The Power of YES

The rigorous training program (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) teaches students the disciplines of landscape design, arboriculture, hydrology and urban forestry.  They learn proper techniques for pruning shrubs and trees, monitoring water quality and removing exotic species.  It sounds like a college-level course, but in fact it’s the Youth Environmental Steward (YES) program managed by North East Trees – a Los Angeles, CA nonprofit organization helping at-risk youth become environmental stewards.

North East Trees has several important initiatives aimed at restoring nature’s services in resource-challenged communities; to date, the organization has planted over 20,000 trees, created over 35 parks and facilitated other landscape improvements, including habitat restoration along the Los Angeles River and across Los Angeles County.  The YES program offers environmental and community support in a slightly different manner, combining education and training to help develop community work force, build individual character and ensure their restoration projects will be maintained into the future.  To date, thousands of local youth have completed the YES program, with many going on to find employment within the green industry.

Hands-on education in North East Trees’ YES program

North East Trees and many of its youth stewards will be on hand tomorrow, October 11, for Timberland’s third Dig It event taking place at the William Mead housing facility – one of Los Angeles’ largest housing public housing communities and home to some 1,400 residents.  In addition to planting 250 trees and creating a community garden, volunteers will learn how to select, plant and care for trees appropriate for their living environment. 

Click here to register for the LA Dig It event and for more information about the evening celebration at Avalon featuring musicians like Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard.  To learn more about North East Trees and their efforts to cultivate youth stewards and preserve local communities, visit their website.

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