2011 News Releases
Several Massachusetts Citizens Receive Prestigious Regional EPA Environmental Awards
Release Date: 05/10/2011
Contact Information: EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010
(Boston, Mass. – May 10, 2011) – Nineteen environmental awards will be given to Massachusetts environmental groups, individuals, businesses, nonprofit and government agencies tomorrow in Boston’s Faneuil Hall as EPA presented its annual Environmental Merit Awards for 2011. In addition, a President’s Environmental Youth Award was given to the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network, which received special recognition.
The merit awards, recognizing valuable contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, are a unique way that EPA can recognize individuals and groups that are making significant impacts on environmental quality in distinct ways.
Awarded by EPA since 1970, the merit awards honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region's environment. This year's competition drew 56 nominations from across New England.
Awards were given in the following categories: individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Each year, EPA also may present lifetime achievement awards for individuals.
More information on all Environmental Merit Award Winners from this year and past years is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region1/ra/ema/index.html
The Environmental Merit Award Winners from Massachusetts are:
Lifetime Achievement Environmental Merit Award:
During his 22-year tenure as President of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), Andy Falender is credited with turning around the nation’s oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization, increasing its membership and endowment as well as embarking on an ambitious agenda to expand trails stewardship, youth programming, conservation advocacy and new outdoor experiences for the public. Andy oversaw AMC’s growth as a regional conservation leader in New Hampshire and Maine and across the Northeast. While AMC continues its historical connection to the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), the Club founded the Northern Forest Alliance during Andy’s tenure, focusing its membership on the Massachusetts Forest and Parks Alliance’s issues and taking a leadership role in creating the Mid-Atlantic Highlands Coalition, which resulted in passage of the Highlands Conservation Act. Ultimately, AMC applied its conservation and recreation management expertise to direct ownership and conservation of 66,000 acres of forest land in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness through its ongoing Maine Woods Initiative.
Recent conservation efforts in which Andy took a significant leadership role include the launch of Mountain Watch “citizen-scientist” program, enabling members and guests to measure indicators of air quality and climate change; AMC and partners’ advocacy to designate for preservation an additional 34,500 acres of wilderness in the White Mountain National Forest; AMC’s 2007 $1,004,484 multi-year and multi-organization NOAA research grants on air pollutant and climate change impacts to high elevation ecosystems of the Northeastern mountains; and, opening the Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins in 2010, a new outdoor recreation destination with a LEED-registered design.
Over the last ten years, AMC has conserved over 1.5 million acres of land throughout the region, both directly and through partners and maintains 1,500 miles of trails, provides outdoor experiences to over 45,000 young people annually. Today, the organization focuses on issues vital to the mountains, rivers, and trails of the region, including air quality, wind power siting, climate impacts on alpine ecosystems, and riverway protection and stewardship.
Glenn Haas served the citizens of the Commonwealth for 40 years while holding many leadership positions in the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and in its predecessor agencies. At DEP, he was the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Water Quality Management, where he managed the growth and maturity of the Massachusetts State Revolving Fund (SRF) program. He oversaw all aspects of the state’s surface and groundwater water quality monitoring programs, including standards, TMDLs and monitoring and managed the DEP’s quite visible and successful drinking water program. Glenn was integral to the success of the Construction Grants program that built wastewater treatment facilities to improve the environment and public health. Most notable among his achievements was his work on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island facility. His management and decision-making skills kept the project on track and led to its successful design, construction and operation. His role in this and the launch of the SRF program have contributed to significant environmental and public health improvements throughout the Commonwealth. His peers in the wastewater field elected him to a term as President of the New England Water Environment Association. He served his New England counterparts as Chairman of the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) after which he went on the Board of the Association of State Water Pollution Control Agencies (ASWIPCA).
Barbara A. Kwetz
Barbara A. Kwetz began her career with transportation and air quality issues at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in 1975 and joined the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Air Quality Control in 1978. In November 2010, Barbara retired from her most recent position as Director of the Division of Planning and Evaluation in the Bureau of Waste Prevention, where she played a key role in planning, managing and evaluating Massachusetts’ air quality, toxics use reduction and solid waste programs. During her career, she was instrumental in developing programs that made the state a national leader in environmental protection. Her vision of a “clean air future” for the Commonwealth included pushing for the need to control mobile source emissions.
