The Greenager Program, a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and Port of San Francisco youth stewardship and leadership program that runs from June through January each year. The program was created and designed to offer teens a chance to play an important role in the community by improving the city’s green spaces, raising awareness, creating place-based projects and/or projects based on issues or themes participants value and are interested in.
The Greenager Program is for teenagers that live in or attend a school in the Southeast or Northeast side of San Francisco. Greenagers are trained and provided with multiple leadership opportunities. They facilitate workshops, lead public volunteer service projects, participate in community events, go on fun team excursions and much more.
Our goal is to create a safe atmosphere in which youth can learn about the importance of the preservation of our parks and open spaces, voice their concerns about their environment, community and take action while gaining fundamental job and life skills and opportunities to push and challenge their perceived limitations, bond with like-minded peers and have fun all in their own backyard!
Over the years
- Program established in 2012 with a crew based in Southeast SF
- In 2016, added a 2nd crew based in Northeast of SF
- 70 teens have successfully completed the 8-month program, 12 have returned as leaders for a 2nd year
- Coastal Clean-up site captains since 2013
- Engaged with over 500 community members and key stakeholders
- Service provided in over 20 different parks and opens spaces in San Francisco
- 8,300 hours of service to our city’s parks and open spaces, community events and rec centers
- Received Board of supervisor’s program commendation on July 29, 2014
- Annual sailing excursion with Blue Water Foundation and other fun adventures including camping to get youth outdoors
What I enjoyed about the Greenagers program was the new people I got to bond with, having fun experiencing new things this year like backpacking, and having the experience of being a leader.—Olivia M., class of 2019
"I learned to use various garden tools for restoration and planting. I am able to teach others about the tools now. I learned how to communicate with volunteers better so I'm more social, which means I'm able to ask for help more when I need it and help others when others need it." – Johnny S., class of 2019
“When I joined the program 2 years ago, I thought we would just be pulling out weeds and doing gardening work, but the program was so much more than that. Yes, we mainly did restoration work, but we also led work days, volunteered at park events, and had fun outings that helped create a better team dynamic. The things that I got out of this program were much more than I could've ever imagined back then; that's why I came back for a second year!”—Fionna H., class of 2018
"At first, I thought Greenagers Program is just like any other youth program where you just go and work but this program is different and I really like it!" -- Anonymous Greenager, class of 2017"
"It exposed me to many new places in SF that I've never been to and I've also met people who shared similar passions to me." -- Anonymous Greenager, class of 2017
"Greenager program helps my son learn to take responsibility, develop a work ethic, understand and demonstrate commitment to his fellow team mates and respect by showing up on time, be reliable and undertake job duties. --Greenager parent, class of 2019
“Although she had to wake up early to go to program days, she never complained about it because she genuinely enjoyed being a part of the program. She became more knowledgeable of the parks in SF as well as the environment in general. It nourished her love for nature and being outdoors. It also played a part in deciding what major or career she wanted to pursue in the future.” Greenager parent, class of 2018
She always came home dirty and tanned, but I could tell she was happy in the program and now she's even considering choosing a career that involves working for the environment." --Anonymous Parent, class of 2017"
“…the Greenagers promotes respect for one another, group effort and taking turns leading some activities. I loved that the group was like an extended family; participants and staff genuinely cared about each other in the group. The leaders were unbiased, tolerant and great motivators!” Juliet M., Parent, class of 2017
- 1st time Greenagers could earn up to $100/month
- 2nd year Greenager leaders could earn up $150/month
- Earn community service credit (varies by school)
- Forge new long-lasting friendships
- Gain valuable and transferrable job skills
- Advance your leadership & public speaking skills
- Gain professional work experience
- Explore new parks, rec centers & open spaces
- Learn about SF’s native flora and fauna
- Network with various Orgs and like-minded youth
- Meet physical education Req. if applicable (varies by school)
- Go on fun camping trips and excursions
- Looks great on your resume