Youth Tree Team

2014 | Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB) works to preserve and grow the Indianapolis tree canopy by planting thousands of large, Indiana native trees each year in our city. KIB’s Youth Tree Team (YTT) program consists of 8 teams, each with 8 high-school youth and 2 adult leaders, hired over the summer to water, mulch, and prune recently-planted KIB trees in public spaces. Youth learn about their environment by identifying tree species, learning to care for trees and identifying their benefits to the community, as well as gaining valuable job skills and enrichment opportunities. We offer interested youth the opportunity to extend their employment to weekends throughout the school year. The YTT program provides Indianapolis youth the opportunity to connect to the environment and to each other, to learn about applied arboriculture in our city, and to leave a lasting community impact.

At the end of the summer program in 2014, we met all of our program goals:
* 100% of youth gained flora and basic environmental knowledge, measured by pre- and post-testing, and with full participation required at all enrichment events.
* 100% of youth increased job skills, measured by mid-summer and year-end evaluations.
* 100% of youth have increased leadership skills, each member taking a turn leading the team for that day’s activities.
* At-risk youth have developed a positive relationship with the community, fostering civic pride.
* In summer 2014, KIB’s Youth Tree Team watered 4,200 recently-planted trees; trees received crucial maintenance in their first years after planting.

Funding from the TREE Fund enabled KIB to continue to provide the Youth Tree Team program at 2013 levels (8 teams), offering arboriculture education opportunities to the largest number of youth to date.