Under Barbara’s leadership, Massachusetts was the first state to adopt California’s Low Emission Vehicle standards for motor vehicles, which resulted in cleaner vehicles in the state starting with model year 1995. She also assisted in the development of other groundbreaking mobile source emission control strategies, including the parking freeze programs for Boston, Cambridge and Logan Airport, mitigation of the air quality impacts of the Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel construction, and the tunnel ventilation regulation. Her efforts produced the first-ever inventory of mobile source emissions in Massachusetts, plans to reduce vehicle miles traveled, and the state’s first automobile inspection and maintenance program. She has been a leader in efforts by the Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers to protect the environment and public health from pollution sources that cause acid rain, mercury pollution and climate change. She has worked to reduce the impacts of acid rain through annual reductions in SO2 and NOx from power plants across the country that burn fossil fuels. Recognizing the importance of air toxics to public health and environmental quality, Barbara started to work with the DEP’s Office of Research and Standards in the mid-1980’s to develop guidelines for these contaminants in air, at a time when EPA had not yet developed extensive air toxics guidance. She wrote the Air Toxics Implementation Policy that is still in use today.
Mary Sinnamon Michelman (posthumous)
Mary played a critical role in protecting Acton, Massachusetts’ drinking water and streams and was a leader in many civic environmental organizations, particularly the Acton Citizens for Environmental Safety (ACES). As its president and main technical contact, Mary reviewed, on a volunteer basis, EPA’s actions at the W.R. Grace Superfund site in South Acton. In her role as the non-governmental organization technical liaison for Acton, she attended countless meetings about the site and diligently updated town officials and the community on progress made to remediate the drinking water contamination caused by W.R. Grace. She applied her scientific background and her attention to detail in providing comprehensive and important comments to EPA and the town to ensure remedial actions were protective of Acton’s drinking water. Mary spent many hours studying complicated monitoring and feasibility reports on the cleanup of the site, and in one of them, she was able to show that an additional plume was traveling to the northeast. As a result, an additional cleanup plan was established targeting that area.
When she moved to Acton in the 1990s, she founded and led the Acton Stream Teams, a citizen’s outreach project of the Organization for the Assabet River (OAR). The purpose of the Acton Stream Teams was to educate citizens about the value of Acton’s streams, and the need to protect their quantity and quality. Mary and the Acton Stream Teams received a Certificate of Appreciation from EPA in 1998 for coordinating and conducting a significant amount of volunteer work surveying Acton’s streams for pollution sources. In addition, she advocated for the purchase of conservation land, institution of hazardous waste collection days, increases in buffer zones around wetlands and streams, and most recently, support for a stormwater bylaw.
Environmental, Community, Academia, & Non-profit Organizations Environmental Merit Award:
Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network
Students at Boston Latin School are making their mark on slowing climate change. The Youth Climate Action Network has brought together students, residents and community leaders to address this challenge. Youth CAN, as the student group is called, believes young people must be involved in climate issues, and these issues must be on the curriculum if we are to have climate change and a sustainable future. In 2007 Youth CAN first organized their signature event, the Annual Global Climate Change Summit, which draws hundreds of students and educators from 70 schools in the state. In the summer of 2010, Youth CAN invited 34 teachers from 17 schools to spend a week learning how to integrate climate change and sustainability education into their curricula. Youth CAN member Rebecca Park, appointed by the mayor as youth representative to his Climate Action Leadership Committee, helped bring more than 100 young people to a half-day youth workshop. Youth CAN has proposed an innovative Green Roof & Community Learning Center on its roof that would be shared with the community. Youth CAN raised the money for the solar panels and plants installed on the school’s roof. This award recognizes the combined efforts of partners involved with Youth CAN, including faculty advisor Cate Arnold and headmaster Lynne Mooney-Teta.
Essex County Greenbelt Association
Essex County Greenbelt has conserved more than 14,000 acres of land in Essex County over five decades of land conservation. In the last ten years, it has been involved directly in protecting 75 percent of all land conserved in the region. In 2010 alone, Greenbelt completed 20 projects, conserving more than 730 acres. With more than 4,300 members, it is expanding the constituency of land conservation in the region. It owns and manages more than 250 properties, and holds more than 250 conservation restrictions. Several years ago, studies projected that the majority of undeveloped land in Essex County either would be developed or conserved within the next 10 to 15 years. The Greenbelt intervened to increase the pace of land conservation before the most important parcels were lost to development. It created a countywide conservation plan and launched the Land Conservation Outreach Initiative to introduce land conservation options and benefits to landowners. They have reached more than 3,000 owners of five acres or more of undeveloped land, representing nearly 55,000 acres. Essex County Greenbelt has been hard at work for five decades conserving the land that helps ensure clean water and air and a healthier environment.
