Tales From The Trails:

Forest Park Conservancy Partners with Girls Inc. and Northwest Youth Corps on Restoration Work in Forest Park

Funded through a 2019 Metro Nature in Neighborhoods grant, last August, the Forest Park Conservancy was lucky to have again partnered with the Northwest Youth Corps and Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest to provide youth and young-adults with green job workforce skills while getting some critical maintenance work accomplished in Forest Park.

Many of the youth on the crew were members of Eureka!, a five year program through Girls Inc. that brings youth, including many who will be first generation college applicants, into hands-on, and ungraded opportunities for skills and knowledge building.

As many of our trail volunteers and crew members know, working on trails can be difficult, physical labor. Trail work takes both leadership skills, and knowing how to work together as a team. The job also includes learning how to use and maintain the necessary tools and equipment. Getting dirty is a guarantee. Partnering with Northwest Youth Corps and Girls Inc. allows FPC to share this fun and rewarding work with youth from a variety of backgrounds and abilities, and helps add new candidates to the pool in the growing green job workforce sector.

FPC’s Trails Manager Ingry (a former NYC Crew Member herself!) worked with the crew members to both teach crews new skills and get some necessary work completed to help us meet Forest Park’s annual maintenance needs. Participants helped with some restoration work by removing noxious, invasive weeds such as ivy, herb robert, and blackberry on private property along Holman Lane near 53rd as part of FPC’s Perimeter Program. Additionally, they maintained one mile of trail by brushing overgrowth using weed whips, handsaws, rakes and loppers. That means that Linnton Trail is now more passable and vegetation is trimmed back because of their efforts. This is also true for Hardesty Trail above Wildwood, and along the Wildwood from Hardesty to Springville Road.

Thank you to Northwest Youth Corps. and Girls Inc. for your partnership. We wish the cohort members the best on their career paths and hope to see you back on Forest Park’s trails soon!

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