaerobic digester to be converted into biofuel in the future, as food collection increases. Nothing goes to a landfill. Every item is consumed, composted or converted.
 
 
 
 
 
"It makes me feel good that I'm actually helping out. I used to clean streets from trash. This is different. I didn't know anything about landfills until I started working here. The Corps has taught me a lot. This food was considered waste, but now other people are able to enjoy it. Something we take for granted, a lot of other people now enjoy. It's actually useful!" - Corpsmember Juan who drives the rescue truck, age 19

With LA County as the home of the largest food insecure population in America (1.3 residents are struggling to put food on the table), Corpsmembers like Alex and Juan are seeing the direct impact they are having by helping to provide food to individuals and families served by MEND. Thanks to their efforts, they have been able to provide more food to increase MEND's service by 10,000 people per month since the Corps started the food recovery program a year ago with a grant from CalRecycle and additional support from SoCal Gas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thank You for Supporting the Corps through Art
 
 
 
 
It was an evening of vision and inspiration as friends of the Corps and of artist Jay Bell gathered at our Van de Kamp Center on October 16 to view original paintings from Bell’s “Promised Land” series and to hear what Corpsmembers envision for themselves and their communities.
 
 
 
With catering from Chef Alan Matheus and beverages from neighbors Angeleno Winery and Highland Park Brewery, the crowd celebrated our Corpsmembers and raised funds through the sale of Bell’s artwork to support the Corps.
 
 
 
 
Bell, a new member of the Corps Board of Directors, shared with the group some of the things the Corps does for Corpsmembers to enable them to take their next steps, like get driving lessons in order to get their license which opens the door to better future job opportunities. Bell’s hope in offering to donate and display his work, which considers the expectations people bring with them as they come to a new country, was to activate a space like the lobby of the Van de Kamp Center in a new and meaningful way. He hoped to spark conversation and action, and he succeeded. He challenged everyone to think about what more they can do to support these young people’s journeys.
 
 
 
 
Those in attendance were also able to purchase a limited-edition Jay Bell designed tote bag. Each bag was screen printed by Corpsmembers with one of Jay’s original designs. Bags are still available to purchase online for those of you who were not able to attend in person. Proceeds from the sales will support Corpsmembers’ ongoing journey to empower themselves and our communities. 

 
 
Order Your Tote Bag Now
 
 
 
 
LA Kings Celebrate Clean Air with the Corps
 
 
 
 
This year, Corpsmembers joined partner City Plants in celebration of California Clean Air Day on October 2nd with a special group of volunteers. The LA Kings, AEG, Fox Sports West, the City of LA Department of Recreation and Parks, and  One Tree Planted all took part in this day of service at Jim Gilliam Park. Corps staff Jonathan Mason introduced the Corpsmembers to the attendees. Then, new Corps staff Robert Castaneda oriented the volunteers on how to plant a tree so that it can flourish. Then, volunteers broke into small groups, grabbed shovels, and followed Corpsmembers through the park to begin planting. Together, 55 volunteers helped to plant 72 trees.
 
 
 
 
“The LA Kings motivated me to participate in the community event because we were greening a park in LA and that’s what we need. Working with people from the Kings organization was fun. They inspired me to not stop working hard because it pays off in life.” - Corpsmember Juan

Funding for the planting labor and trees was provided by Recreation and Parks, who we are collaborating with to plant 680 trees in Los Angeles parks, while our partner City Plants led volunteer recruitment efforts for the day.  Any City of LA resident can apply for the free yard tree delivery program and have a tree brought to your doorstep by a crew of Corpsmembers or can apply to have a larger tree planted on the parkway in front of their building. Learn more. »
 
 
See Photos from the Day
 
 
 
 
We are Thankful for Our Corps Community
 
 
 
 
We are proud of the work our Corpsmembers and staff do in Los Angeles every day. And it is especially uplifting to be a part of a larger statewide corps community as a part of the California Association of Local Conservation Corps (CALCC).  We are excited to share that CALCC, who promotes the local corps movement in California, has just launched its new web site! This wonderfully rich online resource highlights the impact of 14 state-certified community conservation corps individually, regionally and statewide.
 
 
 
 
Check out the LA Corps on the site and see some friendly faces you may know there. This is an excellent link to share with friends and contacts who live in California.
 
 
Visit mylocalcorps.org
 
 
 
 
Thank You for Supporting New Experiences
 
 
 
 
“Being in the Corps has really helped me grow and learn lots of skills. I am now more open and comfortable being around people and doing things I've never done before. I've also learned the importance of teamwork and how communication helps with teamwork. One of the best things I have gotten to do so far was participate in a spike at Yosemite National Park. It was my first time experiencing the wilderness and traveling far away from home. My favorite part was being able to work in nature and exploring the different parts of the park. It was really cool getting to see a waterfall. I definitely would like to go back or see more areas like that." - Corpsmember Raymond
 
 
 
 
This team of ten Corpsmembers and staff from our Valley, Compton, East LA and South LA sites spent an eight-day "spike" in Yosemite with the California Conservation Corps (CCC), who sponsored the project. What's a spike? A spike is a historical term for a project that includes travel to a remote site to perform forestry work that requires an overnight stay at a temporary camp, usually off the grid. This crew conducted fire fuel removal within the 2013 Rim Fire burned area in Sierra Nevada, CA. They removed dead trees, created burn piles, and thinned vegetation in the area around ponderosa pine trees to give them a chance to grow. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thank You Coca-Cola
 
 
 
 
We are thankful for the incredible partnerships that we have and the numerous ways we are able to impact the community when we work together. One partner that continues to provide unique ways for us to engage the community is Coca-Cola. This year, the Corps has teamed up with Coca-Cola to promote women in public service through the launch of the Dear Future Los Angeles initiative.

