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GRUNT Program (middle school)

Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team (GRUNT) is a FREE volunteer environmental science, stewardship and job skills program that connects youth to nature, environmental careers and college programs. Graduates receive ongoing support applying for paid jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation

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GRUNT is a partner of Ninth Grade Transition (All Hands Raised), which is community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates by supporting summer learning and keeping more kids on track through the transition into high school.

GRUNT meets for three weeks in the summer, and then 1-2 Saturdays a month throughout the next school year. See the application for this year's dates!

Who can apply?

  • Current middle school students (grades 6 - 8)
  • Teens of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, abilities, English language proficiency, and immigration status are encouraged to apply.
  • Youth must be able to walk two miles on uneven ground and safely handle sharp tools.
  • Youth must be willing to get dirty (some gear & clothing provided) 
  • Youth must be able to attend all days of the summer session (see application for dates)

The program is often competitive and requires an interview. Volunteer slots are limited. Priority will be given to eligible applicants who meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • Low-income (as demonstrated by enrollment in Title I school, participation in Free and Reduced-price School meals program or qualification for other federal assistance programs)


  • From a background underrepresented in professional environmental fields (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).

How do I apply?

  • The teen should fill out the application
  • Email the application to  or mail the application to: GRUNT, 2909 SW 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97201
  • Application due date is April 15
  • If you are selected for an interview, it will be May 9

Apply now!

Diversity and Equity Statement

GRUNT engages a diverse group of Portland-area youth in environmental stewardship, science, recreation and career exploration. GRUNT is a program where people of many races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, English language proficiencies, economic backgrounds and immigration statuses work, learn, eat, play and grow together.  Adult crew leaders engage in frequent anti-racist, anti-bias trainings, and conversations. Many crew leaders are multi-lingual and/or multi-cultural. 


Karen Chao (I speak Mien y un poquito de Espanol)