CIG part of new federal grant to fund Seattle Youth Climate Action Network

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, has announced a grant for Seattle’s “Youth Climate Action Network – Catalyzing a Community. The grant will allow the Seattle Youth Climate Action Network (Seattle Youth CAN), now hosted by Woodland Park Zoo, to become even more rooted in community as youth work to create a plan to address climate change.

IMLS awarded nearly $150,000 to build on the momentum of Seattle Youth CAN, a program launched by Woodland Park Zoo in 2015, in partnership with the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Aquarium working together to empower teens from each of the three institutions’ youth programs to address climate change. The IMLS-funded project will dig deep into the potential of the relationships formed—and future relationships that will be formed— to create a model for local collaboration around youth-driven action and leadership to act on climate change, a critical issue of both local and global significance.

Seattle Youth CAN has generated interest and involvement from a diverse set of stakeholders that extend beyond the museum sphere, including community-based organizations, educational institutions, and city and county government. Local groups that have committed to supporting this project through staff time and expertise include University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, Climate Solutions, Solar Washington, and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition.

“This kind of work is the way of the future,” said Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Alejandro Grajal. “Seattle Youth Climate Action Network is an effort to give youth the tools, information and partners they need to make a difference on climate change. IMLS is honoring that work and making it possible to go even further into collaboration.”

The grant is just an example of the work done by IMLS.

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

“Tackling climate change is one of the most urgent and important environmental challenges facing our generation. I’m proud of the work our young leaders at the Youth Climate Action Network are doing to tackle this issue in their communities,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, the leading Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Winning this award is a testament to the leadership at the Seattle Youth Climate Action Network program and all of its community partners. I want to also thank the Institute of Museum and Library Services for strengthening community institutions like libraries, zoos, and museums to provide critical civic engagement and learning opportunities.”

“Addressing climate change and building climate resilience requires input from all members of our community—Seattle Youth CAN plays a valuable role in this by catalyzing Seattle youth engagement in climate change science and solutions. The Climate Impacts Group is excited to be a partner in this work, providing access to the best-available regional climate science and to explore ways to deepen community engagement around how to best build a climate-resilient region, together,” said Dr. Heidi Roop with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group.

Seattle Youth CAN empowers teens to address climate change in their communities through education, leadership and action. Seattle Youth CAN was launched in January 2015 with initial funding from The Ocean Project, and since then more than 500 teens in the Seattle area have participated in program activities and events. To learn more about Seattle Youth CAN and its upcoming events, visit and and view the featured video on the Seattle Channel.

Link to original press release from Woodland Park Zoo. 

About WPZ

Woodland Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and certified by the rigorous American Humane Conservation program. The Humane Certified™ seal of approval is another important validation of the zoo’s long-standing tradition of meeting the highest standards in animal welfare. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats through more than 35 field projects in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future ecological health and sustainability.

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, our grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.