SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation & Park Department celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Greenager program with a graduation ceremony at the EcoCenter in Heron’s Head Park this morning. The Department’s Greenager internship program offers teens a chance to play an important role in improving San Francisco communities and green spaces. Nine students from San Francisco’s southeastern neighborhoods graduated today and received certificates provided by Assemblymember David Chiu and Supervisor Malia Cohen.
For the past five years, the Greenagers Program has offered teens from southeast San Francisco a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the city’s green spaces and raising awareness for environmental issues while gaining crucial skills in facilitating workshops, networking, public speaking, teamwork, environmental education, and community engagement.
“Greenagers has exposed me to so much,” wrote one Greenager in a survey to gather feedback. “This program has really allowed me to have a better understanding of why we need to preserve our parks. We are so grateful to have such beautiful parks and in return we should keep [them] clean and safe for other park users to enjoy.”
At the ceremony this morning, SF Rec & Park also announced the expansion of its Greenager Program to northeast San Francisco (Chinatown & adjacent neighborhoods). The programming in southeast San Francisco will continue as the program doubles in size to reach more teenagers and more communities.
“I am so proud of all the work that our Greenagers have done, and I’m quite proud of our ability to expand the program,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “More importantly, I am proud of the skills that these Greenagers have built over the years that they will carry as they go on to the next chapters of their lives.”
SF Rec & Park will begin recruiting its sixth class of Greenagers from both the southeast and northeast beginning February 1st. Applications can be found online at http://sfrecpark.org/support-your-parks/volunteer-program/. Greenagers meet an average of three Saturdays per month and will earn a stipend based on their completion of each month’s commitments, an experience that fosters workforce development.
Since its inception in 2012, 44 teens from southeastern San Francisco have successfully completed the program. They have provided more than 4,800 hours of service to their communities, parks, and open spaces. In addition, they have engaged with hundreds of community members and volunteers in beautification and habitat restoration efforts in dozens of parks throughout the City.
Greenagers are supported through a partnership with the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Parks Alliance and an annual graduation ceremony supported by PG&E.