Solar Youth BLOG
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October 29, 2018
Vote "YES" On Ballot Question 2
On Election Day November 6th
Solar Youth policy is to not advocate specific issues unless program and youth leaders decide it is something THEY want to advocate for. However, on November 6th, CT residents will need to vote Yes or No on a ballot question, and we want to help everyone understand the issue.
The ballot question (read here) would amend the state constitution to require the State to hold a public hearing before they are able to transfer public lands (like parks and beaches) to other entities. A Yes vote on the amendment ensures that the legislature cannot quietly swap or sell parkland without being held accountable. It adds protections to our public lands against redevelopment by requiring a more transparent and thorough process from our lawmakers. To learn more, read this editorial from the Courant.
Public Parks have been an integral part of Solar Youth’s work. Support from our FOSY (Friends of Solar Youth) and funders has allowed us to bring thousands of New Haven children to our public parks, including some of this year's most memorable trips!
Our main office is situated at the foot of West Rock Ridge State Park. Every program in that neighborhood takes advantage of the hiking trails, wildlife, and plant life to provide hands-on experiences for all ages. This year our youngest group, Citycology, organized a cleanup of the park; the middle school Steward Team planned a hike to the top of West Rock and back down to Lake Wintergreen; and our Green Jobs high school interns planned projects to maintain a special Solar Youth trail that connects the park to their neighborhood.
Our Youth Educator Interns (high school youth who work with the younger children) spend a weekend of their training every season on a team building camping retreat. This Fall they visited Putnam State Park where they went on an historical hike of a revolutionary war era encampment site, practiced ecological analyses of streams and ponds, and discussed conservation efforts important to Connecticut’s environment. Intern retreats give the youth experience at parks setting up camping equipment and challenging them to spend the night outdoors in a new setting enjoying outdoor games and campfires.
When you go to the voting booth this November 6th remember that Connecticut’s public lands are a gift to our children and help connect us all to our environment and our place in the world. We want to protect the memories and experiences our youth have built at our parks and ensure that future generations will have the same opportunity to get out and explore.
Solar Youth Interns and Stewards celebrate after a hike up to Judges' Cave in West Rock Ridge State Park
Young Stewards enjoying a fall hike in West Rock
Playing in Judges Cave- Nature's own jungle gym