Summer Success!

Letter from the Executive Director

image_edWe are riding the remaining energy from a multitude of incredible events last week, which included a Clean Air and Human Health Discussion in Edina; two-day Summer Institute for Climate Change Education; and our public forum, Sense of Place in a Changing Climate.

Over 40 Edina residents joined Will Steger and others for a discussion of the importance of the Clean Air Act and human health and learned how they can help ensure we maintain such strong legislation, which will continue to be under attack when Congress returns in September.

Our Summer Institute was a huge success! Videos, testimonials and other details will be available after the Labor Day holiday on our website. We were also excited to see almost 200 people turn out for our forum that was moderated by MPR’s Midmorning host, Kerri Miller. Don Shelby, J. Drake Hamilton and Will Steger discussed their concerns about the lack of political will to solve our climate crisis and a changing political climate. They spoke to what is special to them about Minnesota and the concerns they have for wildlife, human health, our economy and way of life from the impacts of climate change.

We are nearing the end of our fiscal year and are halfway to our goal to raise $30,000 by August 31, 2011. With some of our largest activities this month, your contribution means even more right to us right now! Thank you for your continued support.


Nicole Rom, Executive Director


Summer Institute 2011 Educators
using the NEW Online Classroom

On August 11 and 12, we hosted a very successful 6th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. We had a full Institute this year with over 100 educators registered. Participants received training on our new Minnesota’s Changing Climate curriculum and online classroom, and attended a variety of breakout sessions over the course of the two days. Educators are excited to bring what they learned and these new resources to their classrooms. Many were thrilled to receive an Explore Minnesota Biome Kit with materials to take their students outside to observe a changing climate. We look forward to working with these educators and continuing our Minnesota’s Changing Climate project this school year. Many thanks to our wonderful speakers and generous donors, including Valley Natural Foods Co-op, Common Roots Catering and French Meadow Bakery and Cafe who donated delicious meals for our attendees.

A huge thank you to our Education Intern, Libby Fones who pulled together logistical details for the Summer Institute. We will miss her this fall when she returns to Whitman College.  Thanks Libby!

Finally, next month’s education newsletter will feature our new Minnesota’s Changing Climate curriculum and online classroom!

Summer Institute 2011 - Ann Benson, Project Assistant Summer Institute 2011 - K-12 Education Program Manager
Ann Benson, Project Assistant (L)
Kristen Poppleton, Education Program Manager (R)


Summer Institute 2011 - Janet Brown, Office Manager, and SI Volunteers Summer Institute 2011 - Libby Fones, Education Intern
Janet Brown, Office Manager, and SI Volunteers (L)
Libby Fones, Education Intern (R)


Summer Institute 2011 - Educators Summer Institute 2011 - Educators Exploring
Educators (L)
Educators Exploring (R)

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers who supported our Summer Institute and Public Forum, August 11-12

K’Dyn N., Shayla N., Dawn N., Mindy A. O., Ben B., Kathy K., Mick W., Sonja T., Eliana R., Hannah O., James H., Andrea H., Jen E., Christy N., Courtney E., Jesse H.L., Sage H.L., Reed A. and Clay H.L.

Emerging Leaders

MWPSfMidwest Power Shift!

Hundreds of youth will descend on Cleveland Ohio, October 7-9, for the Midwest Power Shift regional youth climate summit. Capitalizing on the momentum of National Power Shift 2011 where the Midwest made up almost a quarter of 10,000 youth who attended, campus beyond coal victories, and innovative summer youth initiatives launched in major urban centers across the region, the summit will empower youth to organize on coal, fracking, the clean economy, and 2012 elections. Registration opens soon at:

Youth Climate Activists Join RE-AMP Annual Meeting

Youth participation in the RE-AMP Annual Meeting has been steadily growing over the past four years. This year, twenty key youth leaders from youth climate organizations across the Midwest will join the Midwest environmental non-profit and foundation community to strategize on clean energy, energy efficiency, coal, natural gas extraction, transportation, and sustainable cities. The meeting provides a unique opportunity for youth and nonprofit leaders to network as peers and collaborate on shared goals and campaigns. The Will Steger Foundation has been playing a key role in fostering this cross-generational collaboration.

In The News

Edina PatchEdina Patch

The EPA is working to strengthen the Clean Air Act, some in Congress are acting against it, and on August 10th, the public was invited to learn more about it.

Read More

Star TribuneStar Tribune

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s position on climate change has now shifted from “one of the most important issues of our time” to “most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes.”

Read More

Star Tribune BlogsStar Tribune Blogs

Prominent Minnesotans, including former WCCO-TV anchor Don Shelby, polar explorer Will Steger and Science Policy Director for Fresh Energy, J. Drake Hamilton, will share their connection to Minnesota, how climate change is impacting their sense of place and daily lives.

Read More

White Bear PressWhite Bear Press

A $100,000, 120-foot-tall wind turbine now stands above the Mahtomedi High School stadium. In May, the Zephyr Wind Project was first-place winner of the Will Steger Foundation’s Climate Generation Award.

Read More

The Explorers ClubThe Explorers Club

Members of The Explorers Club, the world renowned international exploration organization, will soon discover a bit of urban archaeology unseen for years – the North Face of their iconic Upper East Side headquarters named for famed broadcaster and Club member Lowell Thomas.  Included is the Polar Capsule from the Steger 1986 North Pole Expedition.

Read More


Support the Will Steger Foundation on Climate Ride California 2011!

Climate Ride

Are you an avid biker? Or just someone who wants to do something to address climate change? How about combining exercise, great company, thought-provoking speakers, and beautiful scenery while also doing something for the climate? You’re invited to join Climate Ride, an incredible 5-day bicycle ride in Northern California and the best part is that you can help the Will Steger Foundation while you’re doing it! For the first time, we’re recruiting members for our new Team on this year’s California ride, and you can be part of the fun and raise funds for WSF at the same time. Climate Ride is an amazing journey and ‘green conference on wheels’ where people who care about a clean and green future for our nation pedal the stunning California coast together to make a difference. The event is a fully-supported 5-day bicycle ride from Fortuna to San Francisco under towering redwoods, through the Russian River Wine Country, and along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route – one of the most scenic coastlines in the world, October 2-6, 2011. Climate Ride also features nightly speakers who focus on bicycle advocacy, sustainability, and renewable energy. If you select us as your beneficiary when you register or join our Team , we will be the sole recipient of the funds you raise, which means our efforts will gain even more traction in the future.

Find out more and register now at

Save the Date!

Moving Planet – Day of Climate Action at the MN Capitol – Saturday September 24th, 2-4 pm. More info available at

Photo of the Month

Sense of Place in a Changing Climate, featuring
MPR’s Kerri Miller (moderator), and
panelists Will Steger, J. Drake Hamilton and Don Shelby.


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