GreenUp CleanUp Organizing Team, Grace Episcopal Church, Medford, Mass.
Linda Rogers, Margaret Smist, Rachael Pettengill, Jonathan Hunt, June Pietrantoni, Ann Frenning Kossuth
The Grace Episcopal Church GreenUp CleanUp Organizing Team in Medford recognized a need in the community and mobilized more than 100 people to work on the problem. Parks in Medford lacked needed maintenance. Six individuals recognized the problem and designed a citywide ‘parks cleanup’ initiative in the spring of 2010. Those individuals included Linda Rogers, Margaret Smist, Rachael Pettengill, Jonathan Hunt, June Pietrantoni and Ann Frenning Kossuth. In addition, they developed a program that could be replicated in other communities to make it for others also to organize park cleanups. They worked with many organizations and businesses to organize community beautification and cleanups in eight playgrounds and parks in the City of Medford. The GreenUp CleanUp Team publicized their efforts through community email lists, the local papers, Grace Church announcements, the City Council and through the Greening Grace blog. They inspired more than 250 people in the Medford community to pick up trash, paint tables and benches, rake leaves, spread mulch and sand and generally improve public spaces in Medford. This effort spread throughout the community, and residents unaffiliated with the church volunteered to organize two additional park cleanups, bringing the number of spring cleanups to seven. Tufts University partnered with the team in the fall to sponsor an eighth cleanup last September.
Ipswich River Watershed Association
The Ipswich River Watershed Association has endeavored to restore and protect the Ipswich River and nearby waterways for over two decades. It has worked creatively with other organizations, taking part in forums; and, when all else failed, it has entered into litigation. It has engaged in advocacy, education, scientific research and monitoring to help restore the river. The group provides technical assistance to help communities protect their water resources. The association’s work promoting water conservation has been recognized by the EPA and others, and it is now focusing on ways to save water to save energy. Its education and outreach focus on the value of these waters, the threats they face and what people can do to protect them. The association also has 50 trained volunteers who monitor the river’s quality and quantity monthly. An annual herring count and work with Mass Marine Fisheries and the University of Massachusetts helped evaluate efforts to restore the herring fishery. They are vigilant about seeing that laws are adhered to and that regulations are met.
Parties to Kendall Station NPDES Appeal Settlement
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Conservation Law Foundation, Charles River Watershed Association, GenOn Kendall, LLC
More than a decade of work to improve the ecology of the Charles River received a major boost after a group of environmentalists, business people and government officials came together to settle a court case. Together, the parties in the Kendall Station NPDES Appeal showed that a single permit can have a dramatic effect on the restoration of a major urban waterway. The united efforts of these parties over the past two years will help protect the waters of the lower Charles River and Boston Harbor and has resulted in a fund for Charles River habitat restoration projects over the next five years. Furthermore, it will allow the power plant to continue operating economically. Despite significant disputes over the initial NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit given to the Kendall Station Power Plant, the parties were able to come to an agreement. Permit changes will result in a 95 percent reduction in Kendall Station’s heat discharge and cooling water withdrawals. The permit also ends long-standing litigation. Successfully developing a consensus permit required each of the parties to understand the others’ interests. Assimilating these understandings with the requirements of the Clean Water Act, the settlement parties collaborated to develop truly innovative solutions and translate them into permit conditions. These parties being recognized have helped ensure that the river will be a treasured recreational and ecological resource for future generations.
Mount Wachusett Community College
Over the past several months, Mount Wachusett Community College has finished construction of two 1.65-megawatt wind turbines. This project caps a decade of renewable energy initiatives and conservation measures that have slashed the college’s electrical consumption nearly in half, saving the school $4 million while shrinking its carbon footprint. Mount Wachusett Community College exemplifies how an institution can invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and ultimately address the global climate crisis. The two wind turbines are expected to generate 97 percent of the school’s energy demand. Combined with the college’s existing biomass heating, photovoltaic array and solar hot water, Mount Wachusett will produce nearly all of its energy on-site. The energy innovations are integrated into learning experiences for students pursuing green careers. They also elevate awareness campus-wide about the need for alternative energy solutions to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Massachusetts Trial Court Green Team, Chief Justice Robert A. Mulligan, Judge Therese Wright, Linda Rowe, Michael C. O’Loughlin, Michael A. Lane, Sr., Michael Scola and Paul Antoneiwicz, Boston, Mass.
