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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

Jr. GRUNT (8th and 9th Grade)

Jr. GRUNT is currently full. We will be accepting applications for the summer program in the spring.

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! Apply by June 1 to participate in the summer program. An interview is required and the program is competitive.

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


Summer (before 9th Grade) Enter high school with a credit by participating in this 2 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, canoe the Willamette River, learn to Stand-Up paddleboard and help 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!

Fall, winter & spring
Summer participants can continue in the program year-round!  A few things we'll do:  

  • Canoe the Willamette River
  • Go hiking
  • Job fairs & job application support
  • 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.
  • Study plants, animals and fungi
  • Plant native plants in parks and perform stewardship
  • Discover where our water comes from and play in the snow on Mt. Hood
  • Fall 2017 Summary   

Contact us

Jules Nemish   l    Jr. GRUNT Crew Leader   l  
Karen Chao      l    Jr. GRUNT Crew Leader   l   (I speak Mien)

Kelly Rosteck  l  Environmental Education Coordinator  l  (I speak Spanish)