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Young Workers Learn to Restore Ecosystems in Philadelphia

Trainee Peter Humber uses newly acquired skills to assist with an ecological restoration project in Philadelphia.  He and other youth learned basic tree care, nursery and nature resource restoration skills through a Forest Service Recovery Act-funded arboriculture training program.

Trainee Peter Humber uses newly acquired skills to assist with an ecological restoration project in Philadelphia. He and other youth learned basic tree care, nursery and nature resource restoration skills through a Forest Service Recovery Act-funded arboriculture training program.

A Forest Service Recovery Act-funded arboriculture training program is helping young trainees learn basic tree care, nursery, and natural resource restoration skills while revitalizing urban areas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This past spring, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recruited graduates of Philadelphia’s Youth Environmental Stewardship and Teens 4 Good programs and current seasonal maintenance staff for the four-month program that will help the city’s urban forests and parks become more sustainable and functional.

Trainees have been helping ensure the survivability of newly planted trees at Philadelphia’s recreation centers where they have been removing dead and dying trees to enhance public safety and better control invasive exotic species that threaten forest health.

Workers planting native trees and shrubs in  Houston Meadow, Fairmount Park Philadelphia.  The goal is to restore this area to a meadow. Previously this area was a tangle of invasive vines and other exotic plants.  Prior to planting the contractor cleared the area and installed a deer fence.  Trees and shrubs are being planted around the perimeter and native grass in the interior.

Workers planting native trees and shrubs in Houston Meadow, Fairmount Park Philadelphia. The goal is to restore this area to a meadow. Previously this area was a tangle of invasive vines and other exotic plants. Prior to planting the contractor cleared the area and installed a deer fence. Trees and shrubs are being planted around the perimeter and native grass in the interior.

In additional to offering individuals a paid opportunity to learn vital skills that will help qualify them for other green jobs, the program is contributing to revitalizing the inner city to make it a safer, more desirable place to live, which has a cascading benefit in terms of building stronger neighborhoods and improved property values.

Job training initiatives such as this which are targeted for young adults and recent college graduates develop skills in arboriculture and ecological restoration and will expand the number of trained workers with marketable skills for a cadre of green city careers.

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