Sonoran Canopy Project
The goal of the Sonoran Canopy Project (SCP) is to increase sustainability of underserved communities through urban forestry and green infrastructure projects and to provide job training for urban teens. SCP proposes a nontraditional, holistic approach to urban forestry, community sustainability and job skills for teens through specific steps. These steps include: 1) project selection, planning and implementation; 2) youth recruitment; 3) youth green infrastructure skills training; 4) recognition of youth participants and SCP community project completion; and 5) creating pathways for future employment.
A Collaborative Project:
The Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) engages and trains a diverse group of young women and men and completes conservation projects for the public benefit. SCC will: supervise 2 part time SCP Coordinators; coordinate the tree planting projects; recruit community volunteers; interview and select youth participants; train participants and community volunteers in proper tool use, tool safety, and planting/tree care skills; provide tools and transportation; supervise youth and volunteers on project work; document project accomplishments; administer youth participant pay and living allowances; coordinate possible internship and job placements with other urban forestry and arborist businesses and organizations.
Ironwood Tree Experience (ITE) empowers young people ages 12-19 through active, mindful and educational EcoPrograms that cultivate a holistic sense of community. ITE will provide 50 hours per project of staff time and activities pertaining to systems thinking, ecological and outdoor skills training for teens; education supervision; van transportation; field equipment (backpacks, water bottles, tents, sleeping bags, food, etc); In addition ITE will using $39,000 in matching funds to establish a Community Action Toolkit to initiate planning and protocol guidelines.
Tucson Youth Development, Inc. is a community based organization and nationally recognized leader in providing innovative and successful education, training and employment programs for low-income and at-risk youth ages 14-21 in Pima County. TYD will: engage low-income and at-risk youth in the Canopy Project; pay eligible youth through Workforce Investment Act funds minimum wage; provide case management; and provide classroom meeting space.
The City of Tucson is prepared to assist in the collaboration of the SCP. Registered landscape architects, certified arborists and/or certified land planners within the City will provide supervision and educational outreach on topics of arboriculture, urban heat island, urban agriculture and land use regulations. The city has worked with neighborhood and school groups to implement residential street stormwater harvesting basins, landscape design and tree plantings.
The Drachman Institute is a research and public service unit of The College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at The University of Arizona dedicated to the environmentally sensitive and resource-conscious development of neighborhoods and communities. The Drachman Institute will train youth participants in community landscape planning, asset and resource mapping, graphic plan analysis, desktop publishing and design, and InDesign Creative Suite software. Youth that show interest may be introduced to Arc GIS software.
Through The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona (UWTSA), Construction Coaching Opportunities to Reach Employment (C-CORE) is a nationwide, career-based mentoring program of the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of the National Association of Home Builders. UWTSA will help identify low-income and disconnected youth to participate in the Sonoran Canopy Project, recruit volunteers, connect participants with job search, resume assistance and life skills education, and provide career mentors in construction and associated fields.
Josh Schachter is a teacher and youth development specialist who works with hundreds of youth in both in-school and after school settings each year. For over a decade, Josh has worked with underserved youth, particularly low-income, refugee, immigrant and Native American youth. As a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and someone that has documented community urban forestry for 13 years for the Urban Resources Initiative in New Haven, CT, Josh will serve as an advisor in helping The Canopy Project further develop its community urban forestry curriculum and build community partnerships. Josh works as a professional photographer and will assist in documenting the process and impact of the project and offer training to youth participating in the Canopy Project in photographic documentation of urban forestry and community projects.
Arizona Community Tree Council’s (ACTC) mission is to encourage and facilitate the planting and care of trees in Arizona. ACTC will: provide a 4 hour workshop for each of the 4 Canopy Project youth teams on proper tree planting and maintenance; donate 1,500 trees; and introduce participants to arborist job opportunities.