2016 is going to be filled with reflecting, refining and expanding our work, as well as celebrating 10 years of impact! Our next 3-5 year strategic planning process has begun with a deep dive into equity and what it means for our work at the organizational and programmatic level. Trainers from Training for Change joined us in late January thanks to support from the Still Ain’t Satisfied Foundation to continue our exploration of equity, diversity and inclusion. Please join us on Saturday, May 7th to share your input and feedback on our next phase of our strategic plan. Also, save the date for our 10 year anniversary celebration – the hottest event of the decade – December 1, 2016. We’ve already got a fabulous list of Honorary Chairs, including former Vice President Walter Mondale, Governor Dayton and McKnight Foundation President Kate Wolford.
Thanks to support from Askov Finlayson and their Keep the North Cold campaign, we successfully raised over $10,000 in 2015 to support our education work. The partnership continues with each new North product Askov Finlayson sells. Check them out here. We are also thankful to long-time food partner and community activist Tracy Singleton and the Birchwood Cafe crew for selecting us as their inaugural Birchwood BOOST partner. Join our founder Will Steger for a customized, low-carbon and delicious 5-course dinner on February 23rd, complete with beer and wine pairings. The partnership includes several other events and the opportunity to BOOST at the register during the months of February and March.
We were thrilled when former Board member Matt Schuerger was appointed by Governor Dayton to serve on the MN Public Utilities Commission. We thank him for his years of leadership and board service and wish him all the best in his new role. Thanks to Tim Brownell for stepping in as our new Vice Chair.
Keep up with our winter and spring events here. If you are eager to plan for summer hikes and bike rides, check out Climate Ride’s list of 2016 event options and don’t forget to select Climate Generation as the beneficiary for your ride or hike!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Excitement is building for our Summer Institute!
Register today for our 11th Annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education at Macalester College. SI 2016 will focus on resources and training to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards into your classroom, which for the first time include climate change. Resources will include our newest middle school curriculum, Next Generation Climate. Hear from experts in climate science, engage with hands on activities that help bring climate change concepts into the classroom, and network with other educators.
Climate Minnesota team heads to Albany for final convening
This month marks the last in a series of 12 convenings in communities around the state for our Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions project. We’ll be partnering with Youth Energy Summit (YES!) to hold a convening in Albany on February 23rd that showcases the climate stories and solutions of youth, as well as community members. Stay tuned for our upcoming webinar series featuring case studies from each of the regions we visited. More information on that can be found here.
Youth Lobby Day and Governor’s Summit rallies support for Clean Power Plan
Despite the recent news of the Supreme Court stay on the Clean Power Plan, Minnesota is moving ahead with its implementation plan, and youth leaders are continuing to rally around calls for a state plan that is both strong and environmentally just. YEA! MN and MPIRG have launched a statewide petition drive to gather youth support for the Clean Power Plan, and are coordinating a full day of advocacy on March 14. The Youth Lobby Day and Governor’s Summit will include a meeting with Governor Dayton as well as various state lawmakers, providing young people with the chance to express their feelings about why clean energy and climate policy are important priorities for the state. Registration and more information can be found here.
Winter Mingler unites YEA! MN community
Last month, over 60 YEA! MN students, family members and supporters gathered at Gandhi Mahal for an evening of community-building and information-gathering on the program. Students and adults had the chance to get to know each other and explore why youth climate action was important to them, followed by several YEA! MN participants sharing stories and highlights from their experience in the program. The entire evening was planned and facilitated by student leaders and YEA! MN Coordinator, Nicole Eknitphong.
Askov Finlayson and Birchwood Cafe provide fun ways to support our work
Beginning last fall, our partnership with Askov Finlayson through their Keep The North Cold campaign has raised funds, visibility, and fun action opportunities to support our work. Most recently, we participated in a Ski Movie Night at Able Seedhouse + Brewery, where we raised over $700 in proceeds from a raffle that included several great outdoor retailers: Askov Finlayson, Patagonia and Topo Designs. This month and next, we are also participating in the launch of Birchwood Cafe’s new community partnership program, Birchwood BOOST! As the inaugural nonprofit partner, we will be tabling at the Cafe and participating in several special events, including a Booster Club Dinner with Will Steger on February 23 and a screening of Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate on March 28. Learn more about our history of collaboration with Birchwood, and join us at the Cafe for a BOOST event!
Show your support of the Clean Power Plan!
The MPCA has scheduled several listening sessions around the state to provide the public with opportunities to weigh in on the Clean Power Plan, an important national policy that will reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Minnesota continues to move forward with its implementation plan, and we encourage you to attend a listening session in your area to express support for clean energy and climate action! The next listening sessions are February 23 in Duluth, March 2 in St. Paul, March 8 in Minneapolis and March 9 in Rochester.
Our Window into Paris program and four COP21 Education Ambassadors from Minnesota public schools were featured in the February edition of the Minnesota Educator, a publication that goes out to 70,000 members of the Minnesota teacher’s union. The story profiles the teachers’ experiences in Paris, as well as their desire to incorporate climate change education into the state’s science standards.
On February 1, Birchwood Cafe launched their new community partnership program, Birchwood BOOST, and we are thrilled to be the inaugural nonprofit partner! They introduced the program and our collaboration for the next two months on their blog and in their newsletter.
On January 19, Governor Dayton appointed Climate Generation board member Matt Schuerger to serve a six-year term on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Nicole Rom issued the following statement on his appointment: “We are thrilled with the news of our Board Member and Vice Chair Matt Schuerger’s appointment to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. We congratulate Matt on this opportunity, and are excited about what this means for our clean energy future here in Minnesota. Matt is stepping down from our Board in order to concentrate on his new job and devote the time and energy to the position that it deserves. We are confident he will continue to do great work to address climate change in his new post.”