About the Austin Environmental Heroes Summer Program

The Austin Environmental Heroes (AEH) came to the rescue of our urban trees for the first time in the summer of 2018. We are happy to say that AEH will be back again in 2019!

AEH is a summer jobs program for Austin high school students ages 14 to 18. The program seeks to promote professionalism, environmental stewardship, and teamwork among high school students. Participating teens gain experience in urban tree care and water quality testing under the leadership of 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.

What it’s like to be an Austin Environmental Hero

Heroes attend work days from 7 am to 3 pm. Four of those hours are environmental field 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 optional adventure days such as camping, swimming, canoeing, tree climbing, or visits to local universities and natural areas.

Each Hero’s stipend for completing the entire program is $350, and is dependent on full participation during work hours and some participation in adventure activities.

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

“My favorite part of the program was going kayaking and removing invasive species in the water and also going on the glass bottom boat and seeing different organisms”

“My favorite part was how fragile and specific the conditions are for different species to survive in the ecosystems around Austin.”

“My favorite part about this program is that l use to come everyday after school and enjoy a great day looking at beautiful lakes and trees and getting to know more places”


  • 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, and good team players.
  • AEH participants work days include: tree watering, collecting water quality data from local streams and rivers, and learning green environmental techniques such as data sonde measurement and tree mapping.
  • Work hours are 8am  to 12pm, but total attendance hours including transportation and lunch are 7am to 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

Thank you for your interest in the Austin Environmental Heroes! Check back in the summer of 2019 for your chance to become a Hero!

AEH is a Partnership Between: