During the 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation honored The WILD Center, a natural history center in the Adirondacks Region and creator of the first youth climate summit. In their praise of The WILD Center’s achievements, NYSDEC recognized the success of the Finger Lakes Youth Climate Summit at Hobart and William Smith who have used the same model for youth empowerment to inspire more than 300 high school students to take action in their schools to combat the climate crisis.
At the Environmental Excellence Awards, Finger Lakes Institute Education Program Manager Nadia Harvieux spoke about how the FLI at Hobart and William Smith has developed the youth climate summit to serve and inspire the Finger Lakes community. She shared several success stories from the three-year history of the event.
“The Finger Lakes Institute is proud to be providing opportunities for young people to take action in the fight against climate change,” says Harvieux. “It is an incredible honor to be included in the recognition of the youth climate summit movement by the NYSDEC and The WILD Center,” Harvieux says.
High school students attending the summit learn about the science of climate change, youth leadership and practices that support sustainability.
A critical component of the summit includes the creation of a Climate Action Plan that addresses a point of energy inefficiency, waste production or other environmental concern at the students’ high school. Students then create actionable steps for improvement. Throughout the school year, Harvieux continues to work with the high school teams as they implement their Climate Action Plans.
The Finger Lakes Youth Climate Summit is supported by HWS, Siemens, The Wyckoff Family Foundation and the WILD Center. To learn more about the event, visit the summit webpage here.