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Engaging urban youth in environmental stewardship programs in the United States

United States (Minnesota)


Conservation Corps’ mission is to help young people from diverse backgrounds engage in community-based conservation activities that connect inner-city youth to the natural environment, and prepare them for future employment.

The ERM Foundation has been working with Conservation Corps Minnesota since 2011. This year we co-funded a Youth Outdoors Program aimed at engaging urban youth in environmental stewardship and education through service-learning activities, including planting rain gardens with native plant species, removing invasive species from parks, promoting recycling efforts in community centers and undertaking clean-up activities in recreational and other public places. Approximately 25 percent of the time utilizes the state’s environmental science curriculum, giving participants the opportunity to earn credits towards their graduation, while also providing an important environmental and community service.

Key project outcomes:

  • 14,273 hours of job training, civic leadership and environmental service-learning provided for participating students
  • 56 percent of participating students received credit toward high school graduation
  • 3,833 trees planted 
  • 341 acres of parkland cleared of waste.

Employees from ERM’s Minneapolis office volunteer with Conservation Corps on dates such as Earth Day and are also seeking opportunities to serve as Youth Mentors.

Partner Organization: Conservation Corps Minnesota

Learn more about Conservation Corps Minnesota