YES! Quarterly
Winter 2020
Winter Workshops
West Central Region
  • Southern Prairies: February 26th at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall
  • Renewable Energy: March 18th at St. John's University and Blattner Energy in Avon
  • Help Our Waters: March 11th at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in Spicer
Southern Region
  • Organics Recycling and Waste Reduction: March 4th, location TBD in south-central MN
  • What Will You Drive? Electric Vehicles and Clean Transportation: April 15th at South Central Service Cooperative in North Mankato

Northwest Region 

  • Reduce Plastics & Improve Local Water: March 4th at Crow Wing Recycling in Brainerd
Northeast Region
  • Learning about Recycling and Landfill Impacts on Our Local Watershed: December 18th
  • Come Spend Valentines Day at WLSSD to Learn About the Landfill and Their Waste Water Treatment Plant: February 14th
  • What is Itasca County Doing to Prevent Aquatic Invasive Species?: Date TBD
Metro Region
  • Whales Can't Recycle Plastic but We Can! Effective School Recycling and Composting Programs: Date TBD
  • Where Did All the Bees Go? Pollinator Gardens 101: Date TBD
  • Energy + Climate Change + B3 Energy and Water Benchmarking Training: Date TBD
Read more about each of the upcoming workshops. 
YES! Teams in Action

Northwest/Central Region

The Royalton YES! team visited Camp Ripley's Environmental Center to learn about water and land conservation practices on their 53,000 acre sit e. Students saw a drone demonstration and learned that the solar array can generate enough energy to power the camp even on its
busiest days!  Learn more, including why Camp Ripley is vital for maintaining clean water downstream on our blog

Northeast Region
Voyageurs Expeditionary School has identified that their school suffers flooding. They are planning on incorporating rain gardens into their school gardens to eliminate some of their flooding issues. The gardens should also promote biodiversity in plant life, and reduce pollutants from making their way into our rivers and lakes.

West Central Region
The Lac qui Parle Valley YES! team will be installing a rain collection system on their greenhouse, including large storage tanks for water availability all year round. This installation will eliminate having to filter their school's softened water through a reverse osmosis water filtration system.

Southern Region
When it comes to fixing a polluted river, the Sleepy Eye-St. Mary's YES! team knows that long-term solutions depend on monitoring changes in water quality over time. Now in their third year with the Minnesota River Valley River Watch program, the team uses data collection and reporting protocols from the MN Pollution Control Agency to measure various indicators of water quality in a county ditch and the Cottonwood River. Results are added to the PCA's statewide database on water quality which helps resource managers, policy makers, and citizens make decisions that promote healthy rivers and lakes.  
Metro Region
The members of the new YES! team at the World Learner School, located in Chaska, are assessing their school's energy and water performance and identifying opportunities for saving money through the B3 benchmarking system. They are one of the nearly 1,471 public school buildings that are tracking their energy usage in the state using this system. 

YES! Alumni Spotlight: Kai Storvick
Kai was part of the YES! team at Mankato West his sophomore, junior and senior years. Kai enjoyed his time in YES!, noting, "I gained a lot of tips and tricks in myriad practices required in activism; how to write persuasive emails, manage planning long-term projects, and work with my classmates and superiors to get things done."

Since graduating from Mankato West High School, Kai moved to England to study theology and refugees and forced migration at Durham University. Kai explains, "the skills I learned in YES! have transferred well to other forms of activism. I write emails every day and still think about the things I learned in YES! and it gave me practice in speaking in front of the administration of my school that has taught me things I use today, working as a legal assistant in asylum cases."

Read more about Kai on our website.

50th Anniversary of Earth Day
We are excited to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Please join us at one of these events hosted by our program partners and supporters: 
Everyone is invited to the 4th annual Youth Climate Summit on Saturday, April 25th, 2020 from 11am-2:30pm. The event kicks off with a panel of representatives,  local leaders, and experts . Next up will be a se ries of 5-minute workshops on plastic alternatives, adopt an endangered animal, plant-based and vegetarian diets, solar power, deforestation, bees, and climate justice. We hope you will join us! 

Twins Game
Mark your calendars for May 10th and join us for the YES! State Championship awards at the Minnesota Twins Game. The Twins play the Kansas City Royals at 1:10 p.m. All YES! students and coaches, along with their family and friends are invited! Seats are in the left field bleachers for the discounted group rate of $26 per ticket. Contact your coordinator to purchase tickets.

Did You Know... 

Major funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota's en vironment and natural resources.
In This Issue
Winter Workshops
Teams in Action
Alumni Spotlight
Earth Day
Spring Judging
Did You Know...
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YES! empowers youth to create solutions to today's ecological challenges t hrough community-based hands-on projects t o fulfill community needs and build life-long skills .

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