Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Brook with stones at Broad Meadow Brook
Broad Meadow Brook © Donald Perkins

Inspiring Action at the Central Youth Climate Summit at Broad Meadow Brook

April 10, 2024

We were delighted to host the 2nd annual Central Youth Climate Summit on Saturday, March 16 in Worcester, MA.  

Over 40 youth, adult mentors, and community members participated in meaningful youth-led discussions about climate impacts, climate justice, and climate action.  

Empowering Young People to Organize 

A team of ten youth leaders from six different schools have been meeting since October to plan this year’s summit. They took on leadership roles during the summit, including emceeing the event, serving as panelists, moderating the panel, and facilitating workshops.  

They also coordinated icebreakers designed to get attendees thinking about how climate change impacts their own lives, a hands-on sock puppet workshop facilitated by Boston Nature Center Teacher Naturalist Isabella Guerero, and a climate justice walk through a local city neighborhood.   

When asked about their favorite thing about the summit, two coordinators said it was hosting their own workshop.  

YCLP attendees at an action planning workshop

Youth Climate Summit Activities 

Youth and adults from Doherty Memorial High School, the Worcester Division of Youth Opportunities, the EcoTarium, and Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center attended the summit and engaged in hands-on workshops and climate action brainstorming.  

The day was filled with different engaging activities and speakers centered around climate action. Two youth leaders, City Councilor Khrystian King, and Regional Education Manager Martha Gach served on a panel responding to questions youth had developed on climate impacts, justice, and solutions.  

Sara Karp, a Youth Climate Leadership Representative with Mass Audubon, facilitated a workshop on the Climate Resilient Schools Coalition. Asa Saltzberg presented information on advocacy for a zero-fare WRTA. 

In addition, we welcomed the Worcester Youth Council, who facilitated a workshop on climate change and mental health and led an action planning process to close out the summit. Recognizing the relevance of mental health to youth climate change activism, Elyzabeth Frontaan from the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line provided a resource table during the event.  

YCLP attendees at a craft workshop

Impact of Youth Climate Summits 

These summits, as part of Mass Audubon’s Youth Climate Leadership Program, encourage youth-led climate action aimed at creating a space for learning, conversation, networking, and climate solutions. 

As to why they choose to participate in YCLP, one youth leader stated, “I want to spread the word to make people aware that we have an issue in climate change and we should help as a whole community.”  

An adult mentor commented, “I think connecting youth to the work of other youth is so critical to their knowledge and sense of community as well as their confidence in their own work. Events like this are so important.” 

Participants plan to showcase their climate action work at more upcoming regional events, including a Climate Action Fair at WPI and the Fish Migration Annual Parade in Pawtucket, RI.  

To find out what climate actions you can take and get involved in next year’s summit, join our Youth Climate Leadership Program. 

Learn More

Thanks to Our Community Partners 

This program was made possible by support from the CDC Foundation, Hanover Foundation, and the Ellsworth Foundation. Space for the event was provided by the Worcester Division of Youth Opportunities.