Who we are
The St. Louis Green Teen Alliance is a coalition of organizations from the green industry. Our goal is to grow the future of the green workforce by engaging youth from historically marginalized communities in environmental work. We provide paid job opportunities in sustainable agriculture, habitat restoration, and environmental research for 100 youth every summer.
Our core team includes EarthDance Farms, Forest Park Forever, Forest Releaf of Missouri, the Missouri Botanical Garden, CAASTLC- Seeds of Hope Farm, the St. Louis Science Center, and Tyson Research Center. Summer job opportunities we offer range from working in community gardens, to organic farming, to restoring natural habitats, to doing environmental research. We bring all 100+ teens together several times throughout the summer to connect, reflect, and explore green careers.
This effort began in 2014, when a few of us began hiring teens. We met one day to share ideas about how to better engage youth in our farms, forests, and fields. As we talked, we realized that we were all working on some big issues through our employment programs-- workforce development, racial equity, and environmental justice. These are issues bigger than any one of our organizations, and we decided to tackle them together. Our supporting partners who help make this collaboration possible include St. Louis Public Schools, University of Missouri- St Louis, The Brown School at Washington University, Gateway Greening, the National Park Service, the Green City Coalition, and the St. Louis Mayor's Office of Sustainability.
Our shared values
WE TRANSFORM OUR LANDS AND WATERS
Participating programs actively transform the St. Louis landscape. Youth get hands-on experience working outdoors, and can see a difference in the environment because of their efforts.
WE PAY WAGES
Youth deserve to be compensated fairly for their hard work! Programs with unpaid youth positions are not included in the Alliance.
WE'RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Our programs are more than summer jobs. We are committed to creating employment pathways for St. Louis youth to explore careers (and passions!) in environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture, and related research. These fields are critical to the health and future of our planet and all of us. Developing the next generation of conservation-lovin' environmental researchin' farmers and foresters will take time and intentional, multi-year programming. We're ready for the challenge!
WE ARE TRAVELING ALONG THE PATH TO RACIAL EQUITY
We know that environmental justice, food justice, and racial justice are linked. We hire teen crews that are racially diverse, to elevate the voices of historically marginalized people, build real community between racial groups in St. Louis, and to train our next generation of staff. We start hard conversations about why few people of color work in our organizations, and the history of racism that continues to create land-based trauma in people of color today. Agricultural and environmental jobs are some of the whitest in America, from farmers and ranchers to foresters to environmental scientists. We want to give those stats a run for their money, but to do that, we have to talk openly about racism and injustice within our fields.
The Alliance has received support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2016-05198.