Teen Urban Tree Corps Is Back in Session for Summer 2022

Teen Urban Tree Corps teen Eli learning how to use a fire hydrant to water trees with the help of TUTC Program Coordinator Josh.

Teens in Speak for the Trees’ Teen Urban Tree Corps program have been off to a great start watering Dorchester’s Street trees. 15 Boston teens began their summer youth employment in early July with various training sessions that included tree identification, tree biology, tree care, and safe use of fire hydrants. Thanks to the Boston Water and Sewer Commission’s hydrant meter permit program, teens are able to easily access water from the hydrants, watering over 200 trees. Considering the heat and drought of the season, we’re confident that the trees are thankful.

The first two weeks of the program have also included field trips, providing hands-on educational opportunities on a variety of environmental topics. Teens visited the Arnold Arboretum and were given a tour by one of their docents, John. They learned how to identify redwoods, willows, maples, and oaks. Teens put their tree identification skills to use during a tour of the Boston Commons with SFTT’s Community Tree Specialist, Claire Corcoan and Sherley Smith from Friends of the Public Garden.

Jahriel, Chelsea, Eli, Dontae, and Brian (from left to right), learning how to identify trees with John at the Arnold Arboretum.

Teens also learned about tree maintenance, tree care, tools, and methods including tree wrapping, water irrigation systems, and tree cloning at Post Office Square Park with Russell Holman from Arborway Tree Care.

In the remaining weeks of the program, teens will continue with the work watering trees as well as applying water bags to trees for a more efficient watering process. Our other upcoming field trips include invasive species removal with the Emerald Necklace Conservatory, touring Spectacle Island, and tree climbing at Franklin Park, among others.

To continue to meet our goal of educating the TUTC teens and better preparing them for their future, they will continue participating in educational activities and meeting professionals with the experience and knowledge to guide them towards their desired green jobs. SFTT Education Coordinator, Eva, will provide multiple lessons on career exploration through a partnership with American Forests’ and their new career exploration curriculum.

We look forward to the continued expansion of their knowledge and experiences as the summer continues.