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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Jr. GRUNT (8th Grade Program)

Greenspaces Restoration & Urban Naturalist Team

Meet the Teachers!

 "Best program by far! I would have never even gotten a glimpse of the beautiful world of nature without this program's assistance! I get to change my family tree because of this and take my family and future family backpacking, hiking, and just interacting with nature on a daily basis!” 

~Jr. GRUNT alum (currently in college)

Jr GRUNT mentors teens through an environmental education program teaching stewardship and conservation with an emphasis on job skills and responsibility.  Explore nature through science, adventure and environmental college & career discovery.  Jr. GRUNT is a partner of 9th Grade Counts , which is community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates by supporting summer learning and keeping more kids on track through the transition into high school. Students who participate in the summer program can enter high school with one credit completed!

This program is FREE. 

Summer 2016 Summary


"My child now shows excitement about life and nature." ~ Parent

Who can apply?

Students in the 8th grade or in the summer before 9th Grade.  We encourage youth of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders and abilities to apply.    

How do I apply?

Fill out the application and mail, email or fax it in!  You can apply at any time during the year, but the best times to apply are: early September (to begin in the fall) and May (to participate in the summer program).   An interview is required.

Application: English   Espanol

Email to:

You run one of the best programs I've seen. What you do for each kid is immeasurable.” 

~ George Middle School Science Teacher

Fall Session

Apply in September.  Students spend Saturdays in October and November exploring their parks and natural areas, conducting environmental science experiments about plants, animals and fungi, participating in stewardship and kayaking.

Spring Break Session

Priority for spots goes to fall participants.  There is occasionally an opening. Over these 5 days, we will:

  • Gather scientific data about the snakes, frogs and salamanders that live in our parks.  This information is used by PP&R ecologists to make decisions.
  • Develop leadership skills through a ropes course
  • Plant native plants in parks & perform stewardship
  • Discover where our water comes from and play in the snow on Mt. Hood

Summer Before 9th Grade Session

Enter high school with a credit by participating in this 4 week program!  Discover plants and animals of Oregon and have fun on adventures in the great outdoors! You will meet new friends and build strong leadership and teamwork skills that will help you in high school. You will visit college and career sites and participate in stewardship projects, helping to protect the natural areas you get to explore. Once you graduate from Jr. GRUNT, you can apply for internships and paid summer work with Portland Parks and Recreation!

For more information on future opportunities for Jr. GRUNT alum, view our 2015 report.

 Contact us:


Text: 503-823-6378

Call: 503-823-3601

" The bus pass really helped our family." ~ Parent