By Danielle Chavira

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado leaders announced they are joining forces with the Colorado Interagency Climate Team to create the Colorado Climate Corps. Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, both made the announcement last week.

The goals of the program are to mitigate the risks of wildfires and floods, move Colorado’s electric grid to 100% renewable sources by 2040 and ensure future generations can enjoy a protected environment.

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(credit: CBS)

“We’ve been working for more than a year to enlist a diverse, new generation of Americans in a Civilian Climate Corps to restore our public lands, suppress western wildfires and tackle the climate crisis,” said Neguse.

The Colorado Youth Corps Association will send 240 AmeriCorps members to 55 counties in the state. The AmeriCorps service site will be in Nederland.

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According to leaders, Colorado Climate Corps AmeriCorps members will:

  • improve the overall health and resiliency of public lands, while helping to mitigate the threat of future wildfires and floods;
  • increase public awareness of climate change and its impacts;
  • provide resources and education to marginalized communities experiencing the effects of climate change including education on health impacts of climate change and resources to mitigate those impacts; and
  • conduct energy and water weatherization and retrofitting in low-income households to conserve resources, lower utility bills, and decrease the need for burning fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

In return for the community service work, the state says members are eligible for a Segal Education Award to help pay for some education costs, educational training, or to repay qualified student loans.

“Members also may receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment, professional development, health insurance and childcare,” the state stated in a news release.

Serve Colorado, which will operate AmeriCorps, is accepting applications for the Colorado Climate Corps. Serve Colorado is giving approximately $1.7 million to fund the Colorado Climate Corps.

Danielle Chavira