Youth Activities

Field Learning for Teens

Great River Greening helps hundreds of young people every year become the stewards of tomorrow by providing opportunities for hands-on and immersive instruction. Field Learning For Teens is a service learning program focused on introducing and educating youth of color about environmental science, green jobs, and the role they can play in protecting and conserving our natural resources. Through field activities and team-building, youth learn about the role of technology and science in enjoying and improving our environment; acquire specific skills in the field activities; explore environmental science and technology careers; expand their horizons in seeking opportunities for further education, involvement, and employment. Sessions are held each spring and fall.


  • Engage youth of color in topics related to environmental science, the economic value of biodiversity, leadership and community service, and career development skills.
  • Teach youth about challenges facing land and water and the role of science in society today.
  • Provide hands-on activities related to conservation at one of many natural areas throughout the Metro.
  • Provide exposure to Great River Greening scientists and other green job professionals through corporate sponsors and professional networks.


  • In 2017, 295 students took part in 7 Field Learning for Teens events, 87% were youth of color.
  • Total engagement of more than 1,500 youth of color in the program since its inception.


Great River Greening partners with many youth programs and schools for Field Learning For Teens, including YouthCare, Community of Peace Academy, River’s Edge Academy, Wellstone International High School, Minneapolis South High School, Girl Scouts River Valley, Laura Jeffrey Academy, and others. This creates synergy with those programs, bringing a rich environmental science component to curriculum or youth development.

Field Learning for Teens Funders

We’ve received major funding from the following sources in the last few years: 3M Foundation, Andersen Corporate Foundation, Best Buy Childrens Foundation, Capitol Region Watershed District, Cynthia Krieg Stewardship Fund, Ecolab Foundation, Pentair Foundation, McNeely Foundation, Mortenson Family Foundation, Subaru Foundation, and Tennant Foundation. (Note: this list is not necessarily up to date)

Youth Mentoring

Part of Great River Greening’s education goal is to help inform and connect Twin Cities youth to professionals with green jobs. We are seeking mentors with green jobs to share their stories and career path with at-risk youth. Mentoring opportunities typically last 1-2 hours and take place during Great River Greening office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.

Contact our Volunteer Manager at 651-272-3989 or by email for more information.


Interns work side-by-side with Great River Greening staff on various projects, such as:

  • Communications/Marketing
  • Database management
  • Development
  • Event planning
  • GIS mapping
  • Graphic design
  • Volunteer management
  • Community Mapping