What is the Earth Team?
The Earth Team, in partnership with After School Matters, aims to empower teens through environmental education and action in their community. The program brings apprenticeship opportunities to teens that lack local environmental programming and involvement in their parks, preserves and high schools. This vital partnership helps prepare teens for the future as environmentally conscious stewards of their communities.
The Earth Team is an innovative science program designed to serve teens with varying levels of scientific skills and environmental experiences. In conjunction with After School Matters Science37 initiative, Friends of the Parks hires teen apprentices to learn and participate in a hands-on environmental science, stewardship and conservation program at their community park, forest preserve or high school. The teens work alongside scientific professionals and learn marketable skills for future careers.
Teens in our program are motivated to become leaders in the community. Teen apprentices help to build a safe community through community outreach in environmental education and participation in the parks and preserves. For 10 weeks in both fall and spring semesters, teen apprentices work with Friends of the Parks environmental educators to improve their local communities and parks.
Friends of the Parks currently has Earth Team programming at the Dunning-Read Conservation Area on Chicago’s northwest side. The Earth Team teens focused on such topics as forestry studies, environmentally-conscious social media, community outreach, and park stewardship.