OYC participants

The Outdoor Youth Corps program is an education and workforce development program that connects youth ages 16 to 20 with projects and career paths focused on conservation, horticulture, sustainability and community engagement in the St. Louis area. This program provides career mentorship to participants by introducing them to a wide variety of career paths, training opportunities, and paid work experiences.

Youth are introduced to a variety of environmental stewardship projects throughout the city including: invasive species removal, urban farming, trash clean ups, general garden maintenance, and more! Participating youth learn hands-on skills and gain knowledge related to working in the environmental, horticultural, and conservation related fields.

The Outdoor Youth Corps has four annual program seasons, each accommodating 10 participants.

  • Summer Crew (June–July)
  • Spring Weekend Work Series (February–April)
  • Fall Weekend Work Series (September–November)
  • Alternative Spring Break program (March 18–22, 2024)


Participant Benefits:

  • Paid $12.50/hour
  • Bus passes provided to and from the Garden
  • Transportation provided to and from project locations
  • Lunch and snacks provided
  • Annual events with the St. Louis Green Teen Alliance
  • Discover employment and career opportunities in outdoor and conservation fields
  • Hands-on skill building training
  • Networking opportunities with local youth and green industry professionals
  • Learn about regional and global environmental issues and topics

Job Requirements:

  • Ability to work outdoors in a variety of conditions, and inclement weather
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs. occasionally, and carry out potentially physically demanding tasks
  • Must be between the ages of 16–20
  • Must be able to arrive at job site on time

Summer Work Series

We Are Accepting Applications for the 2024 Summer Crew!


  • June 3–August 3, 2024
    Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    *Preference will be given to those who can attend all work days.*
  • No Work: July 1–4, July 29, and August 1
  • Interviews will be on a rolling basis starting the week of April 29.

Apply for the Outdoor Youth Corps: Summer Crew 2024! A transformative opportunity for 10 participants to explore diverse green career paths and projects across the vibrant landscape of the greater St. Louis region. Through immersive hands-on experiences in horticulture, conservation, sustainability, and community engagement, participants gain invaluable skills and insights.

Beyond work experiences, the program offers an understanding of sustainability concepts, engaging career talks, mock interviews, a thrilling canoe adventure, and more! Participants will attend a memorable overnight stay at the Dana Brown Overnight Center within the breathtaking Shaw Nature Reserve. Embark on a journey of growth, learning, and environmental stewardship with the Summer Crew.

Not only will you gain invaluable skills to prepare for your future career or college journey, but you'll also build lasting friendships. As part of the 10-member crew, you'll learn the importance of teamwork as you tackle projects and grow together. In addition to forming bonds within the program, you'll have the opportunity to expand your social circle at two Green Teen Alliance events—Basecamp and Career Summit—and Missouri Botanical Garden Teen Network Event—where you'll meet peers from similar programs.


Outdoor Youth Corps Intern

We are now accepting applications for our Outdoor Youth Corps Internship position. The intern will observe and learn about outdoor, experiential, and environmental/sustainability practices through hands-on fieldwork and assisting program staff with material preparation and educational activities. 

Work will mostly occur outdoors in heat, humid, and possibly rainy conditions in a variety of locations across the St. Louis region. Develops, plans, and implements a final project reflective of internship goals and experience with the Outdoor Youth Corps program. 

This internship opportunity will work up to 28 hours per week from late May through early August.
Learn more and apply

  • Interviews are on a rolling basis until the position is filled
  • Questions: mfletcher@mobot.org

“I met a lot of cool people that I had fun with, plus had many new experiences that have inspired me to make a change in my own community.”
—OYC participant, Fall Weekend Work Series 2023

“It was a really good learning experience and very eye opening to the environment I live in and how I can use these skills to make it better.”
—OYC participant, Fall 2022

“I enjoyed working at new places every week and receiving advice from professionals with years of experience. There was never a boring day, and I really feel like I have a grasp on the careers and opportunities available to me in the future.”
—OYC participant, Summer 2022 Crew

“I loved the program. Getting to spend time in the environment and going on field trips was an amazing job. I met great people along the way and learned new possibilities for my future.”
—OYC participant, Alternative Spring Break 2022

For additional Outdoor Youth Corps program information, or if you have any questions, contact Olivia Dove via email at odove@mobot.org.