Baltimore Conservation Leadership Corps (BCLC) is a five-week summer leadership program that helps high school students from Baltimore City develop job skills, remain physically active, and learn more about the environment through a variety of conservation projects.
BCLC members work throughout the city to improve our parks and gardens. Some crews work on hiking trails in city parks, repairing erosion damage and making them safer for hikers. Other crews work to create and improve Baltimore’s urban farms, gardens, and orchards. Some crews even paint outdoor murals! All crews do their part to remove litter from Baltimore’s green spaces and waterways. Once a week, all BCLC members gather together for an education day with topics ranging from stream ecology to financial literacy.
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Naisann – BCLC High School Student, 2016 & 2017
Naisann, a rising junior at Reginald F. Lewis High School, worked on the Real Food Farm at Perlman Place in 2016 and 2017. He grew his leadership skills and confidence in his second year with BCLC. Naisann started the summer quiet and timid, acquainting himself with his new team. However, by the second week, he had emerged as a leader. He was especially adept at motivating himself and the crew when picking up trash and shoveling mulch. “Come on you guys, let’s go. We gotta finish it!” Naisann would say when his crew took too long a break. Naisann’s leadership and dedication to the work motivated the rest of his crew to finish their tasks with pride.
Briona – BCLC High School Student, 2012 & 2013
“I was in the BCLC program for two summers. We worked in Leakin Park to create a new trail. When we first viewed the area where we’d build the trail, I was discouraged by how difficult it looked. The first week my crew and I got out on the trail and got about 200 feet done. This trail that I had assumed would be a major challenged turned out to be very minor, with a few setbacks. We encountered bee and wasp nests, mud puddles, slippery areas, and lots of roots, but with our group’s hard work and dedication we were able to get it done. This program taught me to be patient, how to work together, never give up, and strive to complete any goal I set for myself.”