YES! Quarterly
Fall 2018

YES! Fall Summits

On October 3rd, 130 students and coaches from YES! teams from around the west, central, and southern regions of Minnesota came together for the 12th annual YES! Fall Summit at Prairie Woods ELC. The participants were able to talk with experts in the fields of local foods, land restoration, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change during the Eco Project Sharing Session. They got a unique take on water in our state, country, and world during the Water Quality Session, and challenged themselves and worked as a team during the 40' high rope challenge Flying Squirrel activity. Everyone left the day energized for a great, productive year of YES!

On October 1st, the Northeastern region of Minnesota had their 5th annual YES! Fall Summit at Laurentian Environmental Center. During the event, the students had some great conversations and sparked new ideas for different projects that they were interested in for this upcoming year. They heard from a representative from Waste Management. In addition, they learned about aquatic invasive species (AIS) and used tools to search for AIS and test the quality of Arrowhead Lake. The day concluded with a talk on climate change science by Jenna Totz of Climate Generation. The students
left ready to get to work on their projects to help their communities! 

A Big Thank You to Our 2018-2019 Major Sponsors

YES! has major funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) as recommended by the Legislative Citizens-Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). This funding is to improve local waterways by training and mobilizing over 20 youth-led teams in Minnesota communities to complete 30 or more projects related to water quality including monitoring and reporting. The 2018 YES! Fall Summit was a great kick off for generating excitement and providing expertise from local water experts and hands-on project ideas to our YES! teams.

To support our work related to climate change and clean energy projects, YES! has major support from the McKnight Foundation. Kira Liu and Jenna Totz from Climate Generation were on hand to provide expertise at our Fall Summits and will be offering customized workshops related to finding solutions to today's climate change challenges throughout the season.

Diana Siebels from Waste Management presented a $5,000 check to YES! at the NE 2018 Fall Summit. Support from WM will go towards our statewide awards at the Twin's game this spring and they will provide project seed funds for waste reduction related projects.

YES! continues and thrives today because of the generosity of the ENRTF, the McKnight Foundation and Waste Management.

YES! Alumni Spotlight

Courtney is a first year coach for the Springfield YES! team and was a YES! team member when she was in high school! While in high school, Courtney notes that the YES! team gave her a "passion for improving the sustainability of my own lifestyle and my community. It made me more aware of my impact and how I could help". In addition, participating in YES! furthered her love of biology and "influenced my decision to become a biology teacher".
This year, Courtney's YES! team is "learning about growing vegetables hydroponically using flood tables in our school greenhouse. The vegetables will be used on the school's salad bar. We are also looking into adopting a drain, Christmas light recycling, and working with our adopt a highway program".

Courtney's favorite part of participating in YES! is "seeing the positive impact that a project has on the individual, school, and community".

Thanks for sharing, Courtney! We love hearing from YES! alumni and are excited to have you back as part of the program in a YES! coach role.

Welcome New YES! Staff

Sophie is the Southern Coordinator. Previously she was a renewable energy intern at the West Central Research and Outreach Center and GreenCorps member at River's Edge Academy in St.Paul, MN. She is looking forward to working with all the YES! teams and seeing what students will accomplish in their schools and communities. Read more about Sophie.

Taylor is the interim West-Central Coordinator while Ali is on maternity leave. She is studying Planning and Community Development and Environmental Studies at St. Cloud State University and is excited about how YES! gets "our youth involved in projects that will make our communities sustainable and enjoyable to live in". Read more about Taylor.

Sam is the Northeastern Coordinator. A former GreenCorps member, he was stationed at Laurentian Environmental Center, where he helped implement the first year of YES! in the Northeast region. He has also worked as a Naturalist at Laurentian Environmental Center. He says, "my passion for the outdoors and working with students is what led me to this position and I am excited to hit the ground running with YES!". Read more about Sam

The Year Ahead


Did You Know...YES! Students Need Your Support!
Just $25 helps one student attend a customized workshop to learn from local experts about innovative solutions to today's ecological challenges.

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In This Issue
YES! Fall Summits
Major Sponsors
YES! Alumni Spotlight
New YES! Staff
The Year Ahead
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.

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