OAKLAND, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Youth for the Environment and Sustainability Conference, YES—the first conference of its kind in the region—will bring together students from throughout the Bay Area to collaborate and share experiences about healthy transportation modes like walking, bicycling, carpooling and taking transit. The goal is to improve air quality, decrease automobile congestion and increase safety in local communities via youth-led efforts.
“The YES Conference will allow Bay Area students the opportunity to learn how alternative modes of transportation can go a long way towards improving air quality in our neighborhoods.”
The conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at the Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, next to the Lake Merritt BART station. Registration is free and open to middle- and high-school students (with parental permission), parents, teachers and youth leaders in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register, visit www.sparetheairyouth.org/summit2013/.
“We want to foster collaboration between students who live in very different communities so they can learn from each other,” said Amy Worth, chair of MTC and mayor of the City of Orinda. “Our goal is to empower youth to make healthy transportation choices to make communities safer, cleaner and more sustainable. This generation is the key to a bright future.”
Part of the Spare the Air Youth program, the YES Conference is sponsored by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). The goal of Spare the Air Youth is to educate, inspire, and empower Bay Area youth and their families to change transportation habits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and driving in order to increase safety and improve air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Transportation, including daily school trips, is a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gases in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of BAAQMD. “The YES Conference will allow Bay Area students the opportunity to learn how alternative modes of transportation can go a long way towards improving air quality in our neighborhoods.”
Students will have the opportunity to learn directly from their peers about efforts to encourage other kids to choose healthy transportation modes, the link between transportation and climate change, strategies to address safety concerns, as well as practical skills like fixing a flat tire on a bike. Topics include advocacy, communication, leadership development and skill building. The program includes interactive presentations led by students and youth leaders from various schools and cities in the region.
To learn what other youth are doing around the region and the world, participants will hear from two keynote speakers (Jasmine Jolly, a freshman at Windsor High, and Simon Dunne, program manager of First Gear), check out posters showcasing students’ efforts and meet other students actively working to improve their communities. Students under 18 years of age must have their parents’ permission to attend. An agenda and complete information about the YES Conference is available at http://www.sparetheairyouth.org/summit2013/.
What: Youth for the Environment and Sustainability Conference
When: Saturday, November 2, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, 101 8th Street, Oakland
(by the Lake Merritt BART station)
Students who take public transit to the YES Conference will receive a $5 Clipper Card. Additionally, shuttle buses to and from the conference are available from the North Bay and the South Bay. Shuttles will pick up and drop off participants at the following locations:
- Bus #1 – Fairfield Transportation Center, 2000 Cadenasso Drive, Fairfield (8:30 a.m. pick-up/5:00 p.m. drop-off).
Bus #2 – two stops:
- Stop #1 – Trek Bicycle Parking Lot, 512 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa (8:00 a.m. pick-up/5:30 p.m. drop-off).
- Stop #2 – Bus pad at Smith Ranch Road and Lucas Valley Road, San Rafael (8:45 a.m. pick-up/4:45 p.m. drop-off)
- Bus #3 – San Jose Diridon Station, 65 Cahill St., San Jose (8:30 a.m. pick-up/5:00 p.m. drop-off)
For more information about the Spare the Air Youth Program, visit sparetheairyouth.org. MTC is the regional transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. BAAQMD is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.