Our goal is to diversify the environmental field by getting urban teens interested in nature, and providing the job skills and work experiences they will need to be successful. We begin with a volunteer naturalist training program, then build on skills and knowledge with paid summer work and school-year internships.
The Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team (GRUNT) is a 65-hour volunteer naturalist and job training program for teens. Graduates become a part of an extensive pipeline of environmental experiences and paid jobs. 2013 brochure Applications are generally accepted in December and January of each year.
In partnership with 9th Grade Counts, Jr GRUNT serves students in 8th and 9th grades. We teach life and academic skills through outdoor adventure and environmental science. This program is free to participants of the Free & Reduced Lunch Program thanks to a grant from the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. Graduates may move on to the GRUNT, YCC or internship programs to become eligible for paid jobs.
How do you join GRUNT or Jr GRUNT?
Sophomores apply for GRUNT in January, and 8th graders apply for Jr GRUNT in September. An interview is required to join these competitive programs! Recruitment is done through partner organizations such as Portland Public Schools, Youth Violence Prevention Team, NAYA, Hacienda CDC, and Ortiz Family Services.
The Environmental Career Opportunity (ECO) Internship program encourages teens to deepen the environmental science and leadership skills gained through GRUNT. Teens receive long-term mentoring, job skills training, and paid work. They are empowered to discover new strengths and interests by exploring a variety of "green" internships, from amphibian research to environmental education and urban forestry. Our goal is to expose teens to the variety of natural resources career opportunities and to provide supportive, challenging experiences where they can learn skills they will need to be successful in work, school, and life. Internships are offered by PP&R and partner organizations, and occur during the fall, winter, and spring. A highlight for many teens is the Spring Break Internship.
Can you offer an internship for a GRUNT graduate?
We are seeking a wide variety of environmental internships for trained teen naturalists including, but not limited to, indoor and/or outdoor work, natural sciences, environmental research, education, outreach, event support, office support, park maintenance, GIS, technology, and forestry. Contact Kelly Rosteck.
Goals of the internships program:
- Employers meet teens that they may want to hire one day!
- Teens make meaningful contributions to the organizations they work with.
- Teens develop job skills in challenging, supportive environments.
- Teens are exposed to the wide variety of Natural Resources careers within PP&R and partner organizations.
- Teens are motivated to pursue college or vocational studies and consider a green-focused career.
Thank you to the following organizations that have supported GRUNT and our teen employment program:
- Commissioner Fish
- Commissioner Saltzman
- Commissioner Fritz
- Portland Public Schools
- Youth Violence Prevention Team/Portland Police Bureau
- U.S. Forest Service
- Bureau of Environmental Services
- Friends of Trees
- Columbia Slough Watershed Council
- Willamette Week Give!Guide 2009 and its supporters
A special thanks to the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District for generously funding our programs since 2010!