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Adirondack Youth Climate Summit

The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit combines informative plenary sessions and interactive workshops in a fun atmosphere for a powerful 2-day educational experience leading to changes in the lives, schools and communities of young people working towards climate resilience. Students come away with a Climate Action Plan that includes sustainable solutions and actions they can take in their schools to reduce the threat of climate change and make a positive difference.

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School Expectations


Before the Summit:

1.  Meet with your entire environmental club to:

  • COMPLETE the pre-registration tasks
  • Identify the team who will attend the Summit. Remember: 4-6 PEOPLE make up a team which includes students, teachers, and other chaperones
  • When registration opens on September 30, register online
  • Review agenda on the Youth Climate website

2.  Download, distribute and bring SIGNED Photo Consent Forms

3.  What to bring to the Summit:

  • Note taking materials (notebook or technology)
  • Camera/smartphones? - While we encourage participants to share their summit experience on social media, we ask all participants to please be RESPECTFUL to speakers and workshop leaders and refrain from using cell phones inappropriately during presentations and workshops. 

At The Summit:

  1. Full attendance on BOTH DAYS of the Summit.
  2. Determine who in your team will attend which workshops (we encourage teams members to split up and attend different workshops).
  3. Work together on Day 2 to develop a Climate Action Plan and timeline for your school.


  1. Keep The Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program Coordinator, Kali DeMarco ( updated with your progress, needs, etc. on a minimum monthly basis.
  2. Work hard to successfully implement your Climate Action Plan!


Participants are strongly encouraged to read and/or watch some of the following materials to help frame the climate issue prior to attending the Summit.

Each participating institution is also expected to come to the Summit with a basic understanding of how to conduct a carbon audit and how far along their school is in that process.


Past Summitsk

Speakers at the Summit provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to drive climate action in their schools and communities. 

Thanks to our sponsors

The Wild Center would like to thank past sponsors of the Adirondack Youth Climate Program. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Director of Programs Jen Kretser.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Environmental Literacy Program

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 (NE96269316-0)

New York State Energy Research Development Authority

John Ben Snow Foundation and Memorial Trust

Casella Waste Management

Johnson Family Foundation

Adirondack Green Circle

Lake Placid Education Foundation at the Adirondack Foundation

Margaret Huskins

Crowne Plaza Resort

Adirondack Garden Club

Agenda and Speakers

As always, this year's summit featured individuals and organizations doing amazing work to increase climate literacy, justice and resilience across NYS, the U.S. and world! Some of our featured speakers and organizations included:  Dr. Curt Stager – Paul Smith’s College; Jeff Olson - Alta Planning & Design; Nicole Catania - Sunrise Movement; Larry Montague - hip-hop artist; Lauren Gibson - NOAA; Dr. Danielle Eiseman - Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions; Dazzle Ekblad - NYS DEC; Amani Olugbala - Soulfire Farm; and many more!


Download the 2019 Agenda at a Glance

Download the 2019 Full Agenda

Download 2019 Speaker Bios

Where to Stayk

Youth Summit participants are responsible for their own accommodation needs. Please contact hotels to make arrangements. 

Behind the Summits

The Wild Center hosted a major national climate conference, Land of Opportunity: The American Response to Climate Change, in 2008. The conference brought leaders from around the nation into a closed-door gathering to find a way that we could map a path to lower carbon emissions for the United States. The Conference attendees included John Holdren, Frances Beinecke, Michael Levi and more than 150 others.  What this conference, and another Adirondack conference that followed, did not have, was student participants.

A few students were invited to watch the proceedings, and for one, Zach Berger, watching wasn't enough. He approached The Wild Center to see whether he could help organize a Youth Summit for students in the region, where students could come, learn, and develop their own action plans for their schools. The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit was hatched from that idea. The annual Summit, with participants from area high schools, colleges and universities, now impacts schools with more than 25,000 students each year.