YARDS Youth Landscape Maintenance Training

At risk Youth Landscape Maintenance Training Program, established in 2010

Purpose:

• Provide vocational training in desert landscape and maintenance for youth at risk involved in the Pima County Juvenile Court System
• Provide employment opportunities and job development skills, including desert health and safety skills to qualify youth for local job opportunities within city and county government and the local landscape industry.
• Provide a sustainable trained youth resource for employment.
• Provide landscape training techniques taught by professional arborists, horticulturists, landscape architects, planners, and instructors in related fields.
• Provide successful students with a Certificate of Achievement, reference letters, a set of landscaping tools and safety equipment.

The program’s primary goal is to provide an educational opportunity and structure to develop and, reinforce each student’s individual potential to become a productive citizen; while creating a catalyst for reducing recidivism within the Pima County Juvenile Court System.

Participant Requirements: Students will be selected by their probation officers, based on an assessment of the youth’s aptitude and commitment to complete the program. The maximum class size is 12 students. Students range from 15-18 and will earn community restitution hours, RAP credit, or JIPS – up to 36 hours.

Schedule: Classes are scheduled for nine weeks, four hours per week, including a graduation ceremony where they receivea Certificate of Training in Landscape Techniques and Principles of Desert Landscaping. Two course sessions will be presented yearly. Classes are held at the Pima County Ext. Service, U of A Agriculture Farm, Tucson Botanical Gardens and other appropriate landscape training sites.

Classes include: Tools and Safety, Desert Plant ID, Soils, Water and Plants, Water Harvesting, Pruning Techniques, Irrigation Systems, Tree Climbing Techniques and Rigging, Nutrition, Skin Cancer, Desert Poisonous Critters, Job Application and Interviewing Skills and Why College?

Awards: In April-May 2012 during its annual conference, the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) awarded YARDS the Gold Leaf Award in recognition of the success, collaboration and innovation created by the program. This is the most prestigious award given by the ISA. Previously in 2010, The Wolslager Foundation funded the program, as well as funding a matching grant for 2011. Funds have been raised for the third year and we will continue to seek funding to insure the program’s continued success in serving our community and our youth at risk.

For more information contact:

Tucson Clean & Beautiful: Sofia Angkasa, (520) 837-6830 – tcb@tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org