Monday, October 5, 2020

Young people play important role in Climate Smart Community achievements

The Village of Saranac Lake and the Village of Homer in the Finger Lakes region were awarded a bronze level certification in the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program. The awards came during NYS Climate Week.

The efforts of young people mobilizing for climate action and resilience, inspired by the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program and its annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, is seen as a key contribution to this designation. The climate program has brought together over 180 students from over 30 NYS schools to increase their climate literacy and leadership abilities since 2008.

Cedar Young, a youth leader in the Village of Saranac Lake says the following about the certification: “By receiving bronze certification, Saranac Lake has shown leadership in raising public awareness of climate change and lowering our community’s carbon footprint.”

The New York State Climate Smart Communities Program provides guidance and technical support to local governments for them to take locally driven climate action. To achieve a bronze level of certification, an allotted number of planned and mandatory actions must take place to receive the required 120 points and four pledge elements. In the Adirondacks, Saranac Lake joins Lake George and Warren County in achieving this designation.

NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced a total of 13 other communities in the state which received CSC certification, along with the release of a video produced by The Wild Center in partnership with the DEC’s Office of Climate Change, and NOAA’s Climate Program Office. The video highlights the actions of youth-led climate change adaptation and resilience planning in Homer and Saranac Lake, as well as the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Summits providing our villages young leaders with solutions they can share with their own communities, giving them the necessary tools and leadership skills to collaborate with their own communities decision makers. You can view the video: “Youth Catalyze Community Climate Action” by clicking the title.

In lieu of this year’s Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program is unveiling a new, virtual event series, consisting of 3 months of evening and weekend sessions for high school students to learn about climate change, including how to take action and connect with their local youth leaders. The virtual event series is named: “Youth Have Power: Plugging into Climate Action.” Students who attend five sessions over 3 months, and complete one action challenge will have completed the program and be awarded a prize. The event kicked off on September 29, with speakers Dr. Elizabeth Bagley from Project Drawdown, and John Paul Melia from Sunrise Miami. Additional information can be found by clicking this link.

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