Green Corps: Future Green Jobs

Mon., Jul. 19, 2021

By Margaret Cook and Cherise Kent

The Green Corps interns from Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) have now completed four weeks of hard work and dedication to learning about how important their impact is for the future of our planet. This week’s topic covers the main objective of Green Corps which is the interns’ experiences with green practitioners- engineers, air quality experts, urban farmers, urban planners, horticulturalists, arborists, social entrepreneurs, ecologists, biologists, and more! The interns were given the opportunity from each of these practitioners to learn the key attributes it takes to work in these fields.

The Holden Arboretum Research Department

As part of their experience, interns Aashi Parikh, Serenity Ortiz, and Madison Willoughby met with the Holden Arboretum Research department. At the arboretum, they got a hands-on experience to see what the researchers do to keep the campus beautiful and protected. In the photos below, the interns got help with some plant and tree identification as well as explore the grounds.

Exploring the grounds at the Holden Arboretum.
Tree Identification at the Holden Arboretum.
Documenting tree characteristics at the Holden Arboretum.

Green City Growers

The interns also got to experience “Green City Growers” where they learned about a co-op model that not only intentionally hires residents, but also invites them into ownership and decision-making processes. By growing products smack dab in the middle of the city, they also decrease the distance traveled by food- which greatly impacts greenhouse gases being emitted.

Green City Growers.

Revolutionary Love Garden

The interns visited Revolutionary Love Community Garden in Cleveland. During this opportunity, Shirley Bell Wheeler elaborated on the reasons she founded her farm in Buckeye- Woodhill- reasons including both community revitalization and food insecurity. She also provided insights to interns on how to mobilize community action, build networks, and identify helpful resources. Of course, she also sent everyone home with homemade lavender, mint and the sweet taste of fresh raspberries!

– Photo © Bob Perkoski,
– Photo © Bob Perkoski,
– Photo © Bob Perkoski,
– Photo © Bob Perkoski,

Rid-All Green Partnership

Rid-all Green Partnership was established in what was once called the Forgotten Triangle. It has since flourished into an oasis that features an aquaponics system that supports thousands of fish, an event space, and several poly houses that produce food for 2 markets to address food insecure neighborhoods’ needs. Here are photos from the interns’ experience.

Special Thank You

These crucial experiences could not have been possible without the generous help of everyone who took the time to work with the Green Corps interns and give them an exclusive look at what it takes to have a ‘Green Job’. Along with many others not mentioned, a special thank you to:

  • Jim Cooper from Civic & Environmental Consultants. Jim detailed the duties of air quality experts, gave an overview of legislation that has impacted regulation, discussed trends in greenhouse gas emissions over time and in different countries, in addition to providing advice for young professionals.
  • From an arborist, Lamont Thomas, the interns learned how to climb trees safely, how experts diagnose diseases, and how to be one’s own boss.
  • A Green Infrastructure Project Manager with NEO RSD discussed green stormwater infrastructure  including permeable pavements, stream restoration, rain gardens, caps, and bioswales. He noted that these interventions improve the quality of the Great Lakes by inhibiting contaminants from flowing through our watershed and showed before/ after pictures of projects that include different measures.
  • From Deyampert Giles , who curates natural spaces as the leader of Nature Kollektiv, interns heard about different strategies to explore their interests, while also encountering the whimsical creations he crafted while working with Holden Forests & Gardens.

Margaret Cook and Cherise Kent


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