YES! Quarterly
Fall 2019 
Fall Summit Highlights

On September 30, Laurentian Environmental Center hosted their 6th Annual YES! Fall Summit. Teams started the day with an activity to get them to think about potential projects, how to involve their p eers, and how to engage their community in their projects. They were then energized by guest speaker Marte Kittson, Minnesota Sea Grant's Environmental Literacy Extension Educator. They dove right in at Lake Arrowhead, where they collected 20 different species of plants and organisms, which they then identified. This lead to a discussion about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Minnesota. Marte inspired the students to think about career options in her field and encouraged them to take this experience and use it to find a job in an environmental field after graduation. It was an event they will not soon forget!  
Then on October 9th, over 130 YES! students gathered at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center for their 13th annual YES! Fall Summit. Participants canoed, took water samples from the Lake Florida sloughs and tested their quality. They also learned about local foods, clean energy, and energy conservation. Students went on a hike through some of the last remaining native prairie in Minnesota. And no day at Prairie Woods is complete without the perennial favorite, the "Flying Squirrel". The students left charged up to meet the challenge of finding solutions to today's ecological challenges in their own communities!
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Help YES! translate what students learned at the  Fall Summit into results for eco-solution projects throughout the year. DONATE NOW.

YES! Teams 2019-2020
We are excited to kick off the 13th season of YES! and to welcome the following new teams: First Lutheran Church in St. Peter, Harbor City International School in Duluth, Minnewaska Schools, New World Learner in Chaska, and Rockford Middle School.

We have 20 teams on board so far for this year and are ready to welcome more schools and communities that want to make a difference. If you are interested in starting a team in your community, please contact us!

YES! Alumni Spotlight: Driel Mortenson
Driel was a member of the New London- Spicer YES! team during both middle school and high school. While a member of the YES! team, Driel worked on many projects, including raising money to install water-bottle refill stations in the school, holding a climate change convening during an Earth Day event at Prairie Woods ELC, and working to put up a natural flood barrier of native plants in a part of their landscape that had erosion and flooding issues.

Driel notes, "YES! taught me a lot of things I wouldn't have learned in the classroom. In addition to being more aware about climate issues, I've developed skills in both teamwork and leadership. Working on projects gives you communication skills and allows students a type of independence that prepares you for life." Read more about Driel's experience with YES! on our blog.

YES! at Conferences

YES! staff recently participated in the Climate Changed: Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College. They were part of the Sustainability Showcase where many high school and middle school students stopped by to learn more about our program.


YES! will be exhibiting at the Minnesota Science Teachers Association's Conference on Nov. 9. Stop by and say "Hi!."

Welcome Deb!
We are excited to welcome Deb Groebner to our YES! team as the new Southern YES! Coordinator!

She is "inspired by the courage of young environmental leaders like Autumn Peltier and Greta Thunberg. I am excited to apply my experience and creativity toward helping kids grow skills, knowledge, relationships, and confidence needed to embrace their own version of environmental stewardship! I look forward to working with YES! teams, other students, coaches, and partner organizations across southern Minnesota!"

Before joining YES!, Deb worked for over 20 years as an educator in both formal and recreational learning settings. She and husband Rob love living in North Mankato and in her spare time, Deb practices and teaches encaustic painting, a technique that involves fusing layers of melted beeswax to a wooden board with heat. 

Did You Know... 

YES! Coordinator Taylor Templer was interviewed by Sporting Journal! Listen in (start at minute 36).


In This Issue
Fall Summits
Help YES!
2019-2020 Teams
Alumni Spotlight
YES! at Conferences
New Staff
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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