Chicago Youth Visit Acadia and Get Inspired

Members of Teens Take on Climate gained in-the-field insight into the effects of climate change – plus some stunning views – during their visit this summer.

Exploring glacial history on Cadillac Mountain is a highlight of the Teens Take On Climate field experience at Acadia National Park. (Photo by Jasmin Shah/Teens Take On Climate, 2022)

Like many who stand at the summit of Cadillac Mountain, students from Gary Comer College Prep in Chicago found the experience this summer to be “new and exhilarating.” But they also gained in-the-field insight into the different geological effects of climate change – an issue these teens take seriously.

Seeing the star-filled night sky – which isn’t as visible in the city – was an added bonus.

The visiting students are all members of Teens Take on Climate, a Chicago-based nonprofit that “connects diverse teens with climate education, employment and opportunities to succeed on inclusive, interdisciplinary climate pathways.”

This July, Teens Take on Climate came to Acadia National Park as part of an immersive summer program focused on learning about about Earth’s climate. The program incorporated community science, field research, and arts and engineering at home and in the field.

While in Acadia, they learned about the geological history and future of Acadia, explored summits carved by passing ice sheets, and helped remove invasive European green crabs and Asian shore crabs from coastal waters.

Teens Take On Climate interns from Chicago participate in citizen science at Acadia National Park. (Photo by Jasmin Shah/Teens Take On Climate, 2022)

Friends of Acadia partners with organizations – like Teens Take on Climate – that work with urban and diverse youth and provides grants to support field trips to Acadia.

The grants help defray the costs of transportation, gear, and recreation in the park, and support Friends of Acadia’s mission to provide opportunities for youth to experience Acadia and to engage them to become tomorrow’s stewards of conserved lands. Once the youth return home, they share their experience with the community through art, music, presentation, mentorship, and more.

Teens Take on Climate was one of three youth organizations that Friends of Acadia helped visit the park this summer to learn and explore amid pine trees and craggy granite – and their trip leader said it was also an opportunity for them to grow and explore their futures from a new perspective.

They also beautifully captured their experiences in writing and video.


Read more about their experience: Teens take on the climate change challenge in Maine

Watch the Teens Take on Climate video: