Youth Workforce Development and Park Equity


This panel will examine the opportunities for youth workforce development that intersects with the need for park equity. In the Delaware Valley, panelists will share their experiences implementing a regional Delaware River Climate Corps (DRCC) to create new or expand existing Climate Corps infrastructure in nine communities within the Delaware River Basin that increases opportunities for youth and young adults to engage in watershed restoration and climate resiliency, projects, establishes paid pathways for local young adults to enter restoration and climate resiliency careers, brings support to local restoration entities in need of workforce partners and talent and provides space and resources for Corps members, primarily young people of color, to grow and exercise their voice within the climate resiliency conversation.

In a more established program, Denver Parks and Recreation will share its visionary approach to connecting youth with the outdoors through strategic partnerships that provide access to nature education, recreation, and technical skills in the green jobs industry. Speakers will share how DPR offers multiple opportunities to provide hands-on experience to youth and young adults interested in careers in all fields of park management and maintenance, including Resiliency Youth Program, My Outdoor Colorado, the CCC Historic Preservation Workforce Program, and CareerWise Colorado.


  • Identify both the elements and partnerships needed to create a climate corps that centers equity and workforce development
  • Recognize the role of your agency and partners in supporting the modern climate corps movement
  • Understand how modern climate corps are an impactful investment with multiple co-benefits and opportunities to leverage a variety of funding streams
  • Learn ways parks can be utilized to make workforce training accessible to individuals and communities that are under-represented


Brad Eckert

Mountain Parks Program Manager, City and County of Denver

Matt Gray

Senior VP of Programs, Student Conservation Association

Julia Hillengas

Executive Director, PowerCorpsPHL

Cincere Eades

Resiliency Principal Planner, City & County of Denver Parks & Recreation