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Teen Nature Team (TNT) - (grades 6-8)

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Teen Nature Team (TNT) is a FREE nature program for middle school students. This program was formerly known as GRUNT.
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COVID-19 Update - Face Coverings

Due to Oregon state mandates, face coverings are required indoors and outdoors for everyone ages five and up, and are highly recommended for children ages 2 to 5 who can appropriately wear one. 

For more information, see Mask Recommendations and Requirements from Oregon Health Authority.

TNT takes safety seriously. During COVID-19, we are doing the following:

  • We follow safety guidelines from our public health authorities and elected officials.
  • We stay outdoors.
  • We sanitize all equipment and materials.
  • We mostly work in small groups of 6-7, though we sometimes come together as a group of 20.

What is TNT?

Teen Nature Team (TNT) is a FREE volunteer environmental science, stewardship, and job skills program that connects youth to nature, environmental careers, and college programs. 

During this time of uncertainty, being in nature is more important than ever! With TNT, you will enjoy activities in nature and create a community with new friends. 

TNT is a partner of Ninth Grade Counts (All Hands Raised), which is a community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates by supporting summer learning and keeping more kids on track through the transition into high school.  Furthermore, graduates receive ongoing support applying for paid jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation.


Who can apply?

  • Current middle school students (grades 6 - 8)
  • Teens of all races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, 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 and clothing provided) 

Once a student has been accepted, they can continue to participate until they start the 9th grade.


Spaces are limited

We have space for 20 students at a time. Applicants will be accepted into the program whenever a space opens up. 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), and/or
  • From a group underrepresented in professional environmental fields (people of color, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).

How do I apply?

Students can apply online or use the printable forms below in multiple languages.
Applicants will immediately be added to a waitlist. Youth will be invited to join as soon as space is available. 

Click here for the online application - in English

Or click one of these applications in printable format:


When is TNT?

TNT meets on Saturdays, school holidays, and during the summer. The time changes each season, depending on the weather. In the winter, we meet from 11:00am - 3:00pm. In the summer, we meet from 10:00am to 3:00pm. 


Where does TNT meet?

TNT meets at parks and natural areas. We switch locations once a month. All locations can be reached by TriMet bus or MAX Lightrail. TriMet tickets are provided upon request.  

Participants will need to be able to get these parks:

*TNT meets at East Portland Community Center, located at 740 SE 106th Avenue. When we no longer need to follow COVID-19 protocols, we will provide transportation for all participants. When we are able to provide transportation, we will visit a wider variety of parks, natural areas, and other field trip sites.


Questions

Karen Chao  (I speak Mien y un poquito de español)
karen.chao@portlandoregon.gov