The Urban Forestry Corps (UFC) is a continuation of a successful program that started in summer 2008 in which SCA had a crew of six Seattle area students working in Seward Park, Washington Park Arboretum, and Cheasty Greenspace. In 2010, SCA will serve 60 youth in partnership with Cascade Land Conservancy, King Conservation District, University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle Parks, King County YouthSource, Highline School District, Auburn School District and Seattle Youth Employment. Work-skill training and service will include watersheds and water quality, urban forestry, horticulture, data collection and monitoring, conservation ethics, stewardship and green job readiness curriculum. Youth will provide over 12,000 hours of conservation service.
In the City of Seattle, site locations include: Washington Park Arboretum, Seward Park, Cheasty Greenspace, Maple School, and Madrona Woods. There is a similar program in south King County at New Start School in White Center and Metzler Park in the Green River Natural Area near Auburn. The New Start site is installing a raingarden, creating a native plant nursery and performing restoration work. In addition to being paid, the students at New Start are eligible to receive one school credit for math or science. King Conservation District funded the New Start project. The UFC is a new and innovative program that addresses the needs of urban youth and provides a unique opportunity for students to gain real life work skills while connecting with the environment.