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Registration Open for Youth Environmental Summit

Barre--Are you passionate about protecting and improving the quality of the environment?  Do you want to learn about climate change, renewable energy and other issues relevant to a creating a greener world and how you can make a difference in your school or community?

If you are a student in grade 7 through 12, you are eligible to attend the Youth Environmental Summit (YES!), Nov. 6 at the Barre Civic Center in Barre. Considered one of Vermont's premier youth environmental education events, this conference will help you become an effective leader-activist by showing you how to speak out on environmental issues on the local level and take action through a self-designed service-learning project.

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H is hosting the event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. To register, go to www.uvm.edu/extension/teenleadership and click on "Programs."

The deadline for registration is Oct. 11. The fee is $15 per person for online registrations ($20 if mailed) and covers all workshops, lunch-table discussions and presentations including the keynote talk by Deb Markowitz. As the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Markowitz has addressed climate change, habitat fragmentation and other key environmental issues on the state's environmental agenda.

Plan to bring your own lunch, drinks and snacks. All participants are encouraged to pack a zero-waste lunch. Check the web site for more information.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, please contact UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program Coordinator Lauren Traister at (866) 260-5603, ext. 402 (toll-free in Vermont) or (802) 888-4972, ext. 402, by Oct. 11.

Throughout the day-long conference, you will have a chance to participate in four different workshops, some taught by teens, on topics ranging from school composting, zero-waste school events and school no idling policies to renewable energy, home energy makeovers and social media for a voice to create change, among other topics. Or hear from the Team Summit Green Team from Main Street Middle School in Montpelier about their three school action projects--the Great Locker Clean Out, classroom composting and reusable water bottles.

During lunch you may join in one of several informal table discussions on topics such as citizen science, the whole school energy challenge, fossil fuel divestment, invasive insect pests and TRY for the Environment. The latter, which stands for Teens Reaching Youth, is a UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program, conducted in partnership with the Vermont Energy Education Project and sponsored by State Farm Insurance, to train teams of teens to teach hands-on renewable energy activities to kids in kindergarten through third grade.

The summit also features a multimedia presentation by the Alliance for Climate Education on the science behind climate change and the role youths can play in curbing global warming. Maeve McBride, operations coordinator for 350 Vermont, will talk about the fossil fuel divestment movement and how YES! participants can get involved.

For more information on YES!, contact Lauren Traister at lauren.traister@uvm.edu.

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