On Monday May 8, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy received an award from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) for our two-year public engagement project, Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions. MCAP Awards Committee Co-chair and University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley presented the award to Climate Generation staff at an evening Awards Ceremony, held in conjunction with the opening reception for the National Adaptation Forum, taking place in St. Paul May 9-11. The Awards Ceremony included awards for national and international-level work to advance climate adaptation.
“Climate Generation is to be commended for their outstanding efforts in education and community engagement related to climate adaptation over many years work in metropolitan and greater Minnesota. They serve as an example for many other organizations in terms of promoting sustainable practices, uses of alternative energy, and climate literacy,” said Mark Seeley.
For the Climate Minnesota project, which took place from 2014-2016, Climate Generation staff organized 12 public convenings, engaging over 1,100 people and 100 organizations across the state of Minnesota; created an online storytelling collection for the sharing of personal climate stories; and co-produced a Twin Cities PBS film, Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate, that has reached thousands of people across the state through TV broadcasts and public screenings. Funding for the project came from the Minnesota Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, with partnership and support from the University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP). The project sparked the creation of a Climate Convenings Toolkit, which will be released to the public during a webinar scheduled for Tuesday, May 23 at 11:00 CST.
“Climate Minnesota represented the launch of a new public engagement model for us,” said Director of Education Kristen Poppleton. “This model combined a local approach, best practices for climate change communications, and our organization’s long-time focus on the power of storytelling to motivate audiences to action. We always intended this model to be replicable and scalable, so we hope that this award elevates Climate Minnesota to national and international audiences where it might inspire similar projects.”
“Climate Minnesota inspired many people in the 12 communities we visited to take climate action locally, both for adaptation and mitigation purposes,” said Public Engagement Manager Jothsna Harris, a lead organizer of the project. “We were thrilled with the ripple effects it created, and have returned to several communities to further engage individuals, businesses, and local governments in solutions to climate change.”