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2018 EPIC-N Outstanding Community Partner

Congratulations to the City of Lemon Grove, CA!

The City of Lemon Grove partnered with The Sage Project at San Diego State University.

Sage’s 2017 community partner, the City of Lemon Grove, CA received the 2018 Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities – Network (EPIC-N). The award, which recognizes “one exemplary community partner” from among the local government partners that worked with an EPIC-Network program during any of the last five years, was presented at the 7th Annual EPIC-Network Conference (formally the Sustainable City Year Conference), held in Madison, WI, April 8-11.

Sage Project Program Director, Jessica Barlow presents the 2018 Outstanding Community Award in front of the Wisconsin capital building to Mike James, the City of Lemon Grove’s Assistant City Manager

The conference committee selected Lemon Grove for many reasons. The most important reason being Lemon Grove’s investment into the experience of the students. The city allowed students to work with their staff, community members, and city council. The city adopted student designs for various projects.

The committee also found the city’s level of co-promotion outstanding. The Sage Project’s director Jessica Barlow wrote that “they have promoted the program tirelessly on social media, they have come to events…and have featured the partnership on a dedicated page on their website. They’ve joined us at local conferences and were willing to travel to other conferences as needed to share their experience. They have been a model city partner.” staff responded to program requests swiftly.


As a part of their efforts, Lemon Grove joined only Vilankulo, Mozambique, and Glasgow, Scotland, to adopt a United Nations toolkit which is intended to help cities adopt climate action plans. Working with Sage assisted Lemon Grove in meeting the state-mandated goal of reducing 15 percent of greenhouse gases by 2020, as well as achieve international accolades at climate change symposiums around the world. The City of Lemon Grove repeatedly presents alongside the Sage Project to key stakeholders, assisting with program and EPIC-Network priorities.