Youth jobs program to promote `green' city

April 11, 2007|By Sumathi Reddy | Sumathi Reddy,Sun Reporter

Pointing to her "cleaner and greener" campaign, Mayor Sheila Dixon announced yesterday the launch of an environmental conservation summer job program for high school students.

The program will pay 40 Baltimore public school students to work in city parks and learn about conservation.

The program, called Baltimore's Conservation Leadership Corps, is a partnership between the city and Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based company specializing in automotive interiors and energy efficiency.

"By using this initiative - this public and private partnership - we can make a better Baltimore for everyone," said Dixon at the announcement at City Hall.

The Student Conservation Association, a nationwide conservation group of college and high school volunteers, will administer the curriculum with Civic Works, a local branch of the AmeriCorps, the national nonprofit service organization.

Baltimore joins Milwaukee as the second pilot city in which Johnson Controls has launched the program. Selected students must take a one-week job-readiness class in June before working for six weeks in local parks, where they will build bridges and repair trails, among other duties.

Dixon noted that the city has more than 6,000 acres of parkland, in addition to community gardens and pocket parks. She said that well-cared-for green spaces and trees "create real economic value."

sumathi.reddy@baltsun.com

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