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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204


Greenpaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team for 8th Grade level students (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 and career discovery.  

Jr. 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. Students who participate in the summer program can enter high school with one credit completed.

"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)

Who can apply?

This program is free for 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.

"You run one of the best programs I've seen. What you do for each kid is immeasurable.” 
- George Middle School Science Teacher


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
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 and perform stewardship
  • Discover where our water comes from and play in the snow on Mt. Hood

Summer (before 9th Grade)
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 & Recreation!

Contact us