We Can’t BeLEAF Our Teen Urban Tree Corps Program Has Come to an End

Youth supported Boston’s trees and Boston’s trees supported them.

Our teens, Zaylia, Eli, and Braniel, mulching trees with their team leader Joshua (in orange) [Left Image]. When teens Angeli, Leo, and Chelsea are done mulching they pose together with their team leader An [Right Image].

As the summer comes to an end, so does our summer Teen Urban Tree Corps program. During the six week summer program, these teens visited 200 trees and watered them once a week, providing each tree with 10 gallons of water. All in all, these trees received 2000 gallons of water each week! Despite the heat, these teens have continued watering trees in Dorchester.

To contribute to these trees’ well-being further, Speak for the Trees held a mulching event on August 10th. The teens invited friends, family, and other community members to help them spread mulch around some of the trees they spent all summer watering. In a single day, with the help of our TUTC teens and volunteers, we were able to mulch 60 street trees. This mulch will help retain water, reduce weed growth, and provide nutrients to the trees as it breaks down. A thank you to South Bay Home Depot for a generous donation of mulch to support this event.

Our teens, Kwest and Theo, climbing a tree.

Towards the end of the program, they were guided by Bear and Melissa LeVangie of the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop and everyone climbed a large oak tree at Franklin Park. Youth learned not only about the role of arborists in tree maintenance and care, but also about what their own bodies are capable of.

On the final day of the program, a celebration was held for the teens and team leaders  at Ronan Park. They celebrated with kickball, pizza, and a thank you from David Meshoulam, Speak for the Trees’ Executive Director, and Jerel Ferguson, Speak for the Trees’ Community Outreach Manager. The teens then heard from Joseph Pellegrino from Power Corps BOS, who shared his work experiences with the teens.

All of our TUTC teens and team leaders feeling proud of themselves at the final celebration.

We are proud of all of our teens for all their hard work and dedication throughout this summer program. Thank you to our supporters, including Boston Youth Engagement and Employment, John Hancock’s MLK Program, Accenture, Boston Beyond, and the many individuals who supported the work, either in person or with donations. And, of course, thank you teens!

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