Toolkit for Student Leaders

The Wild Hometown Movement is an alliance of place-based, youth-powered environmental clubs and educational programs whose goal is to empower the next generation of environmental leaders. Working on a local scale, student leaders connect youth to the natural world in their college towns and their own hometowns by inspiring young people to be advocates and champions for natural landscapes in the future. The Wild Hometown Movement was founded by college students who are passionate about sharing the natural world and protecting the environment with their peers.

Click image above to view the ToolkitClick image above to view the ToolkitIn collaboration with the Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE), the Wild Hometown Movement has designed a toolkit to help college and/or high school students start their own place-based, youth-powered environmental group where they live or go to school. 

The Wild Hometown Toolkit can help students build a collaborative environmental organization by providing steps to start a Wild Hometown chapter in their community, build a campus organization, and connect with local youth and with local partners involved in land conservation, environmental education, and biodiversity.

Connecting Wild Hometown Chapters Across New England

As more Wild Hometown chapters are created, ALPINE will assist in forming a network of student groups that will host events, provide support systems and resources for Wild Hometown chapters and conservation projects.

Through ALPINE-sponsored annual conferences and days of sharing, students will present their efforts to one another, giving Wild Hometown chapters an opportunity to collaborate and advance larger environmental goals. These points of collaboration and sharing will also give members an opportunity to learn about careers in conservation and chances to network with professionals in the field. In addition, ALPINE will help connect groups to larger-scale conservation networks such as the Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network in New England. RCPs are informal networks of people representing private and public organizations and agencies that develop and implement a shared conservation vision across town and sometimes state and international boundaries. RCPs in New England and eastern New York play an increasingly important role in achieving large landscape-scale conservation that is firmly woven into the needs and interests of the local communities.

Please contact us for any assistance or questions, Jacob Freedman: jafreedman@middlebury.edu, Oscar Psychas: opsychas@middlebury.edu, or Marianne Jorgensen: mjorgensen@lincolninst.edu. We are available to speak by phone, email, or come to your campus to help you start a group.

⇒Click here for additional resources

⇒Click here for more information about the Wild Hometown Movement

First-year students from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Orientation Trip make a campfire with local elementary school students in the Middlebury Area Land Trust after-school program.First-year students from a Middlebury College Community Engagement Orientation Trip make a campfire with local elementary school students in the Middlebury Area Land Trust after-school program. WildMidd and elementary school students collect citizen science data together about amphibian egg masses in vernal pools across Vermont.WildMidd and elementary school students collect citizen science data together about amphibian egg masses in vernal pools across Vermont. WildMidd goes out each spring on the ‘Big Night,’ the first warm and rainy evening, to help salamanders migrate across busy roads to wetlands and vernal pools.WildMidd goes out each spring on the ‘Big Night,’ the first warm and rainy evening, to help salamanders migrate across busy roads to wetlands and vernal pools.

QUOTES FROM WILDMIDD MEMBERS

“I joined WildMidd because I wanted to find people who also loved the outdoors and shared a passion for protecting our environment. My expectations were exceeded by the amazing people I met who did everything they could to make me feel welcome and comfortable to share my own thoughts and contribute to the club. I look forward to going on more adventures with WildMidd in the future!” ~ Lucia Snyderman, Middlebury College student

WildMidd plays an essential role in raising environmental awareness on Middlebury’s campus. For one, publicity about WildMidd’s projects informs a broader range of Middlebury students about crucial conservation topics such as the emerald ash borer. Even more importantly, I believe that WildMidd presents an invaluable chance for students to conduct hands-on environmental conservation work while experiencing the joy and fulfillment that comes with personally doing something benefiting both nature and the communities intertwined with it. The existence of such a club as WildMidd at Middlebury College should serve as a role model for other institutions, to whose communities environmental issues might not feel as important — but should be” ~ Mark Ozboyd, Middlebury College student

RECENT NEWS

4/28/20

WildMidd, the student group at Middlebury College just received the 2020 The Engaged Partnership Award, a Public Service Leadership Award at Middlebury College. The Middlebury College Public Service Leadership Awards honor students’ service and leadership in public and community affairs and are administered through their Center for Community Engagement.