HARC and ASAP Are Inviting Community Leaders to Get Resources and Connections to Advance Your Community’s Response to Climate Change Impacts
Are you seeking to make your community safer, greener, or healthier and more prepared for climate change and extreme weather? Through the Leading with Equity in Adaptation Program (“LEAP”), you’ll connect with people and resources to implement your vision for preparing your community for future impacts. As climate change causes more flooding, heatwaves, and health impacts, communities are experiencing impacts on infrastructure, public health, and overall quality of life. Community members have firsthand knowledge of their environment and the deepest understanding of how climate impacts may threaten community assets – which are essential for effective response and preparation.
What is “Adaptation”? In the context of the LEAP program, “Adaptation” is short for “climate change adaptation.” It refers to adapting to the impacts of climate change and reducing the harm that those impacts cause. For example, one way to adapt to more frequent heatwaves is by getting more residents access to air conditioning.
LEAP Program participants will:
Gain new skills for planning and implementing community projects
Build and strengthen relationships with other community leaders and climate change practitioners
Gain access to locally relevant climate change resources
Be eligible for a stipend of at least $1,200 per person
LEAP Program participants can expect to:
Join a one-day kickoff meeting (in person or virtually) the week of June 19, 2023
Engage an average of 2 hours/month in LEAP meetings between July 2023-Fall 2024
Spend time implementing your community climate project (minimum of 2 hours/month, flexible)
LEAP Program participants will need:
Working knowledge of English
Have access to the internet or cell phone signal for virtual meetings and teamwork discussions
What makes a good LEAP leader?
LEAP leaders may be formally or informally chosen by their community to represent their interests and concerns. This project needs leaders who are thinking about climate instability, have capacity or interest to be part of the project, and know the community well.
What makes a good LEAP project?
A good project is both actionable (can be done in a reasonable amount of time) and effective (addresses the issue(s) it was designed to address). The most actionable and effective projects engage the full makeup of the community–across all sectors (residents, businesses, local government), demographics (groups of people from different backgrounds, ages), and geography (wards, chapters, neighborhoods).
How to Apply
To indicate your interest in participating in the LEAP program, please answer the questions below and email to leap@HARCresearch.org by March 24. Applicants will be contacted with next steps. Questions can also be downloaded at this link.
Name, contact (email, phone number, both), community name.
Please tell us about your community (approx. 3-4 sentences)
What comes to mind first when you think about preparing for climate change and extreme weather (e.g., flooding) in your community? Please describe the community need that you would like to explore. Any information or ideas that can be shared now are helpful. A complete project idea is welcome but not required at this time. The LEAP Program will include opportunities to further define the project.
What ongoing or past initiatives within your community can this work build upon? For example, what past experiences, skills and preparation are lining the community up for success? How is the wider community engaged on the issue? Is the community already meeting on a regular basis?
[Optional] Why is the time right for action on this issue? For example, are you working towards any time-sensitive milestones? What makes it so that the LEAP program should support action on this issue now?
What kind of support does your community need most? (Examples include technical knowledge/tools, financial resources, or other resources needed to address adaptation needs in your community.)
Please share any ideas you may have on who would be a good fit to join the project team. (Who else is working in the space you are in? Who would you talk to first for this project?)
Applications will be evaluated based on those who complete the application in time for program staff to review it, have a group of community members represented by leaders who are willing to meet regularly, the needs of the entire community, and how well question #5 fits with the LEAP timeline.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are interpretation services available for the LEAP program?
While we envision this program is most beneficial to participants who are fluent in the English language, we are open to providing interpretation services on a needs-basis. Contact Sequoia Riley at leap@HARCresearch.org to discuss needs and possibilities.
What are key meetings are community leaders expected to join?
The program will run from June 2023-Fall 2024.
The required events are a one-day Kick-Off Event (during the week of June 19, 2023), regular check-ins (Fall 2023-Summer 2024), and participation in the Celebratory Event (date TBD, Fall 2024). The LEAP team will work with the participantsto plan these meetings based on availability and preferences.
What type of training is included in the program?
The training is designed for community leaders and participants from all backgrounds to acquire knowledge through presentations, demonstrations, and open discussion on leading with equity in adaptation practice. Demonstrations, presentations, and discussions in the program include topics such as:
Principles of Quality Adaptation
Making Climate Adaptation Work For Your Community
Region-specific adaptation planning and data resources
Team formation, collaboration, and project development
What types of projects could the LEAP Program support?
LEAP is designed to support Community Leaders in identifying and scoping projects that will improve residents’ ability to address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather. If you already have a project ideas, tell us about it in your application. If you’re not sure, below are a few examples. These are only examples and your community’s ideas and needs might be different, but feel free to review them to help you get started on your application.
Creating/expanding green spaces to capture rainwater, reduce flooding and/or provide a local produce source.
Establishing community disaster relief or preparedness (i.e., emergency systems) to improve safety and access to resources during a disaster.
Designating generators or creating microgrids to locally provide power when it is lost.
Increasing shade, especially from trees, to reduce extreme heat and improve air quality.
Restoring native plant and pollinator communities to reduce water use, capture rainwater, and minimize soil erosion.
Support residents using active transportation (human-powered mobility, such as biking, walking, etc.) to improve air quality, reduce the effects of extreme heat, and improve health.
Engage residents in documenting the climate impacts they’re experiencing to build awareness among residents and leaders about what change is needed.
Create a neighborhood plan for dealing with climate impacts.
My community is outside of the Upper Texas Gulf Coast region. Can I still apply?
We are prioritizing the Upper Texas Gulf Coast (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties), but we will be open to considering participants from other parts of the Gulf Coast.
If you have any additional questions about the LEAP program, call Sequoia Riley at 281-364-6035.