Students from throughout the state of New York gathered at the Wild Center for the fourth annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit Nov. 14-15.
Students from throughout the North Country assembled in Tupper Lake Nov. 14 and 15 to talk about the environment.
The fourth annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit was held at the Wild Center over those two days, bringing high school and college students together to talk about the environment.
“I am really amazed at what all of the schools have been able to do,” Zach Berger said.
Berger, currently studying at RIT, made inquiries with the Wild Center about creating a youth summit after attending a business environmental summit as a student at Lake Placid Central School.
“Jen Kretzer invited us to the conference, and we were the only school there,” Berger said. “After those two days, I didn’t feel that the students had a voice to talk about what schools and students can do, so I called Jen back and we spent the next year planning the conference.”
Berger said he is happy to see that students have taken to the summit and taking what they learned back to their communities.
“Schools present what they have done over the past year to help the environment and it is really impressive,” he said.
“The summit is planned with a team of students here in the Tri-Lakes,” Kretzer said. “The teachers and others are there for support and offer feedback, but this is really an even that is planned for students by students.”
Kretzer said she has been impressed with how the summit has changed both at the Wild Center and with the schools involved.
“I have really seen the change in the schools and in the enthusiasm of the students involved,” she said. “We have been used as a model in other places around the world. We had a group from Finland here last year attending our summit that went back and immediately started planning their own.”
“Our green team has really been able to leave its mark on the district and that all started here,” Tupper Lake Green Team Advisor Kathleen Eldridge said. “The first year we were overwhelmed by the knowledge and a little afraid, but since we have gained the tools and have been able to think of solutions for our school.”
Eldridge said that their club has become a model much like the conference has.
“With the support of our superintendent and school, our team is a role model for their peers in our school as well as others,” she said.
“We are hoping to get some creative ideas that they will be able to bring back to our school,” Keene teacher Brian LaVallee said. “They have already been able to do a lot with the composting and garden programs at the school.”
“I think that this impacts the students more than any workshop that I go to with them,” Potsdam High School Environmental Club Advisor Jim Allott said. “They go back to school fired up and it becomes contagious.”
Local high schools attending the summit included Long Lake, Moriah, Elizabethtown-Lewis, Keene, Lake Placid, Northwood, North Country School, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Plattsburgh High. They were joined by North Country Community College, Paul Smith’s College and Plattsburgh State.