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Youth Conservation Crew (ages 14-19)

The Youth Conservation Crew (YCC) provides employment opportunities for a diverse population of Portland-area youth. Crews protect, restore, and manage Portland's parks and natural areas while developing job skills and exploring environmental career paths.
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COVID-19 Update

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.

YCC 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 work in small groups.
  • During COVID, we do not provide transportation to work sites; each employee must get to worksites on their own. A TriMet bus or MAX stop is near each work site. 

About YCC

The Youth Conservation Crew provides employment opportunities for a diverse population of Portland-area youth. Crews protect, restore, and manage Portland's parks and natural areas while developing essential job skills and exploring environmental career paths.

Eligibility for Employment

  • You are between the ages of 14-19.
  • Turn in your own application and contact the employer yourself. A parent or guardian should not do it for you. This is one way we determine if you are ready for work!
  • Be willing and able to do hard work in the outdoors (often walking on uneven ground, in heat, cold, or rain).
  • Be dependable, responsible, and available - you can and will show up to work every day, on time.
  • Be excited to work with a diverse team. We encourage people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities to apply, as well as English Language Learners. Reasonable accommodations can be provided.
  • Eligible to work in the United States. 
  • Be able to get to work sites on your own. All worksites have a bus or TriMet MAX stop nearby. 

Work schedule

  • Summer 2021: June 24 through August 14; Tuesday through Friday;  8:30am to 3:00pm.
  • During the school year, YCC works on Saturdays and school holidays. Sign up for workdays as your schedule allows.


The compensation rate for 2021 is $14 an hour

Types of Crew Work

City Nature East Crew
Natural Area Crew is a great fit for teens interested in landscaping, science, plants, and animals. 
WORK LOCATIONS: East, Northeast, and Southeast Portland

  • caring for young plants
  • removing plants like ivy and invasive blackberry
  • learning plant identification
  • research about plants and animals 
  • building split rail fences 

Trail Crew
Trail Crew is a great fit for teens interested in engineering, construction, and making nature accessible to all people! 

  • building and fixing trails 
  • building structures (rock walls, crib walls, split rail fences, and other structures)
  • some work with plants

Tree Crew
Tree Crew is a great fit for teens who care about trees and want to learn about how trees make our city healthier and more beautiful.
WORK LOCATIONS: East Portland and Delta Park (North Portland)

  • studying trees and entering data into a computer program
  • pruning and caring for young trees
  • learning tree identification

Community Gardens Crew
Community Gardens Crew is a great fit for teens who are interested in growing food, gardening, construction, and food justice. 

  • building and fixing garden plots and paths
  • exploring food and environmental justice
  • Native Gathering Garden

Apply for YCC Employment - Youth ages 14-18

No longer accepting applications for 2021.  Check back here in December of 2021 for the 2022 application. 

Apply for YCC Adult Crew Leader positions

Application for summer 2022 will be online in November 2021.  Application will stay open until all positions are filled. 

We hire 8 crew leaders to co-lead four YCC crews (see crew descriptions above). We are looking for crew leaders with the following qualities and qualifications:

  • Crew leaders must have a driver's license and a good driving record.
  • Crew leaders must be invested in racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. 
  • Crew leaders must be ready to lead a crew of teenagers with warmth, kindness, humor, and high expectations.
  • Crew leaders must love nature, and have skills and/or interest in trees, trails, gardening, habitat restoration, and/or environmental education.
  • Crew leaders must be able to follow COVID-19 protocol and other safety measures.
  • We encourage alumni of Youth Conservation Crew to apply for crew leader positions!

In 2021, crew leaders will begin work no later than June 14, and end no earlier than August 18. There are options to begin early and continue working when the season is over. Crew leaders work 36 to 40 hours a week from Monday through Friday. The pay is $17 to 19 per hour. Other benefits include professional development and access to networking. Working as a YCC Crew Leader is a stepping stone into jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation!