Eastie Farm Youth Climate Corps Program

Climate Corps is an earn-to-learn environmental stewardship program for high school teens.

The youth tend urban farms, teach K-8 climate education, do food and climate justice advocacy work with legislators and community members, offer tours at our geothermally powered greenhouse and other urban, biodiverse growing-spaces, and learn (through experience) the skills they need to become motivated climate leaders for our community.

Benefits of Youth Climate Corps 

  1. Prepare youth for a climate-changed future
  2. Empower them to act on climate  
  3. Incentivize community service 
  4. Supplements labor for Eastie Farm’s farm, food, and education initiatives
  5. Exposes youth to green career (and public service) possibilities
  6. Bridges gaps between adults and children
  7. Serves the largest climate justice community (youth)
  8. Leverages youth to share information about food security with hard-to-reach individuals and community members 
  9. Benefits the climate in an environmental/climate justice community by creating green spaces, increasing tree canopy, and localizing food consumption

ADVOCACY AND LEADERSHIP

  • Advocacy for food and climate justice with legislators and community leaders
    • Direct engagement with State Representative Adrian Madaro, City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Mayor’s Office of Food Justice, and more
  • Civic involvement – attendance, presentation, and facilitation of robust discussion at neighborhood and civic association meetings
  • Tours of our geothermal greenhouse and other sites, teaching about and advocating for climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency
  • Multigenerational, multicultural collaboration and grassroots engagement of all stakeholders (local orgs, institutions, corporations, city/state/federal entities, community members)

YCC being interviewed by WBUR about rain harvesting and other climate solutions

FOOD AND CLIMATE LITERACY 

  • Increased climate and food literacy among youth participants
  • Learn to grow food
  • Learn about the processes and impacts of our food system through holistic food system education
  • Teach in our Junior Farmers environmental stewardship elementary program
  • Empower youth with the knowledge they need to become informed citizens who understand the problems and know how to build on solutions locally

Harvesting mulberries at Sumner for the EF CSA and free produce distribution

“I’ve always been connected to nature and plants but after leaving home in Colombia and coming to this city, I never even knew that I could still be connected to it, right here in East Boston”

Climate Corps youth 2022

PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 

  • Green job skills
    • garden care, food growing, building/construction, repair  
  • Transferable soft and hard skills
  • Writing and public speaking
  • Exposure to non-profit systems and processes 
  • Mentorship with EF staff with wide range of professional backgrounds (education, agriculture, permaculture, public organizing, etc.)

Climate Corps youth teaching in our Junior Farmers summer program 2022

ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEEDS

East Boston is an environmental/ climate justice community and food desert. This community faces: 

  • increased flooding and fires
  • worsening pollution due to airport and highway proximity
  • rising gentrification that displaces the most vulnerable families
  • lowest tree canopy (7%) across the entire state of MA
  • only 1 grocery store for some 60,000 residents

Climate Corps youth helping out with the EF CSA, an EF food program that localizes food consumption and destigmatizing food aid

GREEN JOB PREPARATION 

We are a living model of a climate solution that embeds climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency innovations, processes, and infrastructure into all the food and community work we do. 

  • Climate Mitigation: Increasing awareness of affordable and green utility opportunities and other city-funded programs like composting
  • Climate adaptation: Storm-water harvesting, rain gardens,  reduction of urban heat island effect, building community spaces that double as climate shelters
  • Climate Resiliency: Building community in order to increase the community’s ability to cope with climate disasters

We are advocates for a resilient, sustainable, and equitable present and future. That means investing our time and labor into building a local, healthy food system, getting people reconnected to each other and the earth, and solving the problems of today with climate-positive solutions for a more livable future.

“Climate Corps made me feel connected to my community – meeting new people, being able to hear and learn about others’ stories and challenges , and being able to help people. Even to the point of getting to teach little kids about our environment and how to keep it safe, explaining all about climate change. This program means so much to me. Just how everyone is so kind and generous. I’m so grateful that I’m still being educated by everyone around me about so much more than I had ever known of.” 

Climate Corps member 2022

Interested in joining our 2023 youth team or supporting their work?

Reach out to Jenny@eastiefarm.com