BALTIMORE STANDING TOGETHER: WJZ, The Baltimore Sun & the University of Baltimore will hold town hall meetings to talk about the issues our city is facing. City leaders will share their plans & answer your questions. Be Heard Baltimore. CLICK HERE to contact us with your questions.
By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For a lot of Baltimore teenagers, getting outside in the summer means a stoop and a sidewalk.

But Alex DeMetrick reports hundreds of teens are finding a far more natural world and earning money in the bargain.

Digging to make room for a rain garden at Gunpowder State Park may not be every teen’s idea of a dream job.  But physical labor is a big part of the Conservation Job Corps.

“Lifting. Hauling. Tugging,” said Shantae Beckman, CJC member.

Whether it’s clearing to build a retaining wall or clearing storm debris, more than 300 Maryland teens are making improvements to state parks and their own futures.

“They have to be on time.  They get evaluations at the beginning, middle and end of the program.  And so we do try to build some professional job skills,” said Fred Banks, CJC program director.

DeMetrick: “If you weren’t doing this this summer, what would you be doing?”

Deha Johnson, CJC member: “Probably nothing ’cause the last time I didn’t have a summer job.  This is my first year doing this.”

DeMetrick: “And is this better than sitting around doing nothing?”

Johnson: “Yes.”

The job pays $7.25 an hour, and it’s often the first money these teens have earned.

“We do rain gardens.  Stuff I haven’t done before,” said Mykal Johnson, CJC member.

Members of the Conservation Job Corps do park projects for six weeks, and actually save the state money on maintenance costs.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
CBS All Access

Watch & Listen LIVE