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. The Young Naturalists program 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.

Applying for the Young Naturalists Program

To apply and be considered for the Young Naturalists summer internship, a student must have either participated in the High School Urban EcoStewards program during the 2019/2020 school year, volunteered as a Junior Camp Counselor with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, or been nominated by a teacher or mentor from one of our partner organizations. The nomination deadline is Friday, May 15.

Participants are paid a $800 stipend over the five-week program. During this period, they attend a three-day, two-night retreat in the Laurel Highlands while working 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. Additional paid opportunities with our education team are available on weekends during the school year for students who complete the program.

2020 Program Timeline

April 30: Virtual Information Session
May 15: Student Nomination Deadline
May 20: Applications due
May 26 - June 5: Interviews with students and a parent/guardian
June 25: Program orientation (5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
July 6: First Day in Frick Park
July 7 - July 9: Overnight team-building retreat in Laurel Highlands
July 13 – Aug 6: Research & restoration in Frick Park (Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.)


2020 Young Naturalists Application (For Students)

2020 Young Naturalists Nomination (For Teachers/Mentors)


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