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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

GRUNT (middle school)

During this time of uncertainty, being in nature is more important than ever! 

Check out our list of 10 fun ways for teens to get into nature during COVID-19.

More resources and ideas coming!

What is GRUNT?

Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team (GRUNT) is a FREE volunteer environmental science, stewardship and job skills program that connects youth to nature, environmental careers and college programs. Graduates receive ongoing support applying for paid jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation.

GRUNT is a partner of Ninth Grade Transition (All Hands Raised), 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.

GRUNT meets for three weeks in the summer, and then 1-2 Saturdays a month throughout the next school year. See the application for this year's dates!

When is GRUNT?

Choose ONE summer session:

  • July 7 - July 24 (Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm)
  • July 28 - August 14  (Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm)

GRUNT continues year round on Saturdays and school holidays.

Where does GRUNT meet?

Meet at East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave, and take daily field trips to parks, natural areas, college and career sites.

Who can apply?

  • Current 6th - 8th graders
  • Willing to get dirty
  • Able to walk two miles on uneven ground
  • Able to safely handle sharp tools
  • Able to attend all days of a summer session

The program is often competitive and requires an interview. Volunteer slots are limited. When there are more applicants than spaces, priority will be given to eligible applicants who meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • Low-income (as demonstrated by enrollment in Title I school, participation in Free and Reduced-price School meals program or qualification for other federal assistance programs)


  • From a background underrepresented in professional environmental fields (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).

How do I apply?

  • You may apply using our online application.   We do not know how COVID-19 will affect our summer programming.  Please check this website for updates. 


Diversity and Equity Statement

GRUNT engages a diverse group of Portland-area youth in environmental stewardship, science, recreation and career exploration. GRUNT is a program where people of many races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, English language proficiencies, economic backgrounds and immigration statuses work, learn, eat, play and grow together.  Adult crew leaders engage in frequent anti-racist, anti-bias trainings, and conversations. Many crew leaders are multi-lingual and/or multi-cultural. 


Karen Chao (I speak Mien y un poquito de Espanol)