As summer heats up students across the country are not slowing down. Once again, this summer, hundreds of youth activists are creating “solutions” in their communities as a part of localized “Summer of Solutions” projects.

Summer of Solutions was started in early 2008 by a group of students in the Twin Cities as an answer to the “summer gap” between semesters that seemed to slow momentum on campus and community sustainability projects.

By the summer of 2008 Summer of Solutions was off and running in the Twin Cities with sister projects happening in Portland OR (The Northwest Institute for Community Energy – NICE), Oakland CA (Breakthrough Generation) and Appalachia (Mountain Justice Summer).

Summer of Solutions programs bring together youth leaders from across the country for two months to participate in hands-on, localized, sustainable community development projects partnering with local businesses and organizations. During the course of one summer, participants create self-sustaining projects that have a direct impact on their communities and serve as models for others to continue and grow in the future.

In 2009, Campus Ecology Fellow, Callista Perry served as a key organizer of the first Summer of Solutions program in Worcester, MA. In June and July of that year, 25 participants worked on 3 community-based sustainability projects around community solutions for energy efficiency, creative media for green jobs, and expanding the capacity of locally produced food and community gardening in the city of Worcester. Among the accomplishments from the first Worcester Summer of Solutions were; the publishing of a green jobs zine, a weatherization workshop at a local library, an energy barn raising and the creation two new community gardens.

This year brings the most Summer of Solutions programs yet with 14 locations, from coast to cost, hosting their own programs and engaging in issues from urban agriculture to green jobs.

To learn more about Summer of Solutions and youth-led projects happening in cities across the country, check out the Summer of Solutions website.

Worcester Energy Barn-raising 5

Photo Credit: Callista Perry

2009 Worcester Summer of Solutions participants hard at work

Published: June 11, 2010