Groundwork Youth Leaders Launch (ioby) Campaign to Fund Training in Texas!

January 28th, 2015 Groundwork Youth Leaders Launch (ioby) Campaign to Fund Training in Texas!

Check out this appeal from our Groundwork Youth Leaders across the country:

“We’ve been helping to design a week-long Training for Groundwork Youth Leaders this March in Harper, Texas.

Groundwork works to train urban youth in trail building and construction and helps them build a relationship with nature. This work is incredibly important and rewarding to us and we want to do the best that we can do at this job. That’s why we’ve decided to create this training opportunity. Currently there are grants and contracts that we are unable to receive because we as youth leaders do not have all the skills to complete the projects. If we can increase our own trail building knowledge/leadership skills/construction ability, we will be better able to educate and train the youth and better able to secure funding for our programs.

Presently we have no grants and very little funding to get us to Texas, hire the professionals to teach us new skills or pay for our accommodations during the training. We are asking for your support to send us to this training through our fundraising campaign here.

We have already raised some funds, and are excited to get this project funded and happening! By helping us, you will be a part of our mission to change places and change lives too.”

Meet GWUSA’s new Manager of Land & Water Programs!

January 27th, 2015 Meet GWUSA's new Manager of Land & Water Programs!

We’re pleased to announce that Tangier Barnes has recently joined our growing GWUSA team. She’s our new Manager of Land and Water Programs and will be working with the Urban Waters Learning Network and also working on Groundwork USA’s brownfields technical assistance program.

Since 2009, Tangier has been Director of Community Planning at Groundwork Denver. Her accomplishments in that role have been extraordinary. She has spearheaded the Platte Farm Open Space project, an extremely complex brownfields redevelopment project. She has also, among other things, led Key Connections, a project to create better connections between low-income neighborhoods and their waterways; collaborated on equitable transit-oriented development; and written a guide to best practices in low-cost, community-based improvements to the built environment. She brings extraordinary skill in connecting residents, local government and diverse stakeholders to effect positive change.

We are excited to have Tangier on board here at GWUSA!

Mickey Fearn joins the Groundwork USA board

December 29th, 2014

We are honored to announce the appointment of Mickey Fearn to the Groundwork USA Board!

Mr. Fearn, currently Professor of Practice at North Carolina State University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, is the former Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance at the National Park Service (NPS), where he worked tirelessly to increase the participation of currently underrepresented groups in our parks.

Mickey Fearn has been a public servant for over 43 years. Before joining NPS, he served the City of Seattle, Washington, where he created and directed a summer youth program for Seattle Parks and Recreation aimed at connecting urban youth to the natural world while promoting personal responsibility and healthy lifestyles. While in Seattle, Mr. Fearn held positions as the manager of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, director of the City’s Innovation Project and director of Seattle’s Neighborhood Leadership Program. He also served as a Washington State Parks and Recreation commissioner for 12 years. Prior to his work in Seattle, Mr. Fearn worked for the Governor of California, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Mayor of Oakland, California.

At NCSU, in addition to teaching classes, Mickey Fearn works with the College of Natural Resources’ (CNR’s) Community for Diversity in Natural Resources to address its challenges regarding diversity and inclusion and engaging in cross-campus diversity activities. He is also working with local government and non-profits to engage communities of color in ecology and environmental activities, and connecting federal agencies to the important research and work that CNR is doing.

Mickey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Park Administration at California State University, and his Master of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Oregon.

Groundwork Somerville Goes to Groundwork Northern Ireland

December 2nd, 2014 Groundwork Somerville Goes to Groundwork Northern Ireland

by Chris Mancini, Executive Director of Groundwork Somerville

From November 8-18 this year, I traveled first to Dublin and then to Belfast to experience the “rule of law” in all its forms as a part of an exchange program hosted by Boston College’s Irish Institute. This was the second part of an exchange, which began when we hosted Ciaran Shannon of Groundwork Northern Ireland for 3 weeks back in May.

From meeting with political leaders at the Dáil (parliament) one day, to touring a community policing station and sitting in with a pro bono legal nonprofit the next, we were given an inside look at how the Republic of Ireland keeps itself running. Two big differences we noticed were that there are four major political parties (FOUR!) and the fact that the police guard take an active role in diverting potential offenders out of the legal system, rather than simply enforcing and arresting and leaving it up to the courts.

