Every summer we run the Program for Leaders Advancing their Community’s Environment (PLACE), and we are extremely proud of its accomplishments. PLACE is a youth employment program that has to date provied more than 240 jobs to Bronx youth since it started in 2013. PLACE is more than a job — it’s a learning experience that empowers high school and college students to become leaders and advocates for their communities.

Guided by our mentors, PLACE participants work on environmental stewardship projects at their group’s home park, gaining environmental knowledge and horticultural skills throughout the summer as they become stewards of their own green space. This requires hard work, but being able to see its positive impact is a strong motivational force that teaches a great lesson about the value of dedication. To supplement the expertise of our staff, we also invite guest speakers from a variety of organizations, including the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Trees NY, and Manhattan College, to join us in the field and educate our leaders on the environmental issues they are confronting. This summer, we have 5 groups of students, each assigned a dedicated mentor, working in 5 different parks around the Bronx.

Read the stories of PLACE Mentors and Students in the 2019 Spotlights from these parks. 

Additionally, to strengthen their leadership skills, our youth leaders take charge of service projects whenever The Bronx is Blooming is joined by volunteers from schools, businesses, and community organizations.  The expertise our PLACE leaders develop throughout our program enables them to lead the volunteers with confidence.