• Participants of sustainable landcare training in the field

Sustainable Landcare Training

Economic justice is an integral piece of environmental justice. Blue Thumb’s Sustainable Landcare Training program trains young adults in environmental justice communities to care for green infrastructure like rain gardens and native plantings. Participants are paid for their time and gain job-ready skills and pathways to green careers.

Why the Sustainable Landcare Training?

Demand for a skilled workforce in the green economy is growing. There is a huge gap in skilled labor. The City of Minneapolis has identified a goal for 1,000 residents in green jobs by 2030. Through our Sustainable Landcare program we create pathways to green jobs in stormwater management, an important part of keeping our 10,000 lakes (and many, many rivers) clean. We’re training an emerging workforce of young adults, ages 18 – 25, ensuring they are the first to benefit from economic opportunities stemming from the millions of dollars invested in green infrastructure annually.

What Does the Training Include?

Participants attend hands-on, in-person trainings once every two weeks for three full on-site days. In between, they complete online learning on their own schedule. Throughout the program, participants:

  • Identify native plants, weeds, and beneficial insects
  • Learn about the impact stormwater runoff has on our rivers and lakes, and how to redesign our landscapes to function more like nature
  • Gain skills in inspecting and caring for rain gardens to make sure they’re working as designed
  • Explore environmental justice and how historical land use and knowledge can inform sustainable landcare practices

We also bring in local community experts, like entomologists, ecologists, and environmental justice advocates, to share resources and knowledge. The Sustainable Landcare Training curriculum was created with the expertise of Blue Thumb partners, and we partner with city departments and career prep organizations to support young people on their learning and employment journey.   

Meet previous Sustainable Landcare Training participants and find out what they gained from the program in this blog post.

Mentorship and Career Support

The Sustainable Landcare Training is about so much more than water. Participants also have the opportunity to learn career skills including resume writing, job search strategies, and interview skills. As one example of an employment opportunity, previous program graduates have taken on paid work inspecting stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in Minneapolis. 

The Sustainable Landcare Training’s pilot Mentor Program connects participants with a mentor who can offer support on personal, educational, or employment goals. We make this program accessible through paid learning stipends, removing barriers for youth and young adults in environmental justice communities.

Contact us about This Program

Career Pathway Resources for Trainees

Sponsorships from our partners support this program

Group of people who took part in sustainable landcare training

Sponsor This Program

Would you or your business like to partner with us as a sponsor? You would be supporting workforce training for future opportunities in the growing green economy. Learn more:

Sponsor Sustainable Landcare Training