2016-2017 YES! Teams

YES! Teams

We are excited about what these YES! teams accomplished during the 2016-2017 school year!

If you want to join this great network of YES! teams for the 2017-2018 season, contact us at sayyes@youthenergysummit.org


 Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC)

Newly completed tree trench at ACGC

  • Completed their tree trench project from 2015-16 and plantted shrubbery.  This project was part of a $25,000 grant the team received through the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District for a tree trench and permeable paver storm drain piping project at their elementary school.
  • Collected holiday lights for recycling.
  • Collected over 130 lbs. of shoes for WorldWear fundraiser.
  • Planned an Arbor Day climate change education and tree trench dedication event.
  • Replaced parking lot lights with LED
  • Planned to replace paper towels in the bathrooms to hand dryers.
Belle Plaine
  • This was a new team!
  • Inaugural night hike to gain appreciation for creatures and nature at night
  • Organized a sleep out to raise awareness of homelessness in winter
  • Assisted Ney Nature Center with hands-on improvements
  • Recycling education, recycling program expansion, school garden
Cherry (Iron)
  • Designed an electric go-kart.  You can find out more information about that project here.
Discovery Middle School (Alexandria)
  • This was a new team!
  • Got a project ready to go.
  • Did a lot of work on their school garden.
Discovery Woods Montessori (Brainerd)
  • Learned how to teach water conservation to younger students in the school and provided tips on how to conserve water at school and at home.
  • Built rain barrels to use for watering their school garden.
Forest Lake
  • This was a new team!
  • Stadium cleanup after homecoming football game.
  • Planted a  pollinator garden.
  • Held a booth at Ag Day in their school to educate students on the importance of pollinator plants.
  • Participated iin Lobby Day in the cities to present the need for funding environmental clubs and the environment in general.
  • Worked toward reusable silverware for the school.
  • Focused heavily on waste reduction  through education, recycling, and reducing plastic utensil use in the cafeteria.
  • Recycled holiday lights.
  • Grew plants in milk cartons to give away at their Earth Day table.
  • Had games and prizes at a lunch table for Earth Day to educate fellow students while having fun.
  • Expanded the school recycling program to include 4 large bins in common areas and 48 more small blue bins for classrooms.
Glencoe-Silver Lake
  • Built a tiny house with off grid capabilities (i.e. solar panels) that will be up for sale in January!
  • Built a solar boat to compete with in the 25th Annual MRES Solar Boat Regatta.
Lac qui Parle Valley
  • Helped their watershed district create charts and graphs of water quality from previous years.
  • Successfully planted and harvested in their green house.
  • Collected holiday lights for recycling.
  • Worked on a device to collect rain/snow from their greenhouse roof to use for watering plants to save money.
  • Collected shoes for WorldWear fundraiser.
Mankato West
  • Helped switch from styrofoam to compostable trays at a local elementary and middle school.
  • Participated in community awareness for composting at the local Plate to Garden event.
  • Finalized a composting education video for area elementary schools and providing education to the students on the process of composting.
  • Worked to reduce waste in elementary schools in their region.
  • Created an automatically updating website to display data from the school’s energy monitoring system.
  • Prepared for additional hydration station implementation.
  • Built bat boxes to put in their community and raise awareness of declining populations of Northern Long-Eared bats due to White Nose Syndrome.
  • Distributied new light bulbs.
  • Examined the use of power in their classroom lighting.
  • Continued to recycle in their school.
Minnesota New Country School
  • Educated the elementary students with Xcel Energy kits
  • Collected data to determine how much waste the school is generating
  • Created an education program to impact and reduce their waste
  • Worked on a recycling program and building a greenhouse for our elementary school
New London-Spicer
  • Worked to reduce food waste in their school by meeting with the school nutritionist for new meal taste testing.
  • Successfully planted and harvested in their green house.
  • Planted apple trees in the spring
  • Completed a vitality week which included awareness days for water, recycling, local foods, and ending with trivia.
  • Constructed bat houses as an integrated pest management program.
  • Planned to construct an outdoor education teaching dock.
New Prague ALC
  • This was new team!
  • Designed a rain collection system to water pollinator garden.
  • Proposed playscape design elements for the local nature center.
  • Planned a pollinator garden for the new school.
  • Facilitated orienteering course at local nature center to integrate nature into an educational activity.
  • Worked on energy conservation in New Prague schools by installing reminders to turn off lights when not in use.
  • Raised funds for a rain garden by making and selling candles.
  • Established a rooftop garden by building and placing garden boxes on the roof of the high school.
  • Sold hot chocolate and seed bombs
  • Researched where their recyclables went
  • Recycled pop cans for money
  • Created and distributed informational pages around their school
  • Facilitated a shoe drive to be both donated and recycled depending on their condition
  • Looked into replacing disposable silverware and installing milk dispensers in the high school cafeteria
  • Collected old cell phones for recycling.
  • Researched recycling categories to implement a common recycling station along with an informative slideshow
  • Researched feasibility of a simple compost bin at their school
New Ulm Middle School
  • This was a new team!
  • Thought heavily about food waste at their school.  Looked into having a ‘share’ table at lunch where unwanted fruits like apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges can serve another purpose.
  • Raised awareness of how much recycling currently happens in their school and what they can do to improve recycling rates.
  • Found that 27 rooms wanted bigger recycling bins, and worked to secure larger bins for each classroom.
  • Researched and set up worm bins to create an alternative destination for food waste.
Northeast Range (Babbitt)
  • Planned several environmental education activities to present to area elementary schools.
Northern Lights Community School (Warba)
  • Water education for younger students, school garden


