Big Plans for 2015!

Letter from the Executive Director

Annual ReportThanks to you, our generous friends and supporters, we ended 2014 in a strong financial position. Check out our accomplishments in our new annual report!

As we reflect on 2014, the hottest year on record globally, we also saw some positive climate change solutions advanced. In June, the Obama administration took its biggest step yet to address climate change by introducing regulations to limit greenhouse gases from existing power plants. And the U. S. climate movement grew in grassroots might as thousands of people, including hundreds of Minnesotans and many of our youth, filled the streets of New York City in September demanding that world leaders act on climate. Finally, while there was plenty of anti-science rhetoric and opposition to climate action (no, the polar vortex does not disprove climate change), the year came to an end with at least three landmark climate-related stories. Watch the video.

Looking ahead, we have big plans for 2015! Highlights include :

  • Launching Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions in 12 locations across Minnesota beginning this April, bringing local stories, climate science, and community resources together to forge solutions;
  • Expanding Minnesota’s clean energy standard to a goal of 40% renewable energy by 2030 through youth engagement and working directly with Governor Dayton and his administration;
  • Unveiling a new website in spring 2015;

And so much more!

We invite you to stay involved with us, as we have events every month! Stay tuned on our website and social media, or feel free to contact us anytime.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Share Your Climate Story for Our New Climate Minnesota Storytelling Collection!

Climate MNStorytelling is a powerful way to communicate about climate change, especially the sharing of personal stories. As Minnesotans, we are seeing climate change impacts now, and they are affecting us in real and direct ways.  

What is your climate story?

Share your personal climate change story in a blog, podcast or on a storytelling panel at one of our convenings. For more information on how to submit your climate story as a blog or podcast, click here or email

Join Us in Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Our Summer Institute!

Looking to improve your classroom climate literacy efforts in the New Year? Whether you have taught climate and energy literacy for years or are just becoming engaged in climate change education, register today for our 10th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. Participants will have the opportunity to celebrate the program’s history, share resources, engage with fellow educators, and learn from leading experts in the climate change education sphere. 

We are also excited to welcome our new Education Intern, Jordan Pinneke, who will be helping us plan and implement the 2015 Summer Institute. Read more about Jordan here.

Connect with WSF at Two Upcoming Conferences

If you’re in Minnesota, stop by and see us at the Minnesota Conference on Science Education on February 20-21 and the Schoolyard Gardens Conference, February 27-28.

Emerging Leaders

Annual Youth Environmental Lobby Day!

Lobby DayOur YEA! MN program is partnering with MPIRG and the Clean Energy & Jobs Campaign to bring 75 high school students to the state Capitol for a lobby day in support of clean energy on Monday, February 2nd. Minnesotans of all ages will be calling on the state legislature to accelerate clean energy innovation and increase the Renewable Energy Standard to 40% of our electricity by 2030. To register as a student or sign up a class, click here or contact Natalie Cook, YEA! MN Program Coordinator:

WSF Partners on Youth Democracy Summit

Youth Democracy SummitYEA! MN is proud to partner with MPIRG and the Sierra Club on the Youth Democracy Summit, to be held January 17th at the Humphrey School of the University of Minnesota. The event is an opportunity for students from across the state to join together and determine a set of legislative priorities in preparation for the 2015 Legislative Session. Students, leaders in the community and elected officials will discuss and prioritize solutions to the issues that matter most to young people. During the event, students will hear from issue advocates, participate in a group training around the goals for the event and engage with peers on the following topics: environmental justice, transportation, racial justice, queer issues, higher education affordability and election reform. Click to register.

WSF to Host Midwest Youth Climate Convergence

This spring, the Will Steger Foundation will host the Midwest Youth Climate Convergence, a three-day working retreat. The mission of the retreat is to build capacity for regional, youth-driven campaigns related to divestment and re-investment, tar sands extraction and pipeline infrastructure, and green economy solutions. The Convergence will foster strategic planning to support youth action and promote coordination between these deeply interrelated campaigns, with the long-range objective of strengthening the Midwest youth climate movement. Contact WSF Youth Programs Director, Abby Fenton, for more details:

In The News

Minnesota Conservation VolunteerThe Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, a magazine produced by the Department of Natural Resources, published a feature for “Young Naturalists” on climate change in Minnesota. The Will Steger Foundation is listed as a teacher resource.

Minnesota Environmental PartnershipMinnesota Environmental Partnership – Will Steger Foundation Executive Director Nicole Rom joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for a Climate Education and Literacy Roundtable.

South High SouthernerSouth High Southerner – 170 students from 15 different high schools, all of whom share a similar commitment to combating social and environmental injustices, gathered at El Colegio High School for Youth CAN!, sponsored by YEA! MN and the Will Steger Foundation.


Clean Energy and JobsLet’s make Minnesota a clean energy leader in 2015! We need to show our state leaders that we support a strong clean energy and jobs plan. Join the Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs Day at the Capitol on Monday February 2nd. We will set up meetings with state leaders so that you can let your state legislators know that you support a responsible clean energy plan for Minnesota.

Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs Day at the Capitol
Monday, February 2nd, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Meet at Christ Lutheran Church
(105 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55155)
Registration Online

Minnesotans want a responsible clean energy plan that builds on existing laws to transition our state to clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar, and improve energy efficiency. Please join the Will Steger Foundation and over 60+ organizations involved in the Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs campaign to:

  • Increase the Renewable Energy Standard to 40% by 2030;
  • Improve the yearly energy savings goal for utilities from 1.5% to 2%; and
  • Implement policies that will grow renewable energy in Greater Minnesota.

See you on February 2nd! Registration Online.

Photo of the Month

Climate Desk Year In Review
Watch the biggest climate stories from 2014 in 2 minutes.



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