Published on October 12, 2022

Conversations to Explore Island Climate Solutions

Teenagers standing inside a school hallway

For the past five years, Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary’s Education Manager, Josey Kirkland, has worked with Island youth from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School on climate action and justice. The goal of these climate action initiatives is to allow students to take charge and work on projects about which they feel passionate.  

This year's climate cafés bring both school’s students together and are focused on community-based themes of the students choosing. Once a month starting in October, community members of all ages will gather at Rosewater Market in Edgartown for student-led discussions on various climate-related topics.   

These students are incredible role models for their peers as well as the community at large. Graysen Kirk, a senior at Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School shares that, “No one knows how to take care of this Island better than the locals” and she is looking forward to diving deeper into these important topics, working on solutions, and discussing the intersectionality of the climate crisis and our community.  

Social science research has shown that one of the most important actions individuals can take to help fight climate change is to talk about it with friends, family, and others in their immediate community. The most effective way to talk about climate change is by focusing on locally-relevant impacts (or impacts relevant to the interest of the audience). Kirkland recognizes that, “our Island does an incredible job bringing education and awareness around climate change front and center. Creating an avenue for students to get involved and contribute to solution-based actions is a no brainier. Without putting too much pressure on them, I truly believe the youth are the ones who are going to help bring the significant change we need.” 

The Climate Cafés model, which has been used all around the globe, provides a way for people to discuss climate change in a judgment-free, informal environment with other people in their community. By doing so, they gain valuable practice in conversing about the topic, and are more likely to talk about it in their own individual social circles and become empowered to make a difference in their communities. "What I like most about the Climate Cafes is that they bring together environmental leaders from all over the community to share their knowledge through open discussion on issues affecting our Island and world” says Huck Moore, this year's president of Protect Your Environment from the Regional High School.  

Snacks and drinks generously donated by Rosewater Market. Make sure to keep things green and bring your own mug when possible.

Schedule of Events

  • Sunday, October 16, 10:00 am — Housing and the Climate Crisis
  • Sunday, November 13, 10:00 am — Storm and Emergency Preparedness
  • Sunday, December 11, 10:00 am — Waste Reduction
  • Sunday, January 8, 10:00 am — Sea Level Rise
  • Sunday, February 12, 10:00 am — Renewable and Sustainable Future
  • Sunday, March 12, 10:00 am — Fishing and Aquaculture