We were founded in 1983 by Joanna Lennon as the East Bay Conservation Corps (EBCC), “a pilot demonstration program in youth development and community service.”

Now, 40 years later, Civicorps has impacted thousands of acres, trails and lives across the Bay Area. Read more on our 40th Anniversary page


East Bay Conservation Corps hires its first Corpsmember, operating under the auspices of the Metropolitan YMCA in Hayward, CA. EBCC includes a Learning Center offering GED preparation.


EBCC began operations as an independent non-profit corporation guided by its own Board of Directors. EBCC relocated its headquarters to a defunct Del Monte tomato canning plant in West Oakland to provide a more central location for the East Bay. We are still located in this building complex at 101 Myrtle Street.


EBCC helped write and pass Assembly Bill 2020, more commonly known as the Bottle Bill. EBCC Recycling Team established, and launched a pilot program to recycle beverage containers at seven East Bay marinas and selected East Bay Regional Parks.


Project YES created (Youth Engaged in Service) program for 280 middle school students.


7.1 earthquake hits the Bay Area. EBCC responds by providing around-the-clock disaster relief in Oakland and San Francisco until late November. The Corps receives over $300K from the State Department of Conservation and other sources to provide this work.


The Oakland Hills firestorm ravages 3,500 homes. EBCC responds with over 40 Corpsmembers working seven days a week until Thanksgiving.


Ran the largest Summer of Service program, piloting what would become AmeriCorps.


EBCC is granted a charter under OUSD, one of the first 100 charter schools in the state of California. Corpsmembers attend the Learning Center in the evenings after job training. From 1999 to 2021, the school bestows high school diplomas on 500 Corpsmembers.


K-4 opened with 120 students, six classroom teachers, a music teacher, an art teacher and a support teacher. 5th grade was added in 2002. Civicorps Elementary served 500 students over the course 11 years.


Civicorps receives national recognition with National Corpsmember of the Year awards granted to several of our participants: Tatiana Moore (2009), Shanice Long (2010), Brandon Penny (2013), Candace Washington (2014), Harris Cox (2015), Kiara Alexis (2018), Martha Alva Velasquez (2022)


Founder Joanna Lennon ends her nearly 3-decade tenure as Executive Director.


Civicorps Recycling was written into the City of Oakland’s garbage franchise agreement in a pioneering partnership with Waste Management and Teamsters Local 70. In 2017, the public-private partnership for our Recycling Program was recognized as a finalist in Mutual of America’s Community Partnership Award program.


Tessa Nicholas becomes Civicorps’ 3rd Executive Director, two decades after joining the staff as a Conservation Crew Supervisor.


Answering Governor Newsom’s emergency call to action to respond to the dire increase in food insecurity around the Bay Area, Corpsmembers worked at food banks in Alameda and Santa Clara counties, helping to produce nearly 2 million pounds of food in the first few months of the pandemic.


Civicorps partners with ACOE’s Opportunity Academy to offer its High School Diploma program at our site.


In collaboration with local government agencies, social service agencies, and the Seattle-based company Pallet, LA Conservation Corps, San Jose Conservation Corps, and Civicorps respond to the growing homeless crisis in California. This coalition built more than 960 tiny home shelters for people experiencing homelessness, including 110 tiny homes on two sites in Oakland.


Civicorps jointly awarded Project of the Year for work on Pallet Project.


Civicorps opens a satellite Job Training Center in Pittsburg, CA, establishing operations outside of Alameda County for the first time.


This year, Civicorps celebrates its 40th anniversary of transforming lives and landscapes.