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's Youth Unplugged Initiative is dedicated to providing opportunities for youth of all ages to experience and appreciate the great outdoors!

In November of 2016, 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.  

 

Summer Green Team

The 2015 Green Team cools off after a morning of shellfishing with Plymouth Natural Resource Officers.

The 2015 Green Team cools off after a morning of shellfishing with Plymouth Natural Resource Officers.

This summer program provides hands-on training and career exploration for middle and 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, farming projects, and more. Green Team I, ages 12 - 14, is a one week introductory volunteer program. Green Team II, ages 15 - 18, is a two week internship program where members have the opportunity to earn a stipend upon completion.

 

Brockton High School Envirothon

The 2017 Brockton Envirothon Team, head coach Joyce Voorhis, and Wildlands Trust staff accept the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education at the Massachusetts State House on May 8, 2017.

The 2017 Brockton Envirothon Team, head coach Joyce Voorhis, and Wildlands Trust staff accept the Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education at the Massachusetts State House on May 8, 2017.

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. The Massachusetts 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. In 2016 BHS took home the award for 2nd place in the Soils category. This past may, the team tied for 3rd place in the high competitive Current Issue Presentation category, and placed 6th overall in the state!

 

Terracorps:
an americorps service year

Our 2014-2015 MassLIFT AmeriCorps service members at the Fall Meet and Greet at Willow Brook Farm. 

Our 2014-2015 MassLIFT AmeriCorps service members at the Fall Meet and Greet at Willow Brook Farm. 

TerraCorps, formerly MassLIFT AmeriCorps, in an innovative national service program helping communities conserve and secure land for the health and well-being of people and nature. Using the AmeriCorps national service model, TerraCorps prepares and mobilized emerging leaders to help strengthen community-based nonprofits working to meet these goals. 

Tommy Blanchard currently serves as the TerraCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator at Wildlands Trust for the 2017-18 service year. Under the supervision of Stewardship Manager Erik Boyer and Outreach and Education Manager Rachel Calderara, Tommy will work to expand and support stewardship volunteer initiatives for teens and adults, creating a framework of sustainable, long term care for conservation land throughout southeastern Massachusetts. 

 

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. 

 

Teen & Young Adult Inclusive Programming

A Community Connections member learns about healthy wetlands by examining a water sample.

A Community Connections member learns about healthy wetlands by examining a water sample.

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 gardening, scavenger hunts, naturalist-led walks and picnics, animal tracking and photography workshops. 

 

Seasonal Land Stewards & Interns

The 2017 Summer Seasonal Staff (from the left): Hugh Grey, Maura Coughlin, Ryan Duty, and Hunter Wiese

The 2017 Summer Seasonal Staff (from the left): Hugh Grey, Maura Coughlin, Ryan Duty, and Hunter Wiese

During the summer, Wildlands Trust provides employment and training opportunities for 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. These opportunities change each summer based on need. Learn more about the 2017 Summer Staff!

 

If you, your group, your child, or your student would like to get involved, please feel free to contact Outreach and Education Manager Rachel Calderara at rcalderara@wildlandstrust.org.

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.”
— -Baba Dioum, 1968