The new school year is just under way and YEA! MN is already hard at work. We kicked off the fall season with the YEA! MN Student Action Training to shake of the summer dust and get students geared up as critical leaders in their school communities. Eleven students from 7 different Twin Cities high schools spent their last Saturday afternoon of the summer learning new tools to empower their success as youth organizers in their school environmental clubs.
The 2014 YEA! MN Retreat was definitely the best team bonding experience we’ve had so far this year. We’ve gained many new members compared to last year and over one night we became very close. We decided as a group we would take a trip to the Lake Country Land School Farm in Wisconsin. Our first day on the farm we got a tour of the farm and later on got to plant various types of squash and pumpkin. It’s safe to say we are the fastest planters YEA! MN has ever seen. During the planting process we were able to get to know each other more which made it more of a bonding experience.
Early last fall, Minneapolis South High School’s environmental group, the Green Tigers, decided that a worthy project to pursue would be the installation of water bottle filling stations, affectionately coined “Hydration Stations”. Our school, although legally unable to sell unhealthy snacks or soda in vending machines, continues to sell bottled water, which students buy regularly. Many students buy a bottle daily, which is both a waste of financial and natural resources. Our hope with installing hydration stations was that students would be motivated to bring a reusable bottle to fill with fresh and free water. However, installing a hydration station is expensive and time-consuming.
Thursday afternoon April 3rd, 300 protesters from across the Great Lakes region from multiple generations, marched with high spirits through the final fits of winter, to a contested case hearing, holding Enbridge on trial to re-examine the need to expand tar sands infrastructure, specifically Line 67, the Alberta Clipper, which would transport 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day across MN to Lake Superior. Young people brought their creative energy with chanting, drumming, and a pipeline puppet masquerade, which brought to life the speeches from organizers and respected community leaders at the send-off from Kellogg Park.
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