Tupper Lake, N.Y. - The Wild Center's Adirondack Youth Climate Program has been  named an awardee of the 2016-17 Community Grants Program of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP21) to Convene Young Leaders for Climate Resilience. The $20,000 grant will aid the project in building the environmental literacy necessary for climate resilience by focusing on understanding climate change impacts in the greater Adirondack region while working to empower high school students and their teachers to take action and change behavior through stewardship initiatives.


Grown from The Wild Center's Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, the Program has developed into a year-long initiative involving students, teachers and schools from around the region and is designed to create youth leaders help their schools and communities address local climate risks, adaptation and mitigation efforts. During the year-long project, the grant will support the 2017 Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, enhance young people's capacity to lead through leadership practicums, provide mini-grants to school districts implementing Climate Action Plans and share this work through videos about these projects on The Wild Center's Youth Climate webpages.

Convening Young Leaders is a project designed to take the Summit process further; to empower and educate students and teachers through awareness and understanding climate change so that they may think critically about solutions and resiliency by implementing Climate Action Plans.
"What began in 2009 as a way of creating student leaders in climate change has exploded, especially in the past few years," said Jen Kretser, Director of Programs at The Wild Center and 2015 recipient of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Champion Award. "The program has been recognized by the White House, we've sent youth representatives to COP21 in Paris and the United Nations and inspired other summits throughout the world. To be recognized by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and funded to continue our work creating student leaders is an honor."
NYSP2I-which is sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Environmental Protection Fund and led by Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute for Sustainability is funding proposals from 12 organizations statewide following the completion of a competitive review process. The Community Grants Program provides nonprofit organizations and local governments both financial and technical assistance for projects that promote and implement pollution-prevention practices at the community level.
"The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is proud to sponsor these 12 forward-thinking organizations across the state," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.  "Increasing awareness at the community level by supporting smart pollution prevention practices is key to long-term sustainability.  Each of these projects demonstrate innovative practices to preserve our waterways, use raw materials more efficiently, divert food waste from entering our landfills, and to conserve water and energy.  Congratulations to this year's award winners and thank you for your commitment protecting New York's environment and precious natural resources." 

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Contact: Tracey A. Legat, tlegat@wildcenter.org