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Youth Leadership on Parks

Q&A with Youth Leadership participant, L.M.

| 3 min read

What have you learned about parks in Boston or parks in general?

L.M.: When it comes to parks in Boston or parks in general, I learned who’s built and created them, how it impacts other individuals, how they’re important, what we can do to make the best out of those parks in the environment, what the benefits of these parks are and how they help communities. 

What have you learned about the environment, climate change and environmental justice issues?

L.M.: Regarding the environment, climate change and environmental justice issues, I learned how important water and plants are‒how they help us as well as animals. Also, how those creations really need us more than we think. What goes on in the environment is on us but also has an impact on us. Things such as global warming, air pollution, water pollution, littering, waste management, etc. In order for those things to change and better our communities, we need to change as well and help out with that. 

What goes on in the environment is on us

How can parks help with these issues?

L.M.: Parks can help with these issues but not as much as us humans. Humans can cause a lot of issues so we just need to connect with that and make a plan to help with those issues 10x harder. 

What will you do with this knowledge in the future?  

L.M.: I will help out peers who aren’t aware with this type of information and make a change whenever I can.

A Youth Leader observing their environment through nature journaling
Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Do you think parks are important? Why or why not?

L.M.: Yes, I think parks are important because they play a big role when it comes to food, our ways of living, families, little kids/teenagers, animals, plants, etc. If parks were not a thing, I’m not really sure how the world would be.

What would you like to see happen in the City of Boston and its parks? What are your ideas, dreams and thoughts for the future?

L.M.: I think the city of Boston and its parks are already doing well. They should just continue growing and evolving overtime to exceed the goal of creating a beautiful environment now and in the future. 

For context, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 4 and Part 5 of this series.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s Director of Education Kent Jackson and TerraCorps Service Member/Youth Education Coordinator Tess O’Day sought fresh insights from members of the Conservancy’s Youth Leadership Program (YLP), which, since 2009, has been offering nature connection, environmental education, career exploration and workforce development for Boston Public School high school students ages 15 to 18. Youth Leaders are paid for their program work, with sessions being held virtually during the pandemic. Each week, they participate in discussions about landscape architecture, environmental education, public parks and environmental justice, as well as develop leadership skills. They also enhance communication skills and deepen their life science and park maintenance knowledge.