Announcing the Neighborhood Climate Action Network

Volunteer Leaders Wanted!

We are excited to announce that, in 2023, the Ashland Climate Collaborative plans to launch the Neighborhood Climate Action Network (NCAN) – a program to build positive communities focused on taking action on climate change.

Our goal is to launch 6-10 neighborhood groups that meet monthly on topics ranging from how to cope with climate challenges like drought and fire, as well as reviewing our best options to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. 

We are looking for Volunteer Neighborhood Leaders to help organize their neighborhoods and facilitate a monthly meeting with interested neighbors. The ideal Volunteer Neighborhood Leader is someone who cares about their neighborhood, enjoys being part of a community, is open to new challenges, is optimistic, and cares about climate change.

About the Program

The goal of NCAN is to strengthen neighborhoods around climate action, using a platform of monthly meetings organized around specific themes using materials developed and provided by the Ashland Climate Collaborative. Meeting materials will focus on simplifying the most effective steps we can take to respond to the impacts of climate change and reduce our emissions in our own homes, yards, and neighborhoods. 

Each neighborhood is unique, so each group will have its own personality. Some neighborhoods may want to meet in person while others may choose to meet virtually through zoom. Our goal is to create a welcoming and sustainable learning atmosphere that is empowering, concise and free of guilt or fear.  

Each neighborhood will need a leader. Volunteer Neighborhood Leaders will receive training along with concise, user-friendly educational materials to enable them to make short presentations and lead discussions. Leaders can work with a partner or co-leader who would share the responsibility so that a leader could miss a meeting should they need a break or have a big trip planned. 

Proposed Monthly Meeting Format

First 90 minutes: potluck and introductions. Use this time to relax and bond to intentionally build relationships. For example, invite everyone to share something positive about their life experience.

Second 90 minutes: Climate Conversations. Progress reports: Actions taken, challenges, successes (20 minutes); Content related to the monthly theme: A presentation or an experience, e.g., a video, a presentation, a visit to a garden, a firewise home tour, a look at heat pumps or induction stoves, etc. (30 minutes including questions and discussion); Action menu on this month’s theme: A list of things people can do related to the theme (25 minutes including questions and discussion); Closing: Key takeaways, appreciations, and how to improve the next meeting; announce next month’s topic and decide who will lead and where (15 minutes).

Proposed Monthly Themes

January: Reaching out to Neighbors to Form Your Group
February: Program Overview and First Theme:  Firewise  
March: Food: How to Eat Without Cooking the Climate & Reduce Food Waste
April: Water Conservation Inside and Outside the Home
May: Transportation: Reducing Fossil Fuel Trips 
June: Dealing with Smoke, Heat, Power Outages and Evacuation
July: Summer Break
August: Summer Break

September: Reducing Emissions From Home Energy Sources: Switching out “natural” gas (methane) for electricity and options for plugging into local solar electricity
October: Participatory Democracy – How to constructively engage with politicians, commissions, and citizens about climate change issues; reviewing recent and proposed laws to address climate change
November: Energy Efficiency at Home
December: Holiday Break
January: Closure.  What did we achieve?  How was the experience for you?  Evaluate program/consider next steps.

Expected Volunteer Commitment

November & December 2022: (5 hours). Attend two training sessions (in-person on Wednesday, November 30, 6-9pm, and on zoom Thursday, December 8, 6-8pm). Topics will include strategies for building community as well as the overall framework of our lessons. These meetings will be similar in format to the neighborhood meetings you will facilitate. 

January 2023: (7 to 9 hours). Reach out to about 20 households in your neighborhood with the goal of 10 households joining your Neighborhood Climate Action Network and attending the monthly meetings. You will be given outreach materials that you can use, including a concise guide for reaching out to your neighbors in-person and door hangers to leave if they are not home. Attend the preparatory meeting for the first month (3-hour potluck).

February-June, September-November 2023: (about 10 hours/month) (no meetings July, August and December 2023): Invite neighbors, prepare meeting space, facilitate meeting, prepare for next meeting, attend the preparatory meeting for next month, and work on agreed-upon actions.

Volunteer Application Process

If you are interested in serving as a Neighborhood Leader, you can email Jim Hartman at After we receive your application, we’ll schedule a short telephone interview during which you can ask questions and learn more. If this program seems like a good fit from your perspective, then please apply with our form, posted above. We look forward to hearing from you and are excited about the formation of this Network.

Thank you for your interest! Please reach out with your questions and concerns.

Jim Hartman, Leader, Neighborhood Climate Action Network

NCAN is a volunteer network of the Ashland Climate Collaborative, a 501(c)(3) community nonprofit organization.