This summer, young adults in Harrisburg will be put to work taking care of our environment.
Harrisburg is teaming up with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to offer youth a glimpse into conservation careers through its national PA Outdoor Corps job development program.
The initiative will run as a pilot program in Harrisburg from July 5 to 8 this year, but if all goes well, the city hopes to make it a permanent program each summer.
“We want the next generation of conservationists to come out of our diverse city,” said Mayor Wanda Williams. “This program, should we be so fortunate to make it an annual event, will give kids here something to do in the summer when they’re out of the classroom, as a way to put back into the community and make it more beautiful and safer.”
DCNR’s PA Outdoor Corps engages youth from around the commonwealth to complete recreation and conservation projects on the state’s public lands.
Harrisburg will split youth and young adults into age groups of 15 to 18 years old and 19 to 25 years old. Participants will be paid around $13 per hour. They will work at Reservoir Park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, learning things like invasive pest control, mulching, tree pruning and planting. Youth will specifically learn how to deal with spotted lanternflies, as well.
The goal of the program is to expose young adults in the Harrisburg area to the PA Outdoor Corps and to provide them with workforce experience, according to DCNR.
“What we want to do is to educate our youth and our young adults about taking care of our planet, taking care of their neighborhoods, and taking care of our trees or forests,” said Harrisburg environmental advocate and program organizer Rafiyqa Muhammad. “This is an opportunity that they can look at other alternatives, and make changes in their lives.”
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