This year, we have expanded our summer program to offer job placements for up to 14 students through the Youthworks program as well as six crew supervisors for young adults hired directly by Blue Water Baltimore. This significant effort almost doubled our capacity over last year and was made possible through the Abell Foundation, who approved additional funding for workforce development following Baltimore City’s unrest in April.
Environmental and Professional Skills
The summer YouthWorks crews will be planting, watering and maintaining trees throughout Baltimore and through this experience will be gaining many valuable environmental and professional skills.
Our YouthWorks participants set a positive example for each other and for other youth in the city. In addition our crew supervisors lead by example, teaching the youth valuable life skills while also developing their job skills.
Importance of Greening
“While working with Blue Water Baltimore, I have learned the importance of greening in the city and how much it can impact our water quality. Some of the places that we work are in the inner city and are run down, but having trees there can really bring life to the area. I have also learned about water pollution and how to care for our trees. Plus I like the people here at Blue Water Baltimore and it is a lot of fun working outside with nature,” said second year YouthWorks crew, Jau’n Wheatly age 15.
The hard skills gained by members of the crews include the ability to operate large vehicles and equipment, use hand-tools, and all the basics of urban forestry. This is in addition to the many interpersonal skills gained including leadership, communication, problem solving, and professionalism.
Much of our work at Blue Water Baltimore is on the ground water restoration which includes planting trees, cleaning up streams and other greening practices to help restore our waterways. Our programs focus on ways to get the community involved.
Each year we increase our scope of work in order to reach more neighborhoods, residents, and volunteers. Become part of the solution and help protect Baltimore’s waterways, wildlife, and recreation they support.
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