YO! Youth Opportunity – Summer

Neighborhood – Water Shed – Ocean

Time: July 2016- June 2017

Number of youth: 4-8

Age of youth: 16-23


Theme: Hydrology Stewardship: Water conservation from your neighborhood to the sea! Community and Environmental Leadership Development.



Tim Baker – PSU Volunteer

Bob Shaw – Maintenance

Grae Oberhausen – Property Manager



-Work systems Inc. – SummerWorks Program

-Portland State University

-Youth Share, Inc. – Leave No Trace, First Aid/CPR, camp gear

-Portland Water Bureau

-Portland Youth Builders

-Community Cycling Center

-Trade Unions (to provide tool kits for youth)


-Alberta Main Street

-Contain Rain


Sabin CDC

sabin board and Yo kidsThe mission of the Sabin Community Development Corporation is to stabilize, improve, and preserve the livability of the culturally diverse Inner Northeast Portland neighborhoods by ensuring the availability of long term affordable housing for its low and moderate income residents and by encouraging community partnerships for local economic development, community involvement projects, and educational programs for all ages and abilities.

Sabin CDC serves a tenant population that is 76% African American in neighborhoods that have gentrified in the past 20 years and are now predominantly white. The work of Sabin CDC filters through an equity lens propelled by the idea of a rich community history and advocacy, and the organization plays a multifaceted role as housing provider to individuals and families who cannot afford to live in NE Portland, employment opportunity developer, and connector to a broader community.


yo-kid2This summer Sabin’s robust youth internship program will provide low-income youth who are underrepresented in watershed services, and in the environmental sector in general, a real wage, job skills and certification, as well as a chance to participate in an educational, reflective and joyous adventure tracing the watershed from their community to the ocean. We will provide an introduction to sustainability with a focus on water conservation and present Leave No Trace land use ethics.

This program will work with neighborhood youth and build awareness of their watershed: the Columbia Slough. Youth will visit the source of their drinking water, the Bull Run, as well as where water goes once it is considered waste, the Columbia Blvd Water Treatment Plant. To wrap up the educational series, they will visit the ocean to track the path in which water flows to help them understand their connection to the greater hydrology cycle of their watershed and fostering Lasting bonds between the youth themselves.

While tracing the path that water flows from their community to the ocean, participants will be presented with opportunities to become stewards to protect and advocate for the health of the watershed and will learn what actions they can take in their own backyard. During the internship, participants will earn a Leave No Trace Trainer certification and an OSHIA Safety Training Certificate giving them two resume-worthy certificates applicable to a future in a Green career.


Beginning of Program

yo-kid3To kickoff the conversation around water preservation and to bring the group together, we will take a day trip to the Bull Run Watershed to see where Portland’s drinking water comes from; for many of the