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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

Youth Conservation Crew

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 and exploring environmental career paths.

Click here to view the 2016 report.

Now Hiring for 2017! 


  • Youth must be between the ages of 14-18 throughout the entire work season
  • Youth and Crew Leaders must be available to work the entire work season
  • Youth demonstrate initiative and work readiness by personally emailing or calling with questions and submitting their own application through email or mail

During the summer of 2016, we worked at 47 sites citywide and accomplished the following:


• Removed 64,807 square feet of ivy and 5,237 square feet of invasive blackberry, protecting native trees and plants

• Built 498 linear feet of split rail fence

• Maintained 5.5 miles of trails

• Built 30 feet of rock retaining walls and 26 linear feet of wood crib walls

• Taught 1,062 children and adults about urban ecology and conservation

• Inventoried 270 street trees

• Established 1,272 young plants and trees by weeding, mulching and/or watering


What do we do? Teens are hired to be a part of one of the following crews:

Community Gardens Crew (CGC) supports people in growing their own food and helps foster thriving urban gardening communities. Apply for this crew if you like plants or have people in your life who are gardeners, enjoy working outside, and if you are considering a job in garden education, botany, the landscape industry, volunteer coordination, community organizing or urban planning and design. Requirements: you must be able to use sharp tools safely, work in the sun and all kinds of weather, be a friendly representative of Parks to people of all ages and backgrounds.

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.

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! 

Tree Crew works with the City’s Urban Forestry division to learn proper tree pruning techniques and to maintain the health of Portland's urban trees. The YCC Tree Crew works on trees in Portland parks and on public school properties. Crew members learn about Urban Forestry programs such as Heritage Trees, Learning Landscapes, Neighborhood Tree Stewards, and the Tree Inventory Project.

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.

For more information, contact YCC Coordinator Kelly Rosteck at 503-823-3601 or