This year was the largest My Earth My Texas ever, with 198 individual participants and six Texas business teams completing sustainability actions that benefit places, people, and species across the state.
The fun doesn’t end with Earth Month. EarthShare Texas wants young people to have an active role in the environment as much as possible.
Here is a list of 8 nonprofit members who have cool and engaging opportunities for young people to participate and make a difference in their communities, their favorite habitats, and get time outdoors to learn and be in partnership with the diverse Texas nature.
1. Keep Texas Beautiful
People ages 15 – 25 can apply to become a Young Texan Ambassador!
This exciting program combines environmental stewardship, education, and community organizing opportunities that empower young people to create change in how they and their community impact and interact with the natural world.
Participants get to attend virtual education workshops, organize and participate in a cleanup, complete a community project, and much more. Ambassadors work alongside KTB affiliates and are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to help in their community outreach efforts.
“The community that comes with this program is the best thing about it. Getting to meet and work with people from all over Texas with the same passion for the environment as you is such a wonderful experience.” – Hannah L., YTA member 2021-22 & 2022-23
Applications for 2023 run May 1st – July 14th. Plenty of space is available for the 23-24 cohort, and KTB gladly welcomes back ambassadors from previous years to join the program again.
2. Austin Youth River Watch
AYRW offers many opportunities for youth (students) to get involved in and fosters participation in endeavors that directly impact Austin.
Their After School Program is one example. Students from 10 AISD high schools meet with River Watch Coordinators once per week for outdoor experiences that teach you to test water quality, perform restoration projects, and enjoy multiple sites throughout the city that bring nature to you. The program offers full transportation, nutritious meals, and a participation stipend.
“River Watch has provided me more information to be able to have conversations with others. I always talk about things that I do in River Watch with my older sister and I also have my little sister that I brought into the program. We always have like conversations about what our favorite thing was from the day and learn together and bring it into our home.” – Eastside Early College High School Graduate, 2020.
AYRW offers a Summer Program as well. This 6-week engagement begins early June and ends late July. Enjoy the Colorado River, learn about ecology, gain career awareness, and experience rewarding recreational adventures. Applications open mid-May 2023.
If you’re ages 18-24 consider joining the Austin Environmental Leaders Internship Program. Gain career-readiness skills with AYRW mentorship, on-the-job training, and restoration opportunities.
All programs offer a weekly stipend to support young people as they support their city.
3. Greens Bayou Coalition
Kayaking for Kids! Inner-city youth groups get to go kayaking on Greens Bayou.
GBC enlarged the program to include other youth groups. The last group were students from Channelview High School’s Environmental Science class. The goal is to find kids who don’t have a lot of exposure to nature and bring them out onto the bayou and let them experience it firsthand.
GBC hopes to inspire a next generation of environmental stewards.
4. National Wildlife Federation
NWF encourages and promotes at least one hour daily for children to play and be outdoors. To promote this goal they have certified 9000+ schools (and counting) through Schoolyard Habitats®.
NWF coordinates with educators, students, parents, administrators, and community members to create and restore wildlife habitat on school grounds, which means more on-site, outdoor learning for elementary school students. This learning is integrated into existing school curriculum.
Their Discovery Hill Outdoor Learning Center is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when communities, organizations, and children come together to create these outdoor experiences.
5. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
This summer, have fun at Camp Wildflower. This immersive, nature-based learning experience is offered for children in grades 2-5, and includes hikes, plant labs, arts, crafts, games, and more.
Campers get to explore native plants and learn STEAM curriculum. There are three sessions available: June 5-8, June 12-15, and June 26-29. Each day is 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Registration is open now.
LBJWC just launched their first outdoor program for teens, the Green Careers Summer Program. People ages 14-17 can take part in two sessions, Spring or Summer.
Gardens and Greenhouse (May 30 – June 2) participants work alongside a horticulturist to collect and germinate seeds, learn about native plants and their impact on ecosystem health, plus care for flora.
Science and Conservation (June 20 – 23) participants work with scientists and explore prairie biodiversity as they collect raw data in the field.
6. Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
Attention all Eagle Scouts and Girl Scouts. BPRC offers their center as a space for you to cultivate your service projects. Scout Projects from the past range from construction of trails to gardens to bridges, etc.
Get in contact with BPRC to find out more about how you can serve their center and earn your status.
7. Galveston Bay Foundation
GBF brings the Bay to your classroom, and your students to the bay.
Their Education Program offers TEKS-aligned classroom STEM workshops, field experiences and year-long wetland cultivation programs to K-12 classrooms. Students receive engaging, hands-on activities that introduce them to the Galveston Bay ecosystem and get them connected to nature.
Depending on grade level, students can learn about Galveston Bay marine life and wildlife, biodiversity, watersheds and wetlands, shoreline engineering, STEM careers, and much more.
8. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
TPWF has an opportunity for emerging leaders between the ages of 21-45. Stewards of the Wild is an interactive and engaging opportunity to go above and beyond in Texas stewardship.
When you sign up to be a Stewards of the Wild member, you’ll participate in exclusive monthly outdoor, educational, or social events within your chapter. Plus you get to interact with conservation professionals while gaining valuable conservation leadership skills.
Throughout the year, Stewards of the Wild hosts approximately 10 statewide activities and 75 local, chapter-led events. Chapters can be found in Abilene, Austin, Bryan/College Station, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Midland, and San Antonio. Hone your environmental skills alongside others.
What is EarthShare Texas?
Our nonprofit federation is a collaborative alliance between nonprofits, businesses, and individuals who enact and support positive, environmental change throughout our state. Get involved with any of our 30+ nonprofit members and see the power of collective impact.
We thank all the young people who take an active role in transforming Texas through stewardship and conservation.