BRANCHES, or the Building Resources And Nurturing Community Health and Environmental Stewardship program, is Parks & People’s unique summer opportunity for Baltimore’s high school youth. BRANCHES operates as a six-week youth work force training and educational enrichment experience in park forestry management and maintenance. BRANCHES is also part of our Green Career Ladder.
The program seeks to improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay by controlling pollution from Baltimore City’s street surface run-off, maintaining green spaces in the city and revitalizing neighborhoods, all the while providing participants with education and training. In this way, it addresses two vital needs in Baltimore City—that of meaningful employment and career opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth, and of more resources to care for our parks and local ecosystem.
Participants work in small crews under the guidance of environmental scientists and ecology professionals at several Baltimore City sites to remove invasive species, plant and maintain trees, and beautify Baltimore’s parks and watersheds. Participants supplement their learning by partaking in several off-site field trips; participants visit places like the Carrie Murray Nature Center, Outward Bound and Black River Wastewater Treatment Plant, and engage in outdoor survival, team building, and rock and tree climbing with professionals from Bartlett Tree Experts.
This is an hourly paid position. The program also provides uniforms, lunch and transportation. All BRANCHES participants receive Junior Forester certification at the program’s conclusion. If you're interested in learning more, please email Nicole McDaniels or call her at (410) 448-5663, ext 129.