Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Youth Climate Program Receives DEC Excellence Award

Wild Centers Youth Climate ProgramThe Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program has been recognized by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as a winner of a 2019 New York Environmental Excellence Award.

The Wild Center was named one of four innovation and sustainability leaders across New York State at the 16th annual awards celebration, held on Tuesday, November 14th.

The Youth Climate Program is designed to convene, engage and empower young people on a local, regional and global scale to act on climate change. The educational program is working to help create more climate literate and empowered generation through Youth Climate Summits and leadership opportunities. The program has inspired more than 100 green teams/environmental clubs statewide organizers say, and also engaged thousands of students in New York school districts. They have helped created hundreds of youth-driven Climate Action Plans to improve sustainability and resiliency in their schools and communities.

Earlier this month, The Wild Center hosted its 11th annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit which attracted almost 200 students to participate in climate-action workshops, learning from organizations, engineers, agencies, farmers and more. This summit has been adapted and replicated across New York State including youth summits in Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York, Catskills, New York City, Hudson Valley and the Capital district. At each location, a constellation of student leaders, teachers, schools, organizations, agencies and businesses work together to plan and organize youth climate summits, catalyzing action in schools and communities throughout the year. To date, the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summit model has been replicated in over 38 communities globally, totaling 80 youth climate summits in the last 10 years, organizers say.

An exhibition set to open June 2021 at The Wild Center will present climate resiliency to its 100,000+ yearly visitors. The exhibit, “Solutions: Voices from the Frontlines of Climate Change,” is being designed to present practical, regionally-relevant climate solutions in an interactive way.

Photo, from Left to Right: Stephanie Ratcliffe, Wild Center Executive Director; Andrew Fagerheim, Senior at Homer High School and co-founder of the Central New York Youth Climate Summit; Jen Kretser, Director of Climate Initiatives at The Wild Center; and Nadia Harviuex, Education Program Manager at the Finger Lake Institute and lead on the Finger Lakes Youth Climate Summit (photo provided).

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