The City of Flagstaff Sustainability Section held their first Youth Climate Summit at the Arboretum of Flagstaff and the adjacent Merriam-Powell Research Station on Monday, April 30th. Sam Salgado, Climate Aide, professionally completed what past-STEM VISTA member Larrea Cottingham had initiated and ran the event with Sustainability Specialist Jenny Niemann and with support from the City's Water Conservation Program.
Eight student groups from schools and after-school clubs have worked for months on their entries to the Youth Climate Challenge and five of the groups were able to present their work to judges Councilman Jim McCarthy and City Water Specialist Tamara Lawless. The projects included:
After the impressive and professional presentations, the students walked back to the Arboretum for lunch and listened to a guest presentation by Grand Canyon Trust's Uplift Coordinator Eva Malis, sharing how youth do have power and celebrating the efforts they have already made.
After lunch, the students rotated between two workshops - Gardening with Native Plants, and Climate Action Planning. Each team received a certificate at the end of the event. Many thanks to the Arboretum for hosting the event and to the Dr. Kristin Haskins, Coreen Walsh, and other Arboretum staff for assisting with the workshops!