Middle School

Urban Trailblazers (UTB) is an environmental youth leadership program offered by the Crissy Field Center. For 7 weeks each summer, a group of 66 culturally diverse middle school students from San Francisco area public schools are introduced to the outdoors through restoration projects, environmental workshops, and exploration of the Golden Gate National Parks.

Interested in summer programs for elementary and high school students? Visit our Summer Camp page.

UTB offers young people a rich combination of experiences including hands-on projects, outdoor investigation, and excursions in the field. Youth learn biodiversity by suiting up in waders to explore Crissy Marsh, discover cultural history of the Presidio by hiking the historic Juan Bautista de Anza Trail in the Presidio of San Francisco, keep on the cutting-edge with new tools and technology in the Center's Media Lab and much, much more!

A valuable bridge connecting urban youth to their larger environment, UTB helps young people make connections between important environmental issues and their own lives. It gives them tools to take responsibility and make positive contributions to the environmental health of their communities.

Participants earn a $250 award for full participation in the program.

The program builds on many outdoor experiences which include a thrilling 4-day, 3-night camping trip, an overnight at Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio of San Francisco, and sea kayaking in the San Francisco Bay. Youth experience the excitement of nature first-hand and learn useful team-building and outdoor skills. Families, friends, and community members are invited to a culminating celebration that showcases the achievements and experiences of participating young people.


UTB graduates interested in returning for the school year can apply for UTB II, an intensive monthly environmental leadership program that builds on previous summer experiences. UTB II curriculum differs by focusing on developing stronger leadership skills and gaining a deeper understanding of environmental issues that affect their community. Participants are also invited to serve as leaders for Crissy Field Center public events.


To be selected for UTB or UTB II, youth must complete an application and participate in an interview with Crissy Field Center staff on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Young people who are open to new experiences, eager to learn new skills, and interested in working with youth from all around the city are encouraged to apply.

Students can download an application or request a hard copy application by contacting Middle School Program Manager Sam Tran at (415) 561-7769; STran@ParksConservancy.Org

Applications are due on interview day: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10 am – 3 pm

To apply, youth must:

  • Be currently enrolled in the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.
  • Attend a public middle school in San Francisco.
  • Complete an application and participate in a short interview.
  • Be committed to attending the entire 7-week summer session: UTB meets Tuesday through Friday.
  • Be present on June 18, 2018, from 11:30 am-3:30 pm for a mandatory student orientation.

Important Dates:

  • Interview Day: Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10 am – 3 pm (make your appointment by calling (415) 561-7769 or email STran@ParksConservancy.Org)
  • Orientation Day: Monday, June 18, 2018, from 11:30 am-3:30 pm

Summer session:

  • Tuesday – Friday, June 18 – August 3, 2018, 9:30 am – 3 pm
  • Program will be held Monday and Tuesday July 2 – 3 but there will not be any program held Wednesday – Friday, July 4 – 6.
  • Program will resume on Tuesday, July 10. 

Philanthropic Partners

The Kimball Foundation
George F. Jewett Foundation

Contact Information

Sam Tran
Youth Leadership Coordinator
(415) 561-7769