Generation Green helping underserved youth explore forest jobs

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. (KFSN) -- Repairing a hiking trail requires teamwork, a skill Generation Green interns are getting well acquainted with this summer.

They'll spend a majority of their vacation at the Sierra National Forrest near the mountain community of North Fork. Four days a week they'll work hand-in-hand with the United States Forest Service.

"We pick up trash, we paint picnic tables, we paint the Sierra National Forest signs, we help make trails," said crew leader Kelly Ables.

The help goes a long way.

"I'm usually a one-woman show, so it is great to have some extra hands," said recreation technician Cori Hayth.

Each year the Generation Green Internship takes high school age students from underserved communities and expands their horizons by introducing them to green jobs. For some, it is the first time they have ever stepped foot in a national forest, for others like Alexandro Martinez of Fresno, it's the first step towards a career.

"I think this is an amazing opportunity for anyone who even has the tiniest interest in the environmental field. It's not just learning about animals and plants, there are many different aspects of the Forest Service," he said.

They also take away important life skills.

"They are not going to build a house at the end of the season, but maybe they can read a measuring tape, maybe they learn how to level things off or just knowing the difference between bolts and screws," said Hayth.

Youth will continue to work on the trail and maintain the rest of the forest until the beginning of August.
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