Bronx Youth Urban Forestry Environmental Program is a paid summer internship sponsored by Trees NY (www.treesny.org). The program is designed for underserved high school students in the Bronx, NY. This two month program includes hands-on activities in which students learn urban forestry skills including: tree care, tree identification, tree pit gardening, tree inventory, parkland habitat restoration, and outdoor recreational activities. The program explores urban forestry in a variety of urban outdoor settings from a public housing development to regional open spaces. The BYUFEP is designed to enhance academic and work readiness skills (reading, critical thinking, problem solving) and to empower students to be stewards of the urban environment.
The BYUFEP evaluation was designed to understand the impact of the program on participants in terms of increased environmental awareness, attitudes toward the environment, stewardship behaviors and general program satisfaction. Pre and post test questionnaires, weekly essays and observations by the program supervisor and US Forest research staff were used to evaluate the impact of the program. Based on the evaluation results, Trees NY has added additional staff to the program and updated the curriculum to include emphasis on ecosystem function.