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Call out for new hosts: MI Healthy Climate Corps preps for second round

Four months ago, 30 local and statewide organizations welcomed the first cohort of MI Healthy Climate Corps (MHC Corps) members on their mission to accelerate climate action throughout Michigan. Time for the next hosts to step up!

As shoreline management coordinator for the Village of Elk Rapids, MI Healthy Climate Corps member Alexis Goward highlights the village's environmental stewardship at a Nature Fest booth in June. Photo courtesy of Leah Moskovitz.

As shoreline management coordinator for the Village of Elk Rapids, MI Healthy Climate Corps member Alexis Goward highlights the village's environmental stewardship at a Nature Fest booth in June. Courtesy of Leah Moskovitz.

 

The state is taking host partner applications through July 19 for organizations with roles for the MHC Corps’ second cohort of 32 full-time AmeriCorps members. The application deadline has been extended from July 11. Eligible to host are state agencies, tribal governments, local governments, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. The new cohort will serve from November 2024-October 2025.

The MHC Corps’ mission is to advance the goals in the MI Healthy Climate Plan (MHCP), build capacity across the state, and help guide federal and state resources and support to where they’re needed most. Corps members serve in a variety of roles and receive training and career development support to step into Michigan climate leadership. An interactive map shows where all current members are serving and what they are working on.

The Office of Public Lands in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Executive Division is hosting first-cohort MHC Corps member Marley Wolff as a climate research and engagement specialist through November 2024.

“As a host site partnering with the MI Healthy Climate Corps, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of these dedicated members,” said Office of Public Lands Director Scott Whitcomb. “Through Marley’s efforts, we’ve been able to communicate to our co-workers and partners the climate work done by the agency and started new initiatives such as calculating the carbon footprint of our operations.”

Wolff said she has been able to learn and build skills on state-level climate solutions that she would have never been exposed to if not for the MHC Corps.

“I can’t explain how amazing it feels to be making a difference at this large of a level while learning from and serving alongside some truly inspiring individuals,” she said. “This program is advancing climate action at all levels across the state by providing capacity, helping to leverage funds and offering fresh sets of eyes on the world’s most time-sensitive issue.”

MHC Corps member Alexis Goward, shoreline management coordinator for the Village of Elk Rapids, said from her perspective, hosting presents great opportunities.

“As a host, you can support and mentor passionate individuals dedicated to environmental stewardship,” she said. “The connections you’ll build, the knowledge you’ll gain, and the positive change you’ll help create are truly invaluable.”

Kendal Kuneman, senior program manager of host organization Detroit-2030 Districts Network, said being a Climate Corps host has not only expanded the network’s capacity but brought new exposure and recognition.

“We also have had access to additional resources, information, and support with grants and other funding opportunities through the program,” Kuneman said.

Host partners must provide a one-time contribution based on their organization’s budget but may apply for a scholarship to help cover the cost.

Organizations interested in hosting an MHC Corps member are asked to review additional program information and requirements in the Host Partner Application Packet and may direct questions to EGLE-OCE@Michigan.gov.

About the MI Healthy Climate Corps

The MHC Corps program focuses on advancing and reaching MI Healthy Climate Plan goals, building capacity in communities across the state, and helping guide federal and state resources in areas including clean energy, environmental justice, environmental restoration, sustainability, transit, and more.

Members serve through the federal AmeriCorps agency for national service and volunteerism and share information with their communities through meetings, educational programs, and other activities. In addition to earning a stipend for living expenses, members benefit from career-focused networking, training, and professional experience.

The nonprofit Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) manages the MHC Corps on behalf of the state Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in partnership with the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) in the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. The MCSC administers AmeriCorps funding for Michigan and fosters climate-focused programming through EGLE’s program and others in its AmeriCorps portfolio.

Applications for second-cohort MHC Corps members will open in August and close in September, with members selected in October and placed with hosts from Nov. 13, 2024-Oct. 17, 2025.

In future years, the corps expects to offer additional community support and service opportunities throughout the state. Prospective host partners, corps members, and anyone interested in supporting the program can find more information and sign up to receive updates at the MI Healthy Climate Corps website.