Austin Environmental Heroes

Thank you for you interest in the Austin Environmental Heroes! We have reached full enrollment for this season, but check back again next summer.


The Austin Environmental Heroes (AEH) will come to the rescue for our urban trees for the first time this summer! AEH is a summer jobs program for Austin high school students ages 14-18. The program seeks to promote service, professionalism, environmental stewardship, and teamwork among high school students. Participating teens will gain experience in urban tree care and water quality testing under the leadership of green-collar professionals with TreeFolks and Austin Youth River Watch. Along with environmental field work, the Heroes will experience weekly enrichment activities including camping, swimming, canoeing, tree climbing, educational modules, and field experiences with green-collar professionals.

The AEH program is delivered in partnership between TreeFolks and Austin Youth River Watch, with the support of City of Austin’s Urban Forest Grant Program and Watershed Protection Department.


The 2018 Heroes will attend 1 day per week (choose from Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) from 7am- 3pm. Four of those hours are environmental field work hours, and the rest includes a provided lunch, drive time between sites, and hang time with the crew. Participants are also strongly encouraged to attend 1 second day per week (Thursday or Friday), to take advantage of adventures such as camping, swimming, canoeing, tree climbing, or visits to local universities or natural areas. Each Hero’s stipend for completing the entire program is $350, and is dependent upon full participation in work hours and some participation in adventure activities.

AEH program organizers have been running service-learning summer and afterschool environmental education programs for years, and here’s what a few students have said about them:

“Because of this, I can say I did one big thing for Austin while I was in high school.”  – Keona, a former student

“When I’m here, it’s like a weird family. I have fun, I feel safe, and I can be myself.” – Adrian, another former student

On top of that, Adrian’s mom had this to say: “The program helped build my son a future. I’m very proud of him and I’m proud of the program.”


  • AEH applicants must be currently enrolled in high school
  • Candidates must be: courteous, interested in learning about the environment, willing to work outside in adverse conditions, good team players.
  • AEH participants attend 1 day per week (choose from Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) to water and mulch trees, collect water quality data, and learn green environmental techniques such as data sonde measurement and tree mapping. Work hours are 8am-12pm, but total attendance hours including transportation and lunch are 7am-3pm.
  • The AEH job duties include: being on time with consistent attendance, respecting your teammates and leaders, weeding, mulching, litter pick-up, watering trees, making water quality measurements, filling out work logs and data sheets, and other duties as assigned.


  • Teamwork, experience, and friendship
  • Experience working with green industry professionals
  • Practical field experience with tree care and water quality monitoring
  • $350 stipend for the six-week duration of the program
  • Round-trip transportation and free lunch daily
  • A fun way to make a difference that will help our urban trees and waterways