How to engage the next generation of conservationists? Students at Middlebury college set out to answer that question through action: The creation of the Wild Hometown Movement, 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.

In collaboration with 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.

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.

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.

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 the Region

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.

To request information, email mjorgensen@lincolninst.edu.