Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative
Sustainable Vineyard 2020 Project Proposal
The Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative requests support from the Farm Neck Foundation for our 2020 Sustainable Vineyard Project. MVYLI’s mission is training young people to build a more sustainable world. MVYLI is a project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 1997 on Martha’s Vineyard. MVYLI’s 2020 Project originated from the concern that the Vineyard youth voices needed to be heard. In 2009, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission completed a five-year community planning process that resulted in The Island Plan: a Vision for 2050. Unfortunately, Vineyard youth weren’t included in this important project. If we hope young people will contribute to the Island’s future, it’s imperative that we engage them now.
After several years of effort, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission just completed a sustainable development plan – the Island Plan — for Martha’s Vineyard. We are very aware that it will be up to the next generation realize these ambitious goals and see the Youth Summit as a unique opportunity to realize our goal of engaging Vineyard youth in the issues addressed in the Island Plan. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission is prepared to serve as a resource for Vineyard youth providing data and background materials as these youth delegates develop their Sustainability-In-Action projects in the coming years. We look forward to working together to prepare a new generation of leaders on Martha’s Vineyard for the 21st century.
Mark London, MV Commission
MVYLI’s 2020 Project demonstrates their vision for the future of the Island. For the last year, MVYLI’s major project has been developing the Sustainable Vineyard Map. They believe that Martha’s Vineyard could become a showcase for sustainable living. MVYLI youth hope the Island will embrace their vision for the Island’s future.
Background: Sustainable Vineyard Map at 2010 Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development
The Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development is the cornerstone of the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative. During this week-long intensive leadership training program, youth delegates (ages 14-22) from Martha’s Vineyard and other islands envision their personal, professional, community and planetary goals, and develop action plans to implement sustainable development projects. They learn from the Island’s green leaders, MV Vision Fellows and sustainable development youth leaders. They work in small and large groups to develop leadership skills, broaden their perspective on sustainable development; and reflect, envision, develop and present their vision for their life, their island and their world. The Summit begins with a day long Sustainable Vineyard Tour of innovative projects, programs and organizations as well as environmental challenges facing their island. Youth delegates experience the Vineyard with “green eyes” — visiting energy efficiency affordable housing and green initiatives. They participate in Eco-Tourism Adventures with the Island’s marine leaders: Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge to experience first hand the beauty and fragility of the island’s waters.
During the week youth delegates worked with Chris Seidel, the Island’s top cartographer from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission to create MVYLI’s Sustainable Vineyard Map. They created four groups: agriculture, energy, transportation and culture. They put the locations from Sustainable Vineyard Tour and Eco-Tourism Adventure sites on their Map. They made presentations to Senator Kerry’s staff, on ABC-TV and at the Institute’s Annual Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony.