Middle School Youth Blaze Their Trails


A large group of cheerful teenagers excitingly cheer at Rob Hill Campground in the Presidio of San Francisco

Urban Trail Blazers (UTB), Crissy Field Center’s middle school internship program, begins accepting summer applications this month. This year, 48 kids will have the chance to learn in and steward their Golden Gate National Parks—working on trails and delving into various environmental justice projects.

UTB also runs a session during the school year. During the school year, there is a greater emphasis on art as UTB participants explore their role in the community through art projects. The students discovered their sense of place through self-portraits. Students painted a wooden canvas, with one side representing how they feel people view them and the other representing how they want people to view them. Through this art, interns were able to explore their cultural origins and the value that brings to their community. As youth reflected on their inspirations and how they want to impact their community, they added it to their wooden canvas through various art media.

During the year, UTB interns also visited the African Diaspora Museum, reflected on their own culture, and visited a food bank to think about where food comes from and its accessibility in different communities. Even with their art projects and field trips, UTB still made time for plenty of trail work. Interns worked on the El Polin Spring restoration and the Golden Gate Overlook

Throughout the summer, UTB interns will focus more on restoration, community work and getting to know their national parks. UTB interns take a three day, two night trip to Yosemite and participate in an overnight camping trip in the Presidio’s Rob Hill Campground. This is a free program and it is even paid! Interns get a stipend for showing up on time, bringing a healthy lunch and maintaining a positive attitude. There will be two sessions, four weeks in length with spots for 48 youth. To apply or for more information please visit the UTB Web Page or contact Sam Tran at stran@parksconservancy.org or (415) 561-7769.

Your parks need you now

Your support helps fight climate change and promote park sustainability—please give now.