A group of children holding hand tools pose outdoors on a dirt trail.


Through the lens of sustainability, the Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) program helps young people make choices that foster health and well-being for themselves, their communities, and the environment.

A child holds a preying mantis in his hand on a green trail

The YES program is a partnership between Natural Lands and Trellis for Tomorrow, a nonprofit that creates transformative, real-world opportunities for youth who have faced social and economic disadvantages.

The program focuses on creating the next generation of land stewards, emphasizes conservation, and allows participants to explore possible career opportunities in the field.

A group of children with one adult do work outside.

A cohort of 13 to 17-year-olds works on a variety of conservation projects at Natural Lands preserves—planting trees, trail maintenance and construction, invasive species removal, and various beautification projects. They are paid for their work, and their efforts benefit Natural Lands’ preserve staff who always welcome helping hands.

The skills the teens learn—accountability, time management, problem solving, punctuality, perseverance—can change the trajectory of their lives.

Interested in applying to be part of the next cohort? Apply today.

This program is supported by individual donors committed to encouraging and empowering the next generation. Donate today.