Green Team Youth Corps
GW Jax’s Green Team Youth Corps Mission:
To educate, inspire, and provide skills to the new generation of environmentally engaged leaders of Jacksonville through a paid and service based programs focused on:
- Connection between urban neighborhoods and the wild
- STEAM Principle Learning
- Leadership Development
- Environmental Empathy
The Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team is a year-round program, broken into two programs/seasons: summer apprenticeship and school-year service-based fellowship. The summer apprenticeship that offers part-time stipend paid positions for high school students living in Jacksonville to help learn about and lead local environmental and healthy community initiatives, conduct research, raise awareness, challenge their peers to do community service, and participate in hands-on improvement projects throughout the City of Jacksonville. The program is intended to promote the protection and restoration of Jacksonville’s critical urban ecological systems, natural resources, and public health by engaging teens in advocacy and service-learning efforts focused on the community’s parks, gardens, waterways, and vacant open spaces. The Green Team program has dual goals – to prepare Jacksonville’s youth for a lifetime of environmental and healthy community leadership, and to invest in our community’s future and capacity to improve its physical environment.
Green Team Summer Apprenticeship (stipend)
Small cohorts of 10 – 20 youth apprentices between the ages of 13-18 are recruited each spring. Youth apprentices who live in or access schools or places of worship within the neighborhoods of Eastside, Springfield, New Town and Durkeeville are eligible to apply. Prospective youth apprentices can be nominated by community-based organization leaders, school personnel or members of their faith community. Qualifying applicants are interviewed and selected by staff of Groundwork Jacksonville. Green Team Summer Apprenticeship begins in the month of June and ends in August. All youth apprentices are paid a stipend for their time. Select Green Team youth who have successfully completed the summer apprenticeship will be chosen to partake in an all-expenses paid experience in Yellowstone National Park.
Youth selected to participate in the Green Team Summer Apprenticeship will identify project location, design, construct, install, and maintain projects such as Bee and Pollination Gardens, Urban Gardens, Bioswales, Rain Gardens, Food Distribution Systems, Environmentally-Infused Art, and much more! Active, healthy living, community service and close to home access to recreation are also key elements of the summer apprenticeship. Youth leaders play, learn, serve and work at and in connection with Jacksonville’s two National Park units (Fort Caroline National Memorial and Kingsley Plantation) to enhance access to the outdoors and provide increased outdoor recreation opportunities.
Each summer, one or more Green Team Summer Apprenticeship youth leaders are selected by Groundwork Staff to travel to Yellowstone National Park, all expenses paid by Groundwork USA. Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team youth, along with about 20 other Green Team youth from around the country learn new skills while conducting work projects to help restore and protect the natural, cultural, and historic resources of our national parks such as removing exotic or invasive plants, constructing or repairing boardwalks, bridges, trails, campsites, fences, and habitat preservation.
Community Service Fellowship (volunteer hours)
One of the more difficult and challenging steps to sustaining environmental improvement projects is the on-going maintenance of these improvements. Deferred maintenance is the (bad) practice of postponing maintenance activities such as weed pulling, watering of newly planted trees and plants, cleaning of storm drains, removing trash and liter in rain gardens, repairs on both property and equipment in order to save costs, meet budget funding levels, or realign available budget monies. Between May and September of each year, students between the ages of 13-18 and their families participate in the Green Team Community Service Fellowship. Youth members of the Fellowship plan, coordinate, promote and implement monthly community service activities in Emerald Necklace neighborhoods to assist in maintaining our natural environment as well maintain projects completed through the Green Team summer apprenticeship. Students who participate in monthly community service projects are highly encouraged to apply for the Green Team summer apprenticeship. All students participating in the Community Service Fellowship receive volunteer service hour credit.
Check our Events Page for upcoming Community Service Activities.