The largest community gardening program in the nation

Youth Gardener

GreenThumb Youth Leadership Council

The GreenThumb Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is an opportunity for high school youth 12-21 years old and college students to volunteer at a community garden in New York City.

Participants will learn firsthand from community gardeners how to maintain and grow a healthy garden. Youth will also work alongside gardeners on various garden projects that will include opportunities to gain skills ranging from carpentry to composting to community organizing and event coordination and management as well as volunteer management, leadership and professional skills.

Participants are required to volunteer at a garden at least twice a month, accumulating a minimum of 20 service hours throughout the program. There will be a kickoff event in the spring and a graduation ceremony in the summer. Participating in the YLC is a great way to give back to the community, earn community service hours, make friends, learn new skills, and have fun!

Any student interested in agriculture, composting, botany, construction, stewardship or community engagement should apply! If you are between the ages 12-21 years old and interested in participating in the 2019-2020 Youth Leadership Council, please fill out the Youth Participant Application by visiting:

Gardeners looking to host a Youth Leadership Council in 2019-2020 can click here to submit an application.

Sign up for the YLC Monthly newsletter to learn about GreenThumb's YLC events and more by visiting:

Grow to Learn

Grow to Learn is the citywide school gardens initiative for New York City. Established in 2010 by GrowNYC and the Mayor’s Fund, our program is managed today through a partnership between GrowNYC, the NYC Parks Department’s Green Thumb division, and the Department of Education’s Office of School Food. With major support from our sustaining funders, Grow to Learn provides the ongoing resources, technical assistance, and training to get learning gardens growing in every NYC school. As of 2016 there are over 550 school gardens and growing in the Grow To Learn network.

Register your school garden. Grow To Learn’s workshops are posted on their calendar and are access points for materials, skills and information for school gardeners.

Grow to Learn Registration Page

Grow to Learn Mini Grant Page

Grow to Learn Newsletter Sign Up

Grow to Learn Resources Page

Summer Youth Employment Program

GreenThumb is a participating division for the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). This program provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August. Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs.

Learn more about the Summer Youth Employment Program

Interested in an internship with GreenThumb? Please submit your application through the NYC Parks website or by calling the Internship Coordinator at (212)360-8200.