The Youth Conservation Crew provides summer employment opportunities for a diverse population of Portland-area youth, ages 14-18. Crews protect, restore, and manage Portland's parks and natural areas while developing essential job skills.
In 2014, 36 teens worked in 55 parks and natural areas citywide for a total of 8,256 hours to……
Teach 1,041 children about urban ecology at 16 sites citywide
Prune 156 urban trees and establish 476 young trees
Remove 56,901 square feet of invasive English ivy to save trees and protect native plants
Remove 12,293 square feet of invasive blackberry
Build 115 linear feet of split rail fence
Water 800 recently installed native plants
Remove 268 linear feet of fencing
Maintain 10 miles of trails in parks and natural areas citywide
Build a 70 foot, 3 tier rock wall on the Wildwood Trail in Washington Park Natural Area
Build a 35 foot turnpike in George Himes Natural Area
Deconstruct a hazardous bridge and 8 stairs in Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and reroute the trail
Replace rotting and hazardous wooden stairs in George Himes Natural Area
How do I apply? The application process begins in the spring, typically at the beginning of May. A pool of applicants is selected for interviews. Teens who worked in previous years must reapply for the program.
What do we do? Teens are hired to be a part of one of the following crews:
The No Ivy League (NIL) restores the native habitat of Portland's natural areas with efforts in removing invasive plants. The NIL removes ground ivy as well as ivy growing up native trees, effectively saving the tree from premature death.
The Tree Crew works alongside City of Portland arborists and high climbers learning proper pruning techniques, maintaining the health of Portland's urban canopy, and increasing the safety of park patrons. The YCC Tree Establishment Crew works in Portland parks and on Portland Public School properties as part of PP&R's Neighborhood Tree Steward Program.
The Trail Crew builds and maintains trails in Portland's natural areas. Using industry accepted techniques for sustainable trail maintenance, the crew focuses on reducing erosion entering Portland's rivers, streams, and water bodies by improving grading and drainage, improving stream crossings, and closing unofficial trails.
The Teen Naturalist Team (TNT) is the education arm of the YCC. Bolstered by a love of nature and a passion for educating people about the environment, TNT educators teach environmental science and lead activities for children age 6-12 in SUN School and community summer day camps in the Portland area. They also don't shy away from teaching teens and adults!