Commercial buildings use approximately 20% of the total energy and 30% of the electricity in this country, accounting for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. The Massachusetts Trial Court System developed a Green Team to reduce their impact on the environment and save taxpayers money by reducing energy use and waste in the Court’s 64 state-owned buildings representing 4.2 million square feet of office space.
Over the past four years the Green Team, led by Chief Justice Robert Mulligan and Team Chair Linda Rowe, has reduced electricity use in FY 2009 by 9 million kWh and energy costs by $2.9 million/year; reduced electricity costs in FY 2010 by an additional $1.5 million /year; implemented a Demand Response Program at 8 large courthouses, resulting in thousands of dollars in revenue that can be used for energy improvements; replaced hundreds of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, saving thousands of dollars annually; introduced a statewide fluorescent bulb and ballast recycling program; and introduced single stream recycling at its facilities, collected over 48,000 pounds of e-waste, saving $42,000.00.
It also has met LEED Plus standards or better for new courthouses in Fall River, Taunton, Salem, and Lowell that will result in a minimum 20% improvement in energy performance over state building code; received an ENERGYSTAR plaque for the Plymouth, MA courthouse; and launched a joint program of Energy Performance Contracting Projects on state-owned courthouses, three projects to plan energy consumption in concert with the Department of Capitol Asset Management making capital investments and repairs that will be paid for with energy savings.
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), Boston, Mass.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), now 25 years old, has effectively and successfully served the 43 cities and towns who depend on it for their water and sewer needs and has played a major role in the revitalization of Boston Harbor, once known as the “dirtiest” in the country. In addition to its efforts to ensure safe drinking water and to upgrade combined sewer overflows in order to protect beaches, shellfish beds and sensitive waters, the MWRA has embraced and implemented clean energy technologies and practices, demonstrating a strong commitment to energy efficiency, renewables and to the environment. With wind, solar, hydro and biogas, MWRA currently utilizes nearly 14 megawatts of renewable energy with 3.7 megawatts more under construction and more on the way. At Deer Island alone, it self-generates 23% of the plant’s electricity needs, and by using the methane produced in sewage treatment, over 50% of the total energy demand. Also at Deer Island, the MWRA installed a 100-kw roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system on the Residual/Odor Control Building, and all power generated is being utilized on-site, providing an annual savings in electrical costs of $11,000. A 180-kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system was installed on the Administration/Warehouse roof in 2009, providing an annual savings in electrical costs of $19,000. In Weston, a new hydroelectric generator that is being installed at the Loring Road covered storage facility will generate 1.2 million kilowatt hours per year and an annual savings in electrical costs of $150,000. It also operates hydroelectric generators where the drinking water enters and leaves the Wachusett Reservoir. At Oakdale, a 3.5 MW turbine generates 13 million kilowatt hours per year and at Cosgrove, two 1.7 MW turbines generate 3 million kilowatt hours per year and provide an annual revenue from electrical sales of $1.1 million. These projects demonstrate the Authority’s ability to combine sound management with innovation and creativity.
Safe Shops Project
Boston Public Health Commission
Auto shops and nail salons use hazardous chemicals in almost every service, and customers, community residents and workers can be exposed to them. These enterprises now are safer places to work in Boston, thanks to the Boston Public Health Commission’s Safe Shops Project. This project developed voluntary and regulatory measures to reduce exposures to hazardous materials in both venues. It worked with businesses, the community and the city to help reduce the challenges facing neighborhoods with more than their share of these businesses. Before 2007, the Safe Shops Project focused primarily on auto body and repair shops. After that, its scope expanded to incorporate nail salons. The project offers safety training, health care referrals and technical assistance, and all is culturally appropriate for businesses mostly owned by immigrants. The Safe Shops Project has trained more than 600 auto shop workers and 300 nail technicians on environmental health and safety. In addition, it has developed an online tool kit for other communities to create their own Safe Shops Project to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives. The project also is developing consumer education tools to help protect clients from exposure. The Boston Public Health Commission’s Safe Shops Project is a community model of public health, community involvement and enforcement that involves and responds to stakeholders’ needs.
Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lawrence, Mass.
Joe Bevilacqua has been a champion of economic development since joining the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce in 1992. He recognized then that the region faced challenges due in part to rising energy costs and realized that if the 1,100 companies in the Chamber cut energy costs, they could remain competitive and be models of corporate social responsibility. As Chamber president and CEO, Joe initiated an annual energy summit focused on the importance of sustainability. He approached Nexamp, a clean energy company and chamber member in 2009, with a goal to help members become more energy efficient. The Chamber and Nexamp together were awarded $500,000 in 2010 from a state energy initiative to fund the newly formed Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce Clean Energy Partnership. Through this partnership, Nexamp offered free energy audits, energy monitoring systems and retro-commissioning studies to 26 businesses. The partnership expects to save companies millions of dollars in energy costs. The 20 chamber companies selected have facilities totaling more than 5,000,000 square feet and paid more than $25 million in energy bills. For the first time in the state, a Chamber of Commerce, a clean energy company, the state government and the local utility companies are working in partnership on energy efficiency.
Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, Wilmington, Mass.
John Warner has helped shape the field of green chemistry using his commitment to human health and a clean environment as well as his industrial track record as a world-class scientist and inventor. This combination allowed him to bring together groups from the environmental health community and industry to focus on designing non-toxic, safer products and processes. As a scientist, John founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry in 2007 in Wilmington, Mass., the first research institution solely dedicated to green chemistry alternative products and processes. In the past year, he has collaborated with numerous industrial partners to invent green chemistry alternative products and processes. He has filed over 150 patents on sustainable alternatives. As an educator, John has helped train a new generation of scientists, and through his non-profit organization Beyond Benign, he has helped create over 250 multilingual lesson plans in sustainability and green chemistry. In the past year, Beyond Benign has brought hands-on activities to more than 3,000 students in New England and trained more than 100 teachers on green chemistry lesson plans. Whether speaking to industrial CEOs, scientists, or first-grade students, John clearly conveys his vision of how to build a sustainable future.
Business, Industry, Trade or Professional Organizations:
Boston Bruins, Boston, Mass.
The Boston Bruins has joined the Rock and Wrap It Up! fight against hunger across the United States and Canada. This past season all 30 of the National Hockey League’s teams, including the Boston Bruins, committed to work with Rock and Wrap it Up! to pack up all prepared but unsold concession food and give it to local shelters and places in need. This season the Bruins donated 4,950 meals and 6,950 pounds of food. Teams with long-established relationships with Rock and Wrap It Up! have donated more than 170,000 meals since 2007. The NHL is the first sports league to have all its member clubs participate in Rock and Wrap It Up! The project was founded by Syd Mandelbaum, a forensic scientist who in 1991 combined his love of music with a passion for wiping out hunger by redistributing leftover food from rock concerts. The program now works with more than 150 bands, 200 schools and universities and 50 sports franchises. It has collected more than 100 million pounds of food to feed more than 200 million people.
Boston Properties, Boston, Mass.
One of the largest owners and developers of office properties in the city, Boston Properties, has made sustainability a cornerstone of its corporate practices. The company has shown that business leaders can change the way that they operate to protect the environment, while remaining competitive. Boston Properties, headquartered in the Prudential Center, works with tenants to manage energy, control lighting, conserve and reduce water use and achieve other energy efficiencies. An example is the soon-to-be-complete green skyscraper project at Atlantic Wharf, which is seeking the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating for components of the project. They include incorporating an historic property into the larger development; capturing rainwater on the roof and diverting 12.5 million gallons of water; and recycling 86 percent of construction material. Boston Properties is one of the leading property owners participating in Boston’s annual Lights Out Boston program in which property owners and management firms voluntarily turn off or dim architectural and inside lighting at night during bird migration seasons. This effort protects birds and reduces nighttime energy use. Boston Properties has set an example by demonstrating the simple steps that can be taken to ensure a greener, more prosperous and sustainable Boston.
Save That Stuff, Inc., Boston, Mass.
