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Wild Center launches toolkit to help start more Youth Climate Summits

Members of the Adirondack Youth Climate Project hold “I Am Pro Snow, 100% Committed” signs at Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. (Photo provided by The Wild Center)

TUPPER LAKE — The Wild Center nature museum has launched a free web page and toolkit to assist others with planning and executing Youth Climate Summits around the globe.

The Youth Climate Program toolkit was created to support the increased interest in youth-led action, according to a Wild Center press release.

These summits are conference-style events that provide opportunities for youth to learn about place-based climate science, explore climate change solutions and collaborate to create climate action plans.

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 plans. Based on the success of the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, other organizations and areas have created their own Youth Climate Summits, with a global network of 40 summits, and growing.

The new Youth Climate Program webpage includes 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 and recognition tracks the progress of the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit from a regional event to an internationally recognized program.

The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit was recognized by the White House Office of Science and 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. It 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 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,” Caroline Dodd, a member of the Youth Advisory Board for the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, said in a press release. “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 Tuesday, April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. and Thursday, April 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. Led by the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program, this digital introduction will be interactive, 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.

Free webinars on the topic are available at www.wildcenter.org/toolkitlaunch.

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