YOUTH UNPLUGGED INITIATIVE
There is a growing body of research suggesting that direct exposure to nature is essential for emotional and physical health. We believe that today's wired generation can greatly benefit from unplugging and experiencing nature first hand. Wildlands Trust is dedicated to providing opportunities for youth of all ages to experience and appreciate the great outdoors. The premise for "Youth Unplugged" is that young people are happier and healthier when they feel connected to the natural world.
This past November, Cameron Pettiford of Brockton organized a community scavenger hunt for families to experience nature and explore new trails at Wildlands Trust's Brockton Audubon Preserve. Check out the video, made by Aaron Thibeault of The Brockton Channels.
SUPPORT FOR TEENS AND YOUTH GROUPS
Wildlands Trust provides support and mentoring for youth throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, whether it be through mentoring local Eagle Scout candidates on their service projects, assisting local college students with community projects, or helping a group organize a property clean-up. We provide support and assistance to local scout troops, science and environmental clubs, leadership groups, and more to help grow their interests in nature and connect with their local environment.
Brockton High School Envirothon Team
Wildlands Trust sponsors after-school programming for dozens of under served, yet high achieving high school learners at Brockton High School. In collaboration with the science department, we coach and support the school’s Envirothon Team. Envirothon, a prestigious statewide competition for Massachusetts high school students, tests team knowledge on challenging natural resource topics. At their first competition in 2015, Brockton students placed in the top five of the 29 participating state teams in three of the five competition categories, sharing accolades with Newton North and Lexington, two of the state’s top high schools. 2017 will be our third competition together, and we've already engaged with over twenty interested students at after school meetings.
Teen & Young Adult Inclusive Programming
Wildlands Trust offers groups of teens and young adults with social and/or physical challenges the support and opportunity to experience the outdoors. The benefits of being outdoors in a natural environment are just as or even more important to these groups, but the experience needs to be tailored to meet the group’s needs. Programs for groups have included scavenger hunts, naturalist-led walks and picnics, animal tracking and photography workshops. Wildlands Trust also offers outdoor internships and volunteer opportunities to teens with autism and social skills deficits, offering a unique chance for young adults to increase their self-esteem with meaningful work.
Summer Green Team
This two-week summer program provides hands-on training and career exploration for high school students interested in natural resource work. Under the supervision of Wildlands Trust staff, Green Team members undertake trail clearing, wetland clean-up, invasive species removal and farming projects. Team members who complete the program receive a stipend for their efforts. Hiring for the 2017 season will begin in the spring.
Seasonal Land Stewards & Interns
During the summer, Wildlands Trust provides employment and training opportunities for 4 to 5 high school and college students interested in natural resource careers. In these pre-professional training opportunities young people work alongside our professional staff on everything from property management to graphic design and administration. Internships opportunities change each summer based on our needs. .