YES! Quarterly
Summer 2016

We are excited to enter the 10th season of YES! and welcome our new staff and partner as we expand statewide while also honoring the awesome work of YES! teams over the past season.

Join us in celebrating all that YES! has accomplished in the last 9 years as well as what we will accomplish in the future!  
The YES! Staff

Celebrating Team AccomplishmentsTeamAccomplishments

This year teams:
  • Recycled over 17,000 pounds.
  • Organized and participated in over 55 educational events in their schools and communities.
  • Engaged over 1,000 volunteers who contributed over 15,000 hours of service.
  • Built and maintained 20 school gardens/greenhouses.
  • 20 teams did recycling projects in their schools and communities.
  • Implemented 15 projects related to water quality and conservation.
All YES! teams demonstrated that students are the catalyst for change in their communities!

YES! Awards
Congratulations to all of our teams for their hard work this season! As the school year concluded, YES! teams showed off their projects to judges and we handed out over 20 awards. Here are this year's All-Star Team Award Winners:

Central Cohort: Albany 
Collected 300 pounds of shoes, over 100 pounds of holiday lights, and 400 pounds of aluminum cans for recycling. Planned and hosted a community-wide event about climate change with Climate Generation. Hosted an environmental week for their school.

Northeast Cohort: Carlton
Built an aquaponics system, which they used to grow lettuce and basil. Partnered with their special education department to design and build four recycling stations for their school. Began an advertising campaign to empower students to recycle. Installed a school pallet-garden.

West Central Cohort: New London-Spicer
Worked to protect water ways through a tree trench living filtration system and educational pieces. Focused on local foods through growing and harvesting at their school.  Collected 93 pounds of holiday lights for recycling, hosted a YES! week, and more.

Southern Cohort: Westbrook-Walnut Grove
Designed and built solar pop can heaters and trombe walls, continued to check school trash cans for recyclables weekly, enter city energy data into the B3 database, and maintain the used oil collection site in Westbrook. Collected 207,056 pop tabs and 26,800 plastic bags for recycling.

New Staff and PartnerNewStaffPartner

A sincere thank you goes out to Saint John's Outdoor University for being a wonderful partner during the past YES! season, and especially to YES! Coordinator Sarah Gainey. We will miss her but wish her all of the best in her future endeavors!  You can read more about her farewell and why she feels YES! is such an important program on the YES! blog.

YES! is excited to announce a new partnership with Lakes Country Service Cooperative (LCSC), which will form a new Northwest Cohort to aid in our expansion of the program statewide. LCSC is a public, non-profit agency in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It was created by the legislature to provide regional services to school districts, local government, and non-profit organizations. LCSC is at the forefront of providing innovative educational programming and services designed to support school and student success. YES! is looking forward to partnering with LCSC and our new Northwest Coordinator Emily Stawarski.

YES! is Going StatewideENRTF
YES! is excited to announce an award of $400,000 for the next two seasons of YES! from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). This funding allows the program to be offered to schools statewide. In addition, we will have our inaugural statewide competition, recognizing a YES! team with exceptional impact on reducing their environmental footprint.

The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.  We are grateful for the continued support from our legislators!

Did You Know...ClimateGen
During June, Southern YES! Coordinator Katelyn Larsen attended Climate Generation's Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. She indicated that her favorite highlight came on Day 3 when the group engaged in citizen science activities. Read about her full reflections from the institute here!
In This Issue
Team Accomplishments
YES! Awards
New Staff and Partner
YES! Statewide
Did You Know...
Quick Links

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YES! empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects.
YES! provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices and exposes them to how science is applied in real life.

YES! Program Partners 


   Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center 














Major Program Funders  








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