Year in Review: Resilience AmeriCorps

Through Resilience AmeriCorps, participating cities work with Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members who are recruited, trained, and deployed to city halls to improve resilience in low-income communities.

Youth volunteer participates in a Love Your (Resilient) Block neighborhood revitalization project in Pittsburgh’s Perry Hilltop Neighborhood.



Mayor Ethan Berkowitz

Focused on building a more food-secure Anchorage, citizen volunteers have been working with the city to increase opportunities for vulnerable neighborhoods to grow food locally. Replicating a 2016 greenhouse build at Mountain View Elementary School, volunteers built a greenhouse at Fairview Elementary School and installed raised beds and edible landscaping at Fairview Park. These areas serve as interactive learning labs where students and adults are learning how to grow food as a way to build resilience.

Citizen volunteers in Anchorage participate in the Fairview Park Fix It project to improve the park.


Mayor Oscar Leeser

El Paso expanded on success in the first year of resilience work by launching a mini-grant program to help citizen volunteers build community gardens in food deserts throughout the city. Seven new gardens have produced over 100 pounds of fruits and vegetables, improving food access in low-income communities. In addition, 18 resident volunteers were trained in water and energy conservation as part of a Resilience Ambassadors program. They retrofitted five buildings in low-income communities with 200 energy-efficient light bulbs and 140 water-saving aerators.

“The Cities of Service Impact Volunteering model is a very powerful device that helped us walk the walk for how the city wants to do community outreach and engagement. It allowed volunteers to work together with their neighbors to create meaningful impact.”

Greg Guibert, Chief Resilience Officer, Boulder, Colorado


Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Faced with an aging stormwater infrastructure and localized flooding, New Orleans developed and launched an Adopt-a-Catch- Basin program, which enables citizen volunteers to sign up to clean and maintain one of the city’s 65,000 catch basins using an online tool. In the brief time since it launched in the fall, citizen volunteers have pledged to take care of 235 catch basins and keep them clear of debris to mitigate flooding risk throughout the city.

Continue reading Year in Review 2017…



2017 highlights and happenings from Cities of Service and its coalition.

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