We're Currently Seeking Partnerships!

Phipps is looking for institutions for our Youth Climate Advocacy Committee to partner with this fall! If your institution has a youth-led group that is passionate about climate change and environmental justice, we would like to connect, share resources and ultimately work together to make a difference. If you're interested, contact Jennifer Torrance at jtorrance@phipps.conservatory.org.

Would you like to start a youth-led climate advocacy program at your institution? Let us help you! The Wild Center's Climate Action Plan Facilitator Guide provides a trove of resources for creating a youth-driven climate action project.

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is pleased to offer a youth-led climate advocacy program for highly motivated high school and college-age youth who are passionate about climate change and environmental justice. Youth on the committee develop and implement environment-related projects of their choice within the Pittsburgh community. Committee members also meet and work with other passionate youth, build leadership and project planning skills, learn about environmental and climate justice, and delve deeper into their favorite environmental topics. The program also offers opportunities to learn from experts in the diverse fields of sustainability, environmental and climate sciences. 

Youth Climate Advocacy Committee

The Youth Climate Advocacy Committee is comprised of two leaders, two to four team leads and 15-20 youth climate advocates. The committee meets on Monday evenings during the school year from October to April and ends with a final showcase of advocacy projects in mid to late April. Committee members commit to the full program duration, including meetings and tasks averaging 2 – 4 hours per week. Committee members are compensated with quarterly stipends. Because we have a limited number of stipends, youth who are not chosen for paid positions in the committee may be offered unpaid YCAC ambassador positions.

2023-2024 Committee Plans and Events

  • Hosting virtual Youth Climate Summits to connect youth across the country
  • Attending Communitopia's Pittsburgh Youth Climate Action Summit
  • Hosting Youth Eco-Action Showcase to celebrate and share our climate advocacy work

Engage with Our Projects!

  • A photojournalism project documenting every discarded plastic water bottle found: Our Water Bottles.
  • A budget-friendly, sustainable foods cookbook
  • Environmental education lessons on different types of pollution
  • For information about air pollution-related legislation and the longstanding climate policy history in our Pittsburgh community and nation, please visit the Climate Policy webpage.

The 2022-2023 Committee developed nine different climate action and environmental justice projects with a wide variety of topics: a photojournalism project about plastic pollution, an environmental justice project donating filters to protect Homewood residents from lead water piping, education about native pollinator plants and plant and seed bomb giveaways, a youth literary magazine, a podcast about sustainable living, a guide to creating change in schools, a DIY rain barrel and urban gardening project, and sustainable fashion project including sewing workshops and a youth fashion show. 

The 2021-2022 Committee developed projects on environmental education, food systems and sustainable fashion. The environmental education project focuses on bringing knowledge about environmental issues to middle school students, highlighting the importance of being informed from a young age. The food systems project looks at how we can make a positive climate impact with our diets while also eating delicious and budget-friendly meals. The sustainable fashion project aims to bring attention to the immense impact that fast fashion has on climate change and promote stylish looks that are better for the planet. 

How to Apply for the Committee

Applications for the 2023-2024 committee are due by Wed., Sept 20, 2023 at 11:59pm.

We are looking for a diverse group with a wide range of skills and interests, especially in the areas of the arts, science, technology, sustainability, education, and community outreach. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age and fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to apply. Applicants should be high school or college-aged and do not have to be currently enrolled in school to apply. 

YCAC Member Application

Contact Us

If you have any questions, you may wish to contact the YCAC Coordinator Jennifer Torrance at jtorrance@phipps.conservatory.org.

Follow us on Instagram! The Youth Climate Advocacy Committee (and our EcoLeader Academy summer program) have our own Instagram account @phippsYCAC.