Live Green: Youth Environmental Action Summit
SALISBURY, MD- The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University helps give students a platform to showcase their environmental work. It’s all part of the Youth Environmental Action Summit. The third annual event was recently held virtually – and this week on Live Green I caught up with two people involved to learn more.
Greener fields and cleaner water, long-term environmental goals that can all start in the minds of students right here on the Lower Shore. The Youth Environmental Action Summit pushes students in grades 3 through 12 to research environmental issues in their communities all year long. They can then present those ideas at the one day summit. For Aurelio Giannitti, one of the event’s co-directors, the most important part is that the students are working together.
“It’s the collaborative aspect. It’s the coming together and collective power that I think they are all recognizing. They are part of this movement. And together they can do amazing things,” stated Giannitti.
Plus, the students work with the event organizers and local organizations, like the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, to facilitate the event. The co-director of the Summit tells us that Sara-elah Hoffman, a student ambassador for the event, was part of two projects presented this year. One of those projects was the Adopt a Drain Program in Salisbury.
“The idea is that they are trying to get members of the Camden community area to adopt some of the storm drains there,” explained Giannitti.
And these residents would keep the storm drains clean to prevent flooding. Sara-elah also organized a group of volunteers to build a rain garden at Wicomico County High School. It’s purpose is to filter pollutants from run off water and reduce standing water in the school yard after prolonged rainfall.
“I ended up getting a group together, some people from my school and some people who are not. We really wanted to do a project to make a difference at the school and building a community within the school as well,” said Sara-elah Hoffman.
The best part: seven of those projects are being awarded funding this year after presenting at the Youth Environmental Action Summit and two of which were Sara-elah’s. The Lower Shore will benefit from those projects as early as the next couple of months, reminding us that even small ideas can make a big difference.
The Youth Environmental Action Summit had over 200 participants this year, which was more than their in-person event last year. To get involved and find more information, please visit visit their website. Or connect with the Summit on Instagram (@y.e.a.summit).
And if you know a green business on Delmarva, please send their contact information to Meteorologist Sloane Haines.