But the heart of my trip lay up north in Belfast. Spending two days with Ciaran and Groundwork Northern Ireland led to some sobering realizations about the work we do here in Massachusetts, as well as the great potential we have to effect change. On the face of things, Groundwork Somerville and Groundwork Northern Ireland are performing some very similar jobs creating green spaces in urban areas, engaging community in public processes and creating jobs and training opportunities for youth. However, Groundwork Northern Ireland is performing this work in a city that until just 10 years ago (or even less) was regularly rocked by extreme violence. To this day, some groups are still trying to destabilize the peace that has been created, and which Groundwork Northern Ireland strives every day to preserve and increase. Ciaran and his colleagues target “interfaces”, or streets and locations at the juncture of Loyalist and Nationalist neighborhoods, to do their work, which includes building community gardens (allotments), taking down “Peace Walls” and bringing Catholics and Protestants together to talk about their hopes for the future.

Read the whole post here.

Job Opening: NPS hiring AmeriCorps Fellow to work with GWUSA!

November 11th, 2014

This NPS-RTCA AmeriCorps Fellow will be located in the NPS office in downtown Boston, MA, starting in January 2015 for year, and will spend about 75% of his/her time working on a range of cool projects for Groundwork USA. Please check out this job description for details here: NPS-RTCA AmeriCorps Fellow 2015 (with Groundwork USA) – Boston MA

Groundwork USA is hiring!

October 24th, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Groundwork USA is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Manager of Land and Water Programs.

Please review the job description here:

Manager, Land and Water Programs

Applications are due no later than November 24, 2014.

Groundwork Youth Inspire at Shenandoah National Park

September 15th, 2014

Here is a great video put together by the Groundwork youth who worked in Shenandoah National Park this summer, talking about their experiences and what it meant to them. Thanks to Shenandoah National Park, Groundwork Anacostia River DC, Groundwork Richmond, VA, and Groundwork Hudson Valley, NY, for this great collaboration that made this summer youth service camp possible. We hope to continue it next summer!

Groundwork Youth Get Hands on Experience Working at Yellowstone NP

August 28th, 2014

Check out this video from Yellowstone this summer!

Groundwork News from Yellowstone 2014

August 25th, 2014 Groundwork News from Yellowstone 2014

In its third year now, this program brought 53 Groundwork youth from across the country together to work at Yellowstone National Park over the course of two weeks in August 2014, as part of a partnership between Groundwork USA and the National Park Service (NPS). Groundwork youth from urban centers across the country are working alongside Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) staff on a variety of maintenance projects for the park. The purpose of this unique collaboration is to give the youth the opportunity to work with conservation professionals outside their hometowns and to see their important work back home as part of a broader environmental movement. Groundwork USA was thrilled that the YCC within Yellowstone National Park was able to arrange for two sessions of the program to take place – thanks to Deputy Chief of Resource Education & Youth Programs, Judy Knuth Folts, Youth Program Manager Bob Fuhrmann, and YCC co-directors Mike Coonan and Laura Del Ross. This program was also financially supported by the Washington DC Youth Program Office of NPS and the National Park Foundation.

Here’s a glimpse of their first day this summer: The youth flew into Bozeman, Montana and were greeted by YCC staff who transported the youth to the YCC camp near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. The youth checked into their dorms, received hard hats and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and their uniforms. The evening included fun and games and ice breakers to help start things off. The youth were then divided into three teams and the next morning headed off to their various work sites which included axing bumber logs to keep drivers on the road, painting picnic tables throughout norther Yellowstone, and working on the Mandrake trail. That evening they learned all about bears within Yellowstone and how to protect themselves in an encounter. This included practice with bear spray on willing “bears.”

And here we have some fun and inspiring conversations with Jairo from Lawrence, MA, Adrian from Las Cruces, NM, and Ashante from Denver, CO, all loving their time at Yellowstone.

Adrian Avila YS 2014

Ashante Kwon Harris YS 2014

Jairo Hernandez YS 2014

More news to come!

GWUSA’s Brownfields Webinars now on-line!

August 20th, 2014

Groundwork USA’s in-depth webinars on strategies for reclaiming brownfields at varying stages of that process can be found here.