CanopyBloomington Launches Youth Tree Tenders Program: Four local high school students hired to help maintain trees in Switchyard Park
This summer, CanopyBloomington launched its inaugural Youth Tree Tenders Program, a paid work program for local high school students that trains and educates teenagers about the benefits of trees, tree maintenance, and other professional development activities.
This year, CanopyBloomington has partnered with the City of Bloomington to contract the maintenance of trees in Switchyard Park to students in the Youth Tree Tenders Program. With skilled, on-site training by Canopy’s Forestry Director, Hannah Gregory, the students are receiving hands-on experience with tree planting, pruning, and watering procedures that are conducive to growing well-established and healthy trees for the enjoyment and benefit of the Bloomington community.
Four local high school students – Althea Childers, Jordis Kieffer, Jason Lin, and Grant Hodson – have been hard at work learning these new skills. Jordis Kieffer, a Junior at Bloomington High School South, says, “Working as a Youth Tree Tender helps our local environment; the work we do will have a long-lasting impact in a positive way by providing better urban canopy around Bloomington.” Training will evolve over the course of the summer to adjust to the needs of the growing trees.
In addition to their training on tree planting and maintenance, the Youth Tree Tenders will receive weekly enrichment sessions with community professionals speaking to the group about topics such as personal finance, professional skills development, and resume writing.
CanopyBloomington believes this type of youth programming helps foster young environmentalists who see the importance of trees and their ability to mitigate climate change impacts. CanopyBloomington co-founder and Forestry Chair, Dr. Sarah Mincey, says, “Youth programs like this provide so many societal benefits – not only are we offering financial, social, physical, and educational benefits to our youth employees, but the outcomes of their work are a healthier, more sustainable urban forest which means a more resilient city for us all. As we face the growing impacts of climate change – a threat to the future for trees and our youth – this stewardship program provides a critical role, empowering our young people to be a part of the solution.”
To donate, volunteer, or learn more about CanopyBloomington, visit www.canopybloomington.org or email email@example.com.
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