Branching Out: An Exploration in Arboriculture for Boston Youth

Case Study | Workforce Development/Youth Employment
Branching Out: An Exploration in Arboriculture for Boston Youth

Key Findings

  • Working in partnership with several private and public organizations takes a great deal of coordination, attention to sharing information and ensuring effective communication.
  • Must use experiences, successes, and failures to reshape the program as it moves forward.

Organization description

The Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation strengthens the capacity of parks and historic properties to manage cultural landscapes as part of our national heritage. Working in partnership with national parks, universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, the Olmsted Center provides a full range of technical assistance in cultural landscape research, planning, stewardship and education. Founded at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, the Olmsted Center perpetuates the traditions of the Olmsted Offices and Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.’s lifelong commitment to people, parks and public spaces.

Program description

In collaboration with Thompson Island Outward Bound’s Green Corps Program and Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation is offering a multi-year educational program in tree care for Boston youth. The program provides young people (ages 14 – 18) with an introduction to tree care, hands-on field experience with professional arborists, and opportunities to learn about educational scholarships and career paths in the fields of arboriculture, park management, and the environment. Working under the guidance of skilled arborists and experienced resource managers, participants progress through a sequence of workshops and field projects to learn about tree biology and management techniques.

Program goals/issues addressed

  • Introduce young adults from Boston to the field of arboriculture;
  • Generate interest in and enthusiasm for arboriculture;
  • Cultivate a relationship with plants and the environment;
  • Provide opportunities for employment or further education in the field of arboriculture; and
  • Expose participants to the National Park Service and National Park Service sites in the region.

Timeframe (planning/execution)


Annual program budget/Funding sources/partnerships and type of support provided


The following organizations are involved in this program:

  • Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, National Park Service
  • Boston African American National Historic Site, National Park Service
  • Boston Environmental Ambassadors to the National Parks
  • Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Goodell Tree Service
  • Massachusetts Arborists Association
  • Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, National Park Service
  • Shelter Tree Company
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound
  • Wind River Tree Care

Results achieved/impact

  • Established, coordinated and completed 17-week, pilot internship
  • Arranged professional employment interview for the intern; resulted in a job offer with commercial tree care company in Boston
  • Developed and conducted Level II field training at Adams National Historical Park in partnership with Outward Bound/Green Corps, Adams National Historical Park, Wind River Tree Company and Goodell Tree Company
  • Created a mentoring program in which returning students instructed first-year participants
  • Strengthened existing program partnerships with Boston Harbor National Park Area, Thompson Island Outward Bound, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the commercial tree care industry.
  • Initiated program collaboration with Boston National Historical Park, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and Adams National Historical Park



  • Agreement

    Partnership Configuration

    Austin Parks and Recreation Department

    Combined partnership agreements between public agencies and private nonprofits that build, renovate, maintain, the ecosystem of Austin's parks.

  • Technical Tool

    Community PARKnerships guidelines

    Austin Parks and Recreation Department

    Austin Parks and Recreation Department Community PARKnerships guide to naming, on-site dedication, and donor recognition of Austin parks.