YES! Quarterly
Summer 2018

Another Great Year of YES!

Over 400 students participated in YES! this year, working with over 500 community members to impact an additional 13,000 students and 10,000 community members.

YES! is accepting applications for teams for the 2018-2019 school year. If you know of a school or community that should participate in YES!, have them contact us at We'd love to expand the reach of YES! to as many schools and communities as possible!

YES! Award Winners

At the end of each school year, YES! teams present their projects to a panel of local experts who act as judges. Each of the four YES! regions awarded a 1st Place Award for the team that demonstrated outstanding work and impactful projects. The regional winners were Sleepy Eye, Sartell, Northern Lights Community School, and Discovery Woods. Read about the additional awards handed out in the Southern and West Central regions.

We would like to thank all of our teams for their hard work in making a better planet for our future, showing great leadership skills, and having incredible perseverance.


Second Annual State YES! Award Goes To...

The second annual YES! State Champion Award ceremony was held at Target Field near home base during the pregame show on May 20th, attended by over 100 YES! students, coaches, staff, and supporters. YES! works hard to bring opportunities like these to its students where they can showcase the hard work they do throughout the school year to be better stewards of the earth. 

This year, Northern Lights Community School was awarded the 2018 State Champion Award for their dedication to their project, their outstanding teamwork, and their work on real world problems. One judge said the YES! "students all seemed empowered and responsible, congratulations!" Another judge said "the work the students put in... shows their dedication to the future generations.  They did some really impressive work and very different from what I have seen in the past projects." Another judge remarked, "this team did a wonderful job of engaging with environmental issues across the board." Read more about the award ceremony and the winning team!  

YES! Alumni Spotlight

Nathan McMullen is an alumnus of the inaugural year of the Sleepy Eye YES! team. According to Nathan, his participation in YES! helped to define his passion for natural resources and renewable energy. His favorite part of the YES! program was attending events such as the Fall Summit where he was able to learn from other students and take that knowledge back to his own school. 

Nathan is now an Agriculture teacher at his alma mater, Sleepy Eye Public High School, where he has the privilege of educating students about his passion for conservation in the agriculture industry. He enjoys getting students "engaged in learning more about the science and application of green and sustainable energy". He continues his involvement with YES! as a teacher, working with Sleepy Eye YES! Coach Deb Reinarts to aid the YES! students as they build honey bee houses for a pollinator project at Sleepy Eye Golf Coarse. He notes, "I hope to see the partnership continue to grow as we strive to make a positive difference for our community's environment." Read more about Nathan on our blog

YES! Students Take on Water Quality Challenge

Water quality will be the focus of the upcoming YES! project funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust fund as recommended by the Legislative Citizen-Commission on Minnesota Resources. This project will mobilize youth in over 20 communities to help fill the urgent need for broad citizen participation to protect and clean up   Minnesota waters. These projects could range from water conservation to water quality assessments, to shoreline restoration or aquatic invasive species tracking. 

We would like to partner with local organizations who can offer expertise, boats or support. Contact YES! for more details at 320-441-9254 or

Did You Know...YES! Projects Continue Into the Summer

YES! recently provided assistance to the Edina High School Environmental Club called PROJECT EARTH to design and fabricate a float for the 2018 Edina City Fourth of July parade. The float promoted the use of renewable energy  a nd to support funding for a 12 panel solar tracking array PROJECT EARTH is developin g to be installed at the Edina High School. The students handed out over 3,000 pinwheels with cards promoting programs to utilize wind energy for home electrical use and free home energy audits. Read more here

YES! students from ACGC have been searching local waterways for aquatic invasive species to help build up the new AquaHunter App. This smartphone and computer application was created by the Kandiyohi County AIS Task Force for the general public. Take a photo of aquatic vegetation or animals and the app will tell you the species and if it is invasive or native to Minnesota. The YES! team worked to build up the database of photos by collecting and identifying different native and non-native aquatic plants and adding their photos to the app. More paddling trips and educational events will take place this summer with the West Central YES! Coordinator. Any and all YES! participants are welcome to join (just contact!
In This Issue
A Great Year!
YES! Award Winners
State Champion Award
YES! Alumni Spotlight
Water Quality Challenge
Did You Know...
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YES! empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects.

YES! provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices and exposes them to how science is applied in real life.

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