Who are Young Naturalists?

Young Naturalists are high school students who want to learn more about nature and love spending time outdoors. They accept the challenge to work hard in conditions that are at times harsh and physically demanding to improve the health of the park. Young Naturalists are also looking to pursue a degree or career related to environmental science, ecology, education, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) or sustainability.

A student must complete the High School Urban EcoStewards program and be nominated by a teacher in order to apply to become a Young Naturalist.

What is the Young Naturalists Program?

Young Naturalists is a fun, paid opportunity for students to get outdoors and learn about the environment, gain unique work and leadership experience, and meet other teenagers who are interested in the environment. Students spend their summer outdoors learning about plants and animals alongside expert naturalists while working to improve the health of our parks by controlling erosion, managing and monitoring invasive species, repairing trails and caring for trees.

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2015

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    Young Naturalists 2014

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    Young Naturalists 2014

Program Details

Participants are paid a $800 stipend over the five-week program. During this period, they attend a week of overnight Creek Camp at Allegheny College and then work Monday - Thursday for the duration of their program.

Students also receive a rain coat, rain pants, t-shirts, water bottle, work boots, bus passes, and tuition to attend a week-long sleepaway camp. Additional paid opportunities with our education team are available on weekends during the school year for students who complete the program.

Program Timeline

Week 1 (SU-F, overnight): Creek Camp at Allegheny College
Week 2 (M-TH, 8am-3pm): Trees, Shrubs & Wildflowers
Week 3 (M-TH, 8am-3pm): Birds & Bugs
Week 4 (M-TH, 8am-3pm): Rocks & Soils
Week 5 (M-TH, 8am-3pm): Reptiles, Amphibians & Mammals