The Wild Center has launched a new Youth Climate Program webpage and toolkit to support the increased interest in youth-led action and assist with planning and executing Youth Climate Summits around the globe. These Summits are conference-style events that provide opportunities for youth to learn about place-based climate science, explore climate change solutions and collaborate with a team to create a climate action plan.
Since 2009, The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program has hosted the annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, a two-day experience for high school and college students to learn about climate change, impacts and solutions before designing their own climate action plan. Based on the success of the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, other organizations and areas have been inspired to create their own Youth Climate Summits with a global network of 40 Youth Climate Summits – and growing.
The new Youth Climate Program webpage includes new and interactive features that highlight the power and influence of the Youth Climate Summit network, including a map that showcases stories from Summits around the world. A timeline of History & Recognition tracks the progress of the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit – from a regional event to what has grown into an internationally-recognized program. The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit was first recognized by The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy in 2014 as one of 19 key initiatives around the country.
The revamped Youth Climate Toolkit offers a series of free resources for locations around the world that are interested in hosting their own summit. The toolkit includes a step-by-step guide for creating a summit from start to finish, as well as sample agendas, budgets, evaluation templates and more plug-and-play resources for summit planning. It also includes a Climate Action Planning Workshop Facilitator Guide with sample lesson plans, slide deck, worksheets and tips from youth on how to facilitate a workshop specifically for students. Additionally, the new Partner Summit Media Kit offers sample photos, press releases and social media posts, as well as guidelines on how to acknowledge The Wild Center in promotions.
“A key component to global action on climate change is inspiring place-based climate solutions at a local level,” explained Caroline Dodd, Youth Advisory Board for The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program. “The upgraded toolkit will help organizations around the world create hubs of local climate action by hosting their own Youth Climate Summits, which will bring together local experts and inspire youth to be today’s climate leaders.”
A virtual unveiling of the suite of free resources will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 7 from 2-3pm and Thursday, Apr. 9 from 7-8pm. Led by The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, this digital introduction will be an interactive celebration, with advice from youth, stories and advice from summit organizers around New York State, a brief introduction to the new resources and time for questions from the audience. Anyone interested in hosting or learning more about Youth Climate Summits is encouraged to participate in one of the free webinars. To register for Youth Climate Summits: Join the Movement Webinar, visit: www.wildcenter.org/toolkitlaunch.
Jen Kretser, Director of Climate Initiatives at The Wild Center said, “We are so excited at how these new resources will elevate the visibility of youth-led climate action, showcase the power of the Youth Climate Summit network and inspire new Youth Climate Summits around the world.”
The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program new webpage, free toolkit and other planning resources to give students a voice on climate change are available here: https://www.wildcenter.org/youthclimate.