Did you know? Less than half of all public service jobs are held by women. These jobs shape the future of our communities, and the people of Los Angeles want empowered women and girls to pursue these careers.


That’s why when our friends at Coca-Cola reached out to ask, “How can we work together to help women and girls in Los Angeles get involved in public service?” we were ready and willing to join their efforts.

 
 
 

Through the Dear Future Los Angeles initiative, Coca-Cola has been supporting the Corps in its efforts to empower young women to be successful in careers that they might never have considered. Over 30% of the 18-24 year-olds in the Corps are women. They are students, daughters, mothers, and sisters who are holding down a job in a non-traditional sector, furthering their education, and providing for their families. They are an inspiration to the female staff at the Corps including the two dozen women supervisors and managers working side by side with them every day and the women in the senior leadership team including CEO Wendy Butts.

 
 
 
 

With Coca Cola’s support we have been engaging female Corpsmembers and other young women from local community based organizations in an inspirational featured speaker series through Dear Future LA. The six-part series features women leaders from different public service career pathways that align with Corps work experience. Speakers come from careers in elected office, social services, nonprofit organizations, public safety, public policy, public affairs and advocacy. They have included Council Members Monica Rodriguez and Nury Martinez, Commissioners Anna Sauceda, Felicia Brannon and Aura Garcia, as well as nonprofit CEOs Renata Simril, Linda Akutagagua, Lorraine Garcia and our own Wendy Butts.

 
 
 
 
In addition, on October 5th, Coca-Cola engaged our Corpsmembers in a unique experience where they led a team of volunteers to collect over 16,500 recyclable containers at the Rose Bowl for the UCLA Zero Waste Game!

 
 
 
 
Thank you to Hollenbeck PAL's "Lights! Camera! Action!" team for producing this amazing video recapping the fun.
 
 
See Photos from the Speaker Series
 
 
 
 
New Ways You Can Support Corpsmembers
 
 
 
 
Here are some great new ways you and your colleagues, friends, and family can support our Corpsmembers.
 
 
 
 
Be a Lime Hero!
 
 
 
 
Ralphs & Food4Less Give Back
 
 
 
 
Amazon Smile Supports the Corps
 
 
 
Make a difference the next time you ride a Lime scooter. Become an everyday hero by donating a slice of your Lime ride to the LA Corps from your settings in your Lime app.
 
 
 
To register as a Lime Hero, download the Lime app and select Lime Hero in the settings to opt-in and select the LA Corps.
 
 
 
If you are a customer at Ralphs or Food4Less, you can now support the Corps through their Community Giving programs!
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you are an AmazonSmile customer, you can support the Corps in the Amazon App on your Android!

Though AmazonSmile is not available on iOS devices, the Corps can be selected as a benefiting charity by anyone who visits smile.amazon.com from a desktop computer.
 
 
 
Generate donations for the Corps by opening the Amazon App on your Android.  View Settings and select AmazonSmile to select the LA Corps as a beneficiary. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
 
 
 

Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs Summit Nov. 22


The 2019 Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit is taking place at UCLA’s Renee & Meyer Luskin Conference Center on Friday, November 22nd from 8:00am to 2:30pm.


The annual Summit, now in its 18th year, will focus on how California can develop affordable, transit-oriented communities to live, work and play in; Statewide, collaborative solutions to the homelessness crisis and tackling housing, underproduction; and what new market opportunities exist to grow and support small businesses.


Click here to see a pdf flier with speaker information. »

 
 
Learn More
 
 

National Brownfields Training Conference Coming to LA Dec. 10-13


You're invited! The EPA and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) present the National Brownfields Training Conference on December 10-13, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you are in the brownfields industry or are part of a locale with a brownfields site, and you are looking to revitalize your community, spur economic growth, restore the environment, and protect the public health, this event is for you!


Enjoy a dynamic educational program of speakers, discussions, mobile workshops, films and more that will provide you with case study examples, program updates, and useful strategies for meeting your brownfield challenges head on.


Read about the sessions. »

 
 
Register Today
 
 
 
Thank You for Believing in Bright Futures
 
 
 
 
 “My future goal is to work my way to the top wherever I'm at and learn as much as I can on the way up.  I would like to stay with the Corps and if possible, work with Corpsmembers. Mainly I want to beautify my city and help the people in it.”


– Matthew Gonzalez, Alumni Corpsmember who was recently hired to join our team as our new Maintenance Worker. Matthew started as a Corpsmember in 2014, moved on to work with the California State Parks from 2017-2019 and is now working with our Graffiti Abatement crews in South LA.

 
 
 
 
Transforming Youth. Enhancing Communities.
 
 
 
 
 
Stay Connected
 
      
 
 
The LA Corps is an environmentally focused youth development organization. We unleash the power of youth to restore the urban environment and preserve natural resources on the coast and in the forests and mountains surrounding Los Angeles. Corpsmembers make Los Angeles' underserved urban neighborhoods better places to live, work, learn, and play. They build parks and community gardens, plant trees, restore habitats, refurbish trails, clean alleys, recycle and work on other projects and more. In the course of restoring the environment for future generations, and serving the communities they live in, youth are empowered to chart their own courses out of poverty and toward a meaningful career through access to education, job training, and support services.   Tax ID # 95-4002138. 
 
 
 
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