Submitted by Ali Dahmes, West Central YES! Coordinator
On January 27, 2016, the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) Program announced the 2016-17 winners of the McKnight Foundation Project Funding. Funding was awarded to teams whose projects engage and empower youth to make an impact in their school and/or community on climate change through hands-on projects. Through a competitive process, nine teams received awards.
The project funding is a result of a larger grant received by the YES! Program from The McKnight Foundation in the fall of 2016 to bring climate literacy to YES! students across greater Minnesota. “The primary goal of this grant, from McKnight’s perspective, is to get the newest generation engaged and empowered to do something about climate change in their own communities,” said Aimee Witteman, Midwest Climate & Energy Program Director for The McKnight Foundation. All teams that received funding have a clear vision on how their project relates to climate change.
- Springfield YES! Team and Forest Lake Environmental Club will be completing a
project on recycling. They both plan to purchase and place recycling receptacles in high traffic areas as well as educating students about the importance recycling has on the environment and climate change.
- St. Cloud North Junior High YES! Team will be completing a Native Prairie/Pollinator Habitat project. They will be planting a 1.3 acre native pollinator prairie on their school grounds. The prairie will serve as a crucial habitat for pollinators as well as being an outdoor education site for students.
- Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! Team will be building a solar/electric powered boat to reduce harmful exhaust from motor boats into the air and water. It will also be a demonstration that the technology is available to all boaters that they too can have a zero carbon footprint while operating a machine with the same performance as a gasoline powered boat.
- New Prague YES! Team will be building a 16X8 butterfly garden to
help the local ecosystem as well as a greenhouse that will provide fresh food year round while cutting down on transportation emissions.
- Mankato West and ROCORI Environmentalist/YES! Teams will be expanding on their hydration stations throughout their schools to decrease disposable water bottle usage and cut down on transportation emissions.
- Wrenshall YES! Team is building an electric vehicle with a solar battery charger to educate the student body
and the community that solar is a great alternative to gasoline engines.
- Royalton YES! Team will learning about multiple energy conservation technologies including solar, PV generation, and fusion generation abroad as well as educating local Italian students about their YES! projects.
More to come: Teams will be blogging information and pictures on the projects in the near future!