  • Collected recycling for the middle and high school on a weekly basis.
  • Planned to install another hydration station closer to their gym.
  • Helped influence the interest in adding in a STEM designated teaching facility at their school.
  • Created green classrooms within their school through recycling and energy improvements.
Sartell- St. Stephen Middle School
  • Developed a water quality curriculum they will use to teach younger students.
Sleepy Eye (Public and St. Mary’s)
  • Participated in local community events including Party in the Park and Corn Days to spread awareness of the YES! team and to educate the community on important environmental topics.
  • Planted trees in their community.
  • Looked into providing water quality monitoring for a tributary of the Cottonwood River.
  • Collected school supplies at locker clean out day that can be reused.
  • Sold hot chocolate, cider, and treats at the local Lights in Motion event and helped the organization set up.
  • Monitored the staff appliances in the school district using Kill-o-watt meters to determine a fair cost per appliance based on energy use.
  • Educated staff and administration about energy consumption of various appliances.
  • Recycled holiday lights.
  • Worked to reduce and eventually eliminate styrofoam use in the cafeteria
  • Organized a movie and pizza night with the showing of Leonardo DeCaprio’s recent documentary
  • Participated in the high school paper recycling pickup
  • Entered B3 benchmarking data and determinined which buildings need assistance with reducing resource waste
  • Recycled shoes through World Wear
  • Utilized TerraCycle to recycle items that aren’t accepted into their current recycling system
  • Provided education using an energy trailer from Get Into Energy for Earth Day
  • Visited classrooms to educate students using energy kits for Earth Day
  • Sold dirt cups and solar power made popcorn for Earth Day
  • Created pollinator gardens as landscaping at the new convention center
  • Recycled holiday lights.
  • Conducted a pop tab drive and will be donating all pop tabs collected to the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Looked to install milk dispensers at their school
  • Added recycling bins to each classroom and made an educational video to be shown to the school on using them properly. Signs will also be made to insure proper use.
  • Created multiple videos on a variety of environmentally important topics for peers to view in class.
  • Facilitated a 5K Fun Run with a trail that winds along past YES! projects and informational signage. Proceeds from this run went to water.org.
St. Cloud North Junior High
  • This was a new team!
  • Were interested in restoring shoreline of Silver Lake.
  • Were interested in starting a composting program in their lunchroom.
 Westbrook-Walnut Grove
  • Upkeep on past projects including the wind turbine and oil recycling.
  • Sorted through and documenting the school’s recycling efforts.
  • Added recycling bins in the school.
  • Hosted a volunteer day in their community where they raked leaves.  Read more about that here.
  • Gave presentations to elementary students about water use and conservation.
  • Continued their solar pop can heater project from 2015-16 and tested different colors of paint to see which was more effective.
  • Researched how to run a diesel engine on vegetable oil.
  • Worked on creating a recycling depot where members of their community can recycle plastic bags, aluminum cans, and oil.
  • Met with local service organizations to see what need the community had for sustainable projects
  • Expanded pop tab collection into their community. There is currently 5-6 sites in the school and students placed 5 more in the community at local businesses.
  • Inherited the city’s can recycling to expand their existing oil and plastic bag recycling station
  • Conducted tire pressure checks on teachers’ cars and left a note indicating the environmental impact and gas wasted from improperly inflated tires.
  • This was a new team!
  • Provided labor to construct a recycling center that will serve over 500 rural residents in Carlton County.
Yellow Medicine East

Green house construction at YME

  • Planned on transferring crops from the LED greenhouse at their school to the lunchroom.
  • Planned to adopt a storm drain.
  • Looked into installing another hydration station in their gym.
  • Researched composting with worms from agriculture classes.
  • Collected shoes for WorldWear fundraiser.