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Climate Change Agents innovate, collaborate to prepare for impacts

If you needed to build a refugee camp for a town of wildfire evacuees, how would you create buildings, waste treatment strategies and a water filtration system from scratch?

These, among many questions, prompted youth to explore hands-on solutions at the 2021 Climate Change Agents camp.

Some projects were inspired not only by this year’s theme, Kinship, but by the parallels between local issues and real-world transformations witnessed in the developing nations of their many fellow change agents abroad.



For example, a Liberian girl’s water filtration system saved her community from dysentery after a recent flood.

In a nearby county, students striving to electrify elders’ homes — first with batteries and then with solar — saved a man from stepping on a black cobra by providing the gift of light.



Some schools, these past few weeks and months, started movements to amend climate-based health disparities or to improve food security through sustainable agricultural initiatives to feed the vulnerable.

Each team of Nevada County youth addressed one of these issues by pursuing an innovative and locally relevant adaptation to a climate change impact, such as growing food in a drought or helping people displaced by a disaster or preventing health issues for those who cannot go to the doctor after a fire.

Using nature’s models of collaboration and kinship to observe how species support one another in adapting to climate impacts, the students demonstrated the value of mutual assistance, inside and outside of camp. Ultimately, they sent videos of their wisdom exchange ideas to their extended “family” abroad. On the final day, they also taught their strategies to local community members at the Nevada City Farmers Market, singing to invite people to learn new ideas at their exhibit.

Climate justice issues and discussions of legacies inspired one project in which they honored the late Peggy Baldwin, who had, each day, fed birds of all species, without distinction. Their own bird drawings now appear on a bench made of milk jugs, in Peggy’s memorial garden, which they presented to her widower, Don Baldwin. As African peers had fetched plastic from beaches with signs advocating “One ocean, one world, one climate, one future,” these youth had searched for ways to make every act of kindness bring oneness for members of their human family and the family of living things.

The scholarship-based Climate Change Agents Camp is presented by Nevada County Climate Action Now and Full-Circle Learning, with additional sponsorship from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, Sierra Foothills Audubon and Earth Justice Ministries.

This year’s change agents learned from many community mentors: Sol Learning Center’s Travis Duckworth, Woolman Farm’s Malaika Bishop, science teacher Lily Ning, musicians Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson, artists Rene Sprattling and Susie Steinbarth, with materials from Haute Trash and assistance from Liam Nielson at the Curious Forge, Briar Patch’s Lauren Scott, and also with help from special presenters: Tower garden advocate Lori Trowbridge, health advocate Dr. Chris Newsom, plastics advocate Shirley Freriks, climate refugee advocate Olivia Carson and birders Rudy Darling and Don Rivenes.

Stella Reeves, Jennifer Rivenes, Paxx Weidert, Baellen Carson, Savannah Delgado, Finlay McCulloch, and Taj Daunch-Greenberg, caught in a moment of song, beckon the audience to learn about new adaptations to climate change.
Provided photo
Don Baldwin rested on the milk-jug bench honoring the late Peggy Baldwin, etched with birds made by the Climate Change Agents Camp scholarship recipients: Logan House, Stella Reeves, Savannah Delgado, Darren Fisher, and Tanner Delgado (back row); Taj Daunch-Greenberg, Baellen Caron, Jennifer Rivenes, Liana Trowbridge and Finlay McCulloch (front row); and Paxx Wiedert.(not pictured).
Provided photo
Counselor Logan House showcases “The Family Tree,” a treehouse replica of life-size experimentations with clay and straw building materials, water filtration and other sustainable systems.
Provided photo
Taj Daunch-Greenberg became an aficionado on food security methods that use little land or water, sharing the information in one of five videos that the group sent to various African nations. He also edited the videos.
Provided photo

 


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