On May 3, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced that applications are being accepted from teenagers for the new Youth Ambassador Program at Pennsylvania state parks and forests. The application deadline is June 1. Ambassadors will begin their 10-month opportunity on July 1.
“Youth Ambassadors will volunteer for 10 months to develop a connection with one or more Pennsylvania state parks or forests, and will then help highlight and promote the recreational opportunities, volunteer work, and experiences available at the locations to other young people,” Dunn said. “It’s a great way for teens who appreciate the outdoors to give back to their communities and the environment.”
The first nine host sites for Youth Ambassadors are:
- Chapman State Park (Warren County)
- Clear Creek State Forest (Clarion County)
- Forbes State Forest (Westmoreland County)
- Little Buffalo State Park (Perry County)
- Neshaminy State Park (Bucks County)
- Point State Park (Allegheny County)
- Tiadaghton State Forest (Lycoming County)
- Tobyhanna State Park (Wayne County)
- Weiser State Forest (Schuylkill County)
Ambassadors must be at least 14 years old and cannot graduate from high school before the end of the program. They will complete a checklist of activities during the 10 months, including:
- Use social media platforms to share their experiences using the hashtag #DCNRAmbassador
- Attend park/forest programs to assist staff and communicate with the public
- Assist with volunteer projects such as maintaining trails or removing invasive species
- Act as liaisons with youth-related organizations
The program will provide young people with experience for college applications and senior projects; networking opportunities; and recognition of their services.
“DCNR is looking for new and different ways to involve young people in conservation and outdoor recreation, and it seemed that one way to introduce those opportunities to teenagers would be for them to hear about it from other teenagers,” said Dunn.
To apply or learn more, visit the Youth Ambassadors webpage.