Western Mass Youth Climate Summit

“I can make a change in my community to solve climate change, and not just sit around thinking I can’t do anything to help.” – Western Mass Climate Summit Participant

The Youth Climate Summit is a participant-driven educational conference for youth, designed to create an opportunity for learning, dialogue and action on climate change. This premiere  climate event for Western MA youth has served 100 youth from 6 local high schools at a time when youth leadership and empowerment is harnessing the world stage for change.

Student participants attend Summit workshops, tours, and interactive sessions designed to provide a balance of factual information, tools for confidence building, and project stories for inspiration and hope. As a culminating project, student teams develop an action plan for their high school, to be implemented in the coming year with support form Summit leaders.

Now heading into its fifth year in 2021, the Summit continues to innovate and inspire youth with the co-leadership of the Hitchcock Center’s Education Director Colleen Kelley and Brittany Gutermuth, Climate Education Coordinator with Mass Audubon’s Connecticut River Valley Sanctuaries. The event is also supported by collegiate Summiteers from Hampshire and Smith Colleges who help plan and guide students in event activities.

Teams of high school students from all over the Connecticut River Valley are invited to attend the workshop on climate solutions and action.

The 2020 Western Mass Youth Climate Summit is sponsored by River Valley Co-op.

Climate Action Planing and Results

Frontier Regional School
Angelina Egland & Cheryl Moreau | Sadie Ross

Event Video

Youth Climate Summit 2018 Video
Videographers: Jarret Smith & Michael Diaz from Northampton High School
Producer & editor: Eli Kramer

Climate Summit in the News

Young People Work to Stop Climate Change at Summit (2018)
Summit Gives Youth Look into Local Group’s Fight Against Climate Change (2017)

Youth Voices for the Environment

Do you care about nature and the environment? Are you a young person in our community who is working in your school, neighborhood, town, family, and beyond to guide and influence environmental issues?

Whatever it is that you are doing for the environment, we want to hear about it and share your voice and work with our community. Through our blog, e-newsletter, social media, and website the Hitchcock Center wants to amplify your work. We want to get the word out about the cool things you are doing! Learn more about Youth Voices for the Environment and submit your project today!

What was your favorite part of the Summit?

Each Climate Summit asks participants to complete and anonymous survey. Here’s what a few had to say:

“Developing an action plan.”

“I appreciated making the climate action plan and making realistic goals.”

“Being able to learn about climate change in so many different ways.”

“Learning about different schools doing environmental solutions.”

“I enjoyed getting to work with other students and discuss the issues that we are currently facing.”

“Our time to come up with a project for our solution.”

“All the presentations! I can’t chose my favorite one!”

“The climate action planning was very empowering. I also loved the vegan meals. They inspired me to reduce my own meat consumption.”

“Presentations by others, being educated, and making a plan to help my school community.”

Climate Summit photography by Phil Doyle and Jessica Schultz

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment