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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

GRUNT (middle school)

What is GRUNT?
Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team (GRUNT) is a FREE volunteer environmental science, stewardship and job skills program that connects youth to nature, environmental careers and college programs. Graduates receive ongoing support applying for paid jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation.   

GRUNT is a partner of Ninth Grade Transition (All Hands Raised), which is community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates by supporting summer learning and keeping more kids on track through the transition into high school.

GRUNT meets for two weeks in the summer, and then 1-2 Saturdays a month throughout the next school year. See the application for this year's dates!

 Who can apply?

Application for 2020 will be online soon!

  • Current middle school students (grades 6 - 8)
  • Teens of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, abilities, English language proficiency, economic backgrounds and immigration status are encouraged to apply.
  • Youth must be able to walk two miles on uneven ground and safely handle sharp tools. 
  • Youth must be able to attend all days of the summer session (see application for dates)

All eligible applicants who turn in a complete application before the deadline will be offered an interview. The program is often competitive. Volunteer slots are limited. Priority will be given to eligible applicants who meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • Low-income (as demonstrated by enrollment in Title I school, participation in Free and Reduced-price School meals program or qualification for other federal assistance programs)


  • From a background underrepresented in professional environmental fields (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).

How do I apply?

  • The teen should fill out the application; a parent or guardian should fill out the health form.
  • Email the application to
  • Application due date: to be announced!
  • Interview date: to be announced

Diversity and Equity Statement

GRUNT engages a diverse group of Portland-area youth in environmental stewardship, science, recreation and career exploration. GRUNT is a program where people of many races, ethnicities, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, English language proficiencies, economic backgrounds and immigration statuses work, learn, eat, play and grow together.  Adult crew leaders engage in frequent anti-racist, anti-bias trainings, and conversations. Many crew leaders are multi-lingual and/or multi-cultural. 


Karen Chao (I speak Mien y un poquito de Espanol)