Last year, Save That Stuff, a pioneer in providing a composting service in the Boston area, made significant achievements in its efforts to achieve a zero waste region. It added a compost collection truck, opened a new material recycling facility and partnered with the local high school’s green engineering program. In partnership with the City of Cambridge in 2008, it launched its compost collection program. With its new truck, Save That Stuff can collect up to 30 tons of materials a day from some 250 customers. Its new 10,000-square-foot recycling facility on the Boston waterfront helped it to ‘green’ more than 75 events, including the First Annual Boston Local Food Festival. In its second year of working with the Boston Marathon, the organization achieved a 94 percent diversion rate. It partnered with the Newton North “Greengineers” Program to provide recycled materials for students to find uses for non-recyclable items. With used vegetable oil, students built equipment to make small amounts of biodiesel and now produce biodiesel and sell it back to Save That Stuff. Students also made, and now sell, bags from large banners generated from shows at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
Waves Car Wash, West Roxbury, Mass.
Waves Car Wash, located in West Roxbury, Mass., is not only an environmentally friendly business but also works to educate the public on ways to conserve natural resources. It is an example of a local business that has chosen to embrace green technology and practices responsible environmental stewardship. Owner Adam Korngold demonstrated a strong environmental ethic and is committed to promoting the use of green technology. Last August, Waves Car Wash installed a $220,000 PV system to generate 20% of its electrical needs and celebrated going green by hosting an environmental fair to demonstrate the PV technology. The company participated in the ASES national solar tour last fall, with a booth educating customers of the benefits and the affordability of PV systems. Waves Car Wash also uses energy efficient motors tied to Variable Frequency Drives, which reduces the electrical usage. In regard to water conservation, the company installed a water reclamation system that reduces its water consumption to 20 gallons per car, compared with 100 gallons of water used during a home driveway wash. It has three 1500-gallon water reclaim tanks that store wastewater that is pumped through two filters and injected with ozone to kill bacteria. The cleaned reclaim water is pumped onto cars through certain stages, including the high pressure arch and under-wash. This car wash uses about 20 gallons of water per car, which is about the equivalent of a 30-minute shower.
President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA)
Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network
Boston Latin School students founded the Youth Climate Action Network (Youth CAN) in 2007 after watching the movie An Inconvenient Truth. BLS Youth CAN was the first and founding group of a growing network of after-school, extra-curricular environmental climate change clubs.
BLS Youth CAN’s major initiatives include a statewide education for sustainability campaign and corresponding curriculum initiative, a free annual climate change summit at MIT for youth and educators, a growing network of Youth Climate Action member clubs in MA schools, a shared green roof and community learning center proposal that students developed in partnership with Studio G Architects, and a comprehensive sustainable food program working with Farm to School, a local chef, and parents.
The students act to address issues of global climate change and promote sustainability in their school and communities. They engage in extensive educational outreach and host numerous events for students and teachers. They are demonstrating a model for greening middle and high school campuses and curriculum, and are promoting a network capable of fostering youth leadership statewide.
In the four years since BLS Youth CAN was created, the students have:
• organized and hosted an annual climate summit at MIT. The 5th Annual Summit will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 in the Stata Center at MIT. Colin Beavan, the “No Impact Man” will deliver the keynote.
• proposed a green roof and community learning center to be shared with other schools (launched in the fall of 2009)
• conducted an energy audit and energy assessments for the Boston Latin School (December of 2008) and established Boston Latin School Youth CAN as a model for schools that want to green their facilities
• distributed ten $1,000 climate action grants to other groups to promote teen-led climate action projects and the growth of the youth network (June 2009, thanks to a grant from the National Wildlife Federation)
• hosted an annual fall kickoff for the Youth Climate Action Network (Green Roof Block Party October 2009, Sustainable Food Fair November 2010)
• launched a statewide education for sustainability campaign (June 2008)
• organized an Annual Teach-In on global climate change solutions at the Boston Latin School
• established a network that now includes 20 member groups across Massachusetts
• brought together 34 teachers from 17 schools for a week-long sustainability training in July 2010 at which curriculum was developed for a 7-12 sustainability pilot currently being implemented at the Boston Latin School. A second Summer Institute on Sustainability for educators will take place in July 2011.
• planted a culinary garden at the school and worked with Farm to School to bring fresh, local produce to the cafeteria weekly
• won tens of thousands of dollars in grants, competitions, and prizes
• held the only youth position on the year-long Climate Action Leadership Committee convened by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (2009/2010)
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