In preparation for this year’s SAMO Youth summer program, here are some highlights from the 2016 Program:
SAMO Fund partnered with the National Park Service to select 22 college-bound students from under-served communities to work over the summer in the Santa Monica Mountains. It was a busy summer and their achievements included collecting over 5,000 native plant seeds, building a 600-foot ranch fence, making 1,800 visitor contacts, re-potting 500 plants in a native plant nursery, and working on a mile and a half section of the Backbone Trail.
What did the kids have to say about the program?
“[I actually liked] the hard work. I came home sore some days but I was always happy when we were able to see the finished product”
“What I found so unexpected was my words having an impact on other people of color. I invited many families to Star Fest and one specific family came to find me and thanked me for the invitation, which really took a toll on me and touched my heart. Because my words had an impact on anybody.”
“I was very surprised at how fast everyone came together and worked as a team, this was amazing, kids from different backgrounds and different “geographical” locations fit together like a puzzle.”
“I have become familiar with plants that grow in the Southern California Region and I have learned how to manage tools and how to be an effective speaker and listener.”
As well as that restoration work, the kids also did fire recovery work from damage of the Old Fire, made visitor contacts while working the Urban Nature Fest at the L.A. History Museum, and did restoration work on Griffith Park. The SAMO Youth Program was led by NPS staff members Antonio Solorio, Joey Algiers, Anthony Bevilacqua, and Ammy Baez.
To keep up with the on goings of SAMO Youth, follow us on twitter! @SAMOyouthNPS