Press Release: Western MA Youth Climate Summit 2018

Thursday & Friday, November 8 & 9, 2018, 9am – 3:30pm
Hitchcock Center for the Environment (Amherst) and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary (Easthampton)

Amherst & Easthampton, MA – The Hitchcock Center for the Environment and Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary are excited to announce the Second Annual Western Mass Youth
Climate Summit, scheduled Thursday and Friday, November 8 & 9, 2018 from 9am-3:30pm each day. Press is invited and encouraged to attend.

The Western Mass Youth Climate Summit provides an empowering platform for high school students to engage in conversations and planning with their peers on the issue of climate change and to discuss actions and goals their team will take to address the problem. Schools can participate in the Summit at no charge thanks to support form grant funders and local business sponsors.

The 2018 Summit has grown to include eight area high schools with 80 participants from Amherst Regional High School, Frontier Regional High School, Hampden Science Charter School, Hampshire Regional High School, Holyoke High School, and Northampton High School, each bringing teams of students to participate in a transformational day of cooperative learning, meeting inspiring speakers, exploring solutions, brainstorming school-wide climate solutions, and socializing with other students in the Valley.

Goals for the 2018 Summit include meeting and collaborating with peers from across the region, exposure to information on climate change, learning about innovative regional solutions, awareness of sustainable employment possibilities, nature-based learning, working with a team to develop a climate action plan, being an ambassador for change. Thursday will feature workshops on: climate communication, youth leadership, and green transportation. Friday will involve creation and sharing of team climate action plans.

Colleen Kelley, Education Director, Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West St., Amherst,, 413-256-6006

Brittany Gutermuth, Climate Education Coordinator, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton,, 413-584-3009

Speakers for the two-day event include:

The Western Mass Climate Summit will be supported by Summiteers, Hampshire and Smith College students, who will participate with each team to answer questions, assist in facilitating discussions, provide support and feedback for the event, and help groups of students draft pledges of climate related action that they plan to carry out at their schools after the summit.

The Western Mass Youth Climate Summit is modeled on the first Adirondack Youth Climate Summit developed by the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY. 2018 is the second year for the Summit in Western MA.

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s mission is to foster greater awareness and understanding of the environment and to develop environmentally literate citizens.

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is a sanctuary of Mass Audubon providing outdoor learning, access, and opportunities at its location in Easthampton, MA. Mass Audubon’s mission is to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife.

Youth Climate Summit 2018 Schedule of Events
Events in bold are suggested for media interest.
November 8, 2018: Hitchcock Center for the Environment (845 West Street, Amherst)
9:00-9:15 Welcome to Summit and Hitchcock Center
9:15-10:00 Keynote: Sue Van Hook of Ecovative
10:10-11:00 Workshop 1: Climate Communication with Toni Lyn Morelli & Shaina Rogstad
11:00-11:10 Break
11:15-12:05 Workshop 2: Youth Leadership with Stefanie Covino & Center for Ecotechnology EcoFellows
12:05-12:35 Lunch w/ round tables
12:35-1:25 Workshop 3: Green Transportation with James Lowenthal, Andrew McNulty, & Ezra Small
1:25-1:35 Break- snack
1:35-2:25 Workshop 4: Sustainable Farming Tour at Hampshire College Farm with Rhys McGovern & Stephen Taranto
2:25-3:25 Group activity: Environmental Entertainer Tem Blessed
3:25-3:30 Closing Day 1: What to expect/bring tomorrow

November 9, 2018: Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary (127 Combs Road, Easthampton)
8:30-9:00 Walk-in, Group Art project with Jan Ruby-Crystal: The temporary installation will use objects collected from the sanctuary to create a mandala.
9:00-9:15 Intro to Arcadia, and day’s goal
9:15-10:10 Workshop debrief and CPS for interest
10:10-10:15 Break (Posters, Tables, Food, Art)
10:15-10:45 Natural Solutions Hike: Students will have the opportunity to take a guided walk through Arcadia’s Climate trail. They will discover climate change facts, impacts, and solutions as they see nature-based solutions all around them with Arcadia Volunteers.
10:45-11:15 Intro to Climate Action Plans with Witter Swanson
11:15-12:00 Lunch (Evaluations, Tables)
12:00-1:25 Create Climate Action Plans
1:25-1:35 Break (Evaluation, Posters, Tables, Food, Art)
1:35-2:15 Create Presentation of Plan with Stephen Taranto
2:15-3:15 Presentation of Team Climate Action Plans
3:15-3:30 Closing

Youth Climate Summit 2018 Funders
B & E Youth Futures Fund
Community Foundation of Western MA
Edwin P. & Wilbur O. Lepper Fund
Northampton Educational Foundation
Jon Walker Memorial Fund

Crooked Stick Pops
Hillside Pizza
PV Squared
River Valley Coop

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