LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Nature For All - Environmental Career Path Leaders

Nature For All seeks to expand our existing Leadership Development Program and form a naturalist and civic career pipeline: the Environmental Career Pathways program (ECP). The ECP will prepare students for employment in parks and conservation fields and incorporates the values of Environmental Stewardship. The ECP provides on-the-job training in naturalist and conservation career fields. Nature For All's ongoing mission is to inspire the next generation of stewards to connect to and protect our natural open spaces and public lands.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by the Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Nature For All seeks to build on the successes of its Leadership Development Program to create a new workforce initiative that sets young adults on a pathway to parks and conservation careers: the Environmental Career Pathways program (ECP). Nature For All's (ECP) is geared toward young adults (18-25) from very high park-need communities within the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) region. The ECP program offers them a chance to gain experience and workforce skills, while also protecting the environment and improving their community. The median annual wage for foresters and conservation scientists was $63,750. [U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021]. Overall employment is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, with about 3,800 openings for conservation scientists and foresters projected each year. The ECP program prepares its students for careers in parks and conservation while also preparing them to become their communities' next generation of environmental leaders.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The generous support of LA2050 and its funders will enable Nature For All to leverage support for its existing Leadership Development program into a naturalist and civic career pipeline: the Environmental Career Pathways program (ECP). Phase I & II: Development of ECP Leaders - ECP Leaders will be led by Nature for All staff and will experience various learning opportunities. Sessions will include; public speaking & interpretation, a CA Naturalist Certification course, community greening, community outreach, program development, risk management, group management, conservation, career development, and a federal resume workshop. Participants will be connected to a mentor in the field to further career exploration and goal setting. ECP Leaders will learn resume and cover letter writing and will create their five-year personal and professional leadership plan. ECP Leaders will conduct community outreach within the SELA communities they were recruited from and build a base of supporters. They will lead transit programs to local regional parks and mountains as well as lead programs along the Lower L.A. River in both English and Spanish. Phase III: Community Outreach & ECP Led Programs - ECP Leaders will conduct community outreach within the SELA communities they were recruited from and build a base of supporters. A culminating graduation will be held where community members, potential employers, local elected officials, and key stakeholders will be invited to attend.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

The fruits of long-term success for Nature For All's ECP Leadership Program will be the next generation of youth who connect to and work to protect equitable access to nature's wide range of benefits. The ECP will recruit youth ages 18-25 from predominantly Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. Recruitment efforts will include SELA community representation: African American and Tongva youth. Bilingual flyers will be developed for distribution by community partners. In the short term, ECP Leaders will complete all three phases of the curriculum, and be ready to enter careers in parks and conservation. Through this program, ECP Leaders will build their foundational knowledge on topics such as the climate, native flora and fauna, environmental education theory, and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. Youth will be transported to various open spaces where local mountains and regional parks will be transformed into outdoor classrooms.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

By the grant period October 2023 to October 2024, ECP Leaders will have completed a program of professional development and training. The ECP curriculum prepares leaders for entry-level positions in parks, recreation, and conservation work. Participants will gain certification in CPR/FA/AED and earn the California Naturalist certification through the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Program success will be measured through each ECP Leader's development and implementation of programs in the community. Nature for All is prepared to hire future ECP Leaders as part-time staff and assist them with job placement. Program Measurement will include pre and post-surveys, coaching sessions during teach-backs, and completion of the California Naturalist and CPR & First Aid certificates. Long-term success for the ECP program will be demonstrated by not only job placements but retention and career advancement over time.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 6

Indirect Impact: 200