45 Museum Drive
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
United States
Why we are involved:

The mission of The Wild Center is to Ignite an enduring passion for the Adirondacks where people and nature can thrive together and set an example for the world. Inherent in that mission is our dedication to climate education and action. For the last six years The Wild Center has produced and hosted the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, a two-day gathering of students from area high schools, colleges, and universities to discuss climate change and regional solutions.  The Summit has grown to encompass a full-year program with outreach, educational and leadership opportunities for students. The Wild Center also promotes sustainability in its public interface through programs and initiatives, as well as internally among staff and museum-wide operations.


"Create Your Own Youth Climate Summit" Toolkit:


Twitter: Follow us @ADKYouthSummit, use #ADKYouthSummit


The Wild Center is deeply committed to understanding and helping our varied audiences appreciate the gravity of current changes in the Earth’s climate and our potential responses.

  • -The Wild Center’s Adirondack Youth Climate Summit is an event that engages approximately 200 students annually and motivates participants to make sustainable choices and tackle climate change in their schools and communities. To date over 1000 students at 50 schools have been reached directly.

  • -The Wild Center is working with the Association of Science Technology Centers to scale up this Youth Climate Summit Initiative by encouraging new Summit locations in the United States and internationally.

  • -The Wild Center is a Green Building Demonstration Site, meaning that our facilities provide a modern, year-round example of sustainable design. The Wild Center is the first museum in New York state to earn LEED certification. The entire green building system is interpreted and used as part of the museum experience.   It is also used as a demonstration site for green technology-focused school programs and as an inspiring setting for convening builders, developers, architects.

  • -Our "Science on a Sphere" exhibit is used to communicate climate science by using datasets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) research.  This exhibit is available daily as a means of educating visitors about the Earth's climatic systems.

  • - We are committed to promoting best practices in climate interpretation with our staff and visitors.


Adirondack Youth Climate Program:

-In May, twelve students from the Youth Climate Summit leadership team presented at the YouthCAN Summit at MIT in Boston. The students also had a chance to visit the New England Aquarium and learn about impacts of climate change on coastal communities.

-This past spring, the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) and the Adirondack Youth Climate Team presented at four high schools reaching more than 2,000 students. We also collaborated to host a one-day Youth Climate leadership training for 25 students from six schools at the Shipman Youth Center in Lake Placid.

-The Wild Center team showed The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change – a documentary film highlighting the annual Youth Summit – at “SAM Fest” – a Science, Art and Music Festival hosted by Paul Smith’s College after the film won the Colorado Environmental Film Festival best documentary; was a finalist at the New England Film Festival Emmy Awards, and was recently screened at the New Jersey Film Festival.

Youth Climate Summits Beyond The Wild Center/ The “Scale Up Initiative”:

-The Youth Climate Summit team traveled to Toronto for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training, an initiative we were selected to participate in. We were inspired by Al Gore and the Canadian scientists and government officials, and we learned the nuances of climate change communication and presentation. We were also able to connect and network with climate leaders from around the world, spreading our Youth Climate Summit model.

-We’re currently drafting a proposal to present a panel on youth climate education at the UN Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris this December. We’re working closely with with the Association of Science- Technology Centers (ASTC), The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) and the Department of Energy on this project.

-In addition to presenting at UN COP 21, we are also exploring having another presentation at the science center Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris during COP 21.

-Saranac Lake High School Science teacher Shannon Bartholomew has been accepted to attend the Paris talks through Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

-The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit Program was also highlighted as a commitment in support of The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy’s Climate Education and Literacy Initiative. As a part of this initiative, we hope to support Youth Climate Summits in at least 10 new locations and we’ve created an online Youth Climate Summit Toolkit ( ) to help other schools and organizations plan and implement Summits in their communities.

-We had the opportunity to present a webinar about convening youth on climate change at the U.S. Department of Energy on Earth Day in April 2015. Summit alumni Erin Weaver and Meadow Hackett contributed to our presentation in Washington, D.C.

-We are working on mentoring new Youth Climate Summits in Detroit, Seattle and the Catskills as well as Vermont. We are also exploring a number of other summit sites including: South Africa, Colorado, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

-The Youth Climate Summit Initiative has been highlighted on the following websites: Earthday Network, National Green Schools Society, National Green Schools Alliance, Climate Access, Climate Interpreter, Association of Science Technology Centers, and NOAA’s