Youth Tree Crew & Neighborhood Tree Plantings
Trees as restorative justice
Working with neighbors to plant and maintain community trees is vital to the future health of Southwest Philadelphia.
Jump to Free Trees Paid Youth Tree Internship
Tree Crew Interns, Moms Bonded by Grief, and Bartram’s Garden staff after planting a new memorial grove together in November 2021. Photograph courtesy of Kromah Studio.
Why care for neighborhood trees?
Although the 50 acres of Bartram’s Garden contain many significant and beautiful trees, appropriate levels of tree canopy are not present in many areas of the city, including our Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood. Trees are an integral part of our city’s infrastructure and should be treated as such. The presence of trees in a community improves environmental health, physical health, and mental health; having trees in a neighborhood also correlates to reduced crime rates and protection against urban blight.
Systemic racism has devastated landscapes, rural and urban alike. Cities have suffered enormous amounts of air, water, and noise pollution, with ensuing negative impacts on health and mental well-being. Philadelphia has a tree canopy coverage of only 20%, with as little as 2.5% in some areas. Last year, the City set a goal of expanding citywide tree coverage to 30%–we’re working with neighbors and paid youth interns to strengthen tree canopy right here in Southwest Philly.
ROOTS Tree Crew interns and neighbors planting trees at Connell Park in April 2022.
ROOTS Tree Crew Paid Youth Internship
Are you a high school student in Southwest Philadelphia? Do you want a part-time job focused on improving your community’s environmental, physical, and mental health? Join the Tree Crew!
Applications are not currently being accepted for this program. For more information, please contact Tree Program Coordinator Merissa MacDonald at email@example.com.
This program was established in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
- Take the PHS Tree Tender Training course and become certified Tree Tenders
- Explore the intersectionality of trees through subjects like ecology, art, politics, history, and cultural importance
- Support community planting on PHS tree planting days
- Work alongside horticulturists to plant within Bartram’s Garden
- Canvass neighbors within the Southwest Tree Tender Group area (49th Street to 65th Street, Chester Avenue to Lindbergh Boulevard) to get residents involved in tree planting and care
- Lead seasonal tree tours and community science activities
- Collaborate with peer interns at the Sankofa Community Farm and Denkyem River Guardians
- Connect with professionals from varied careers, including arborists, landscape architects, environmentally minded politicians, crafters that work with wood in sustainable ways, and more
Who Is Eligible
Applications for this competitive program are accepted seasonally. In order to be eligible to apply, you must:
- Live, attend school, or have other personal connections in Southwest Philadelphia, especially in the neighborhoods of Kingsessing, Eastwick, Elmwood Park, or Cobbs Creek. Priority will be given to students who live between 49th Street and 65th Street, between Chester Avenue and the river;
- Have or be eligible for a work permit;
- Be a current high school student in good standing; and
- Be able to attend a consistent weekly schedule (see Important Dates), with up to three excused absences.
- There is no academic requirement to apply; however, participating interns are supported to maintain at least a C average in all their classes.
- This internship requires male applicants to register for selective service. Not registering will prohibit you from state-based student aid, federal job training, and the ability to work a federal job.
- Participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An exception to the COVID vaccine requirement may be provided to individuals for religious or medical reasons.
Important Dates for 2022-2023 Program
- Application Deadline: September 2, 2022
- Interviews: September 10, 2022
- Program Dates: September 15, 2022 through mid-May 2023
Program includes 10 hours of work per week: 1 weekday after school plus Saturday mornings.
Do you want to hear about tree giveaways and planting opportunities?
Bartram’s Garden partners with the Southwest Philadelphia Tree Tenders to support adding trees in our neighborhood: between 49th Street and 65th Street, and south of Chester Avenue. If you live in another area of the city, contact Tree Philly for tree resources in your neighborhood.
Tree Interest FormPlease fill out this form to get notified of future tree distributions, giveaways, or planting opportunities. Assistance is available for selecting and planting your tree.
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You may also be interested in:
Resources for Growing & Learning
Are you learning to grow your own food or plants? Check out our resources for growers and gardeners.
ROOTS Tree Crew & SW Tree Tenders on Instagram
Follow us for tree news and updates in Southwest Philly.
Shop Plants from Our Nursery
Bring our garden home to yours. Shop plants and seeds from our nursery year-round at the Welcome Center or online. Seeds can be shipped; all plants are pickup-only at Bartram’s Garden. Discounts available for Southwest Philadelphia neighbors and Bartram's Garden members!