Youth Tree Team

Youth + Summer Jobs + Trees = Awesome for Indianapolis

When the Youth Tree Team (YTT) started, it was all about taking care of the trees. But taking care of the people who take care of the trees is just as important. Our seven-week summer job program for teens and young adults is one part improving the community through tree care, one part work readiness training, and all parts the best way to spend a summer.

KIB could not plant the number of trees we do each year (over 3,500!) without the Youth Tree Team. Newly planted trees need 15 gallons of water a week to survive—and with hot  Indiana summers, it’s YTT we rely on to maintain a tree survival rate of 98%.

Work outside? Check.
Earn money? Check.
Learn job skills? Check.
Free lunch? Check.
Regular hours? Check.
Camping trips? Check.
Opportunity for spring and fall jobs? Check.
New friends and fun? Double check.

If this looks like your summer job must-have list, especially the working outside one, you want to apply for our Youth Tree Team.

As part of YTT, you’ll be out watering, staking, and mulching trees all over Marion County from mid-June through the end of July.

Youth Tree Team Volunteer

Along with daily work, our YTT employees have weekly enrichment activities, including camping, rafting, learning financial management skills, and learning from professionals who have environmental careers.

The work week runs Monday through Thursday, 20 hours per week (5 hours per day, 4 days per week), and lunch is provided each day at no cost. The beginning pay rate for high school youth is $8 per hour. Young adults and college students looking for summer employment with our Youth Tree Team can serve as leaders helping to guide and oversee the work YTT carries out each year.

Getting our high school employees ready for future jobs is important to us. As part of summer employment, we provide a Job Skills Certificate program to all our youth.

Every week, leaders evaluate YTT members on five basic job skills: teamwork, respectful behavior, accountability, active engagement, and communication. Everyone who meets or exceeds expectations receives a certificate highlighting these achievements. This initiative is supported in part by the Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) and the City of Indianapolis’ Project Indy and will help shape model employees and future Indianapolis leaders.

Spend four days and three nights on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Indiana, taking part in a camp about sustainability and the environment! You’ll participate in college classroom lectures, go on nature hikes, conduct stream sampling, dye fabric with natural indigo, meet and network with leaders in sustainability from the university and the city government, and, of course, experience campus life for the weekend. There’s no cost to you, as this camp is part of the full YTT experience!


Step 1: Fill out and submit your application by March 2019 (applications open in January 2019)

Step 2: Participate in our Applicant Tree Planting in March 2019

Step 3: Participate in our Applicant Tree Watering in April 2019

Step 4: Come in for a formal interview at the end of April 2019


  • YTT applicants must currently be enrolled in high school.
  • Candidates must possess the following characteristics: initiative, professionalism, respect, interest in the environment, pride in your work, responsibility, and the ability to work with a team.
  • YTT members work 20 hours per week (5 hours per day, 4 days per week).
  • You will water, mulch, prune, stake, and plant trees. Duties also include weeding, picking up litter, heavy lifting, filling out work logs, and completing other duties as assigned.
  • Fill out the initial application form and then complete the next three steps of the application process—two volunteer days and a job interview.


  • A meaningful way to spend a summer that will support our city’s urban forest
  • Teamwork experience and great friends
  • Leadership skills
  • Personal finance skills
  • Fun enrichment activities with local Indianapolis leaders
  • Practical tree-care training
  • $8 per hour starting wage
  • FREE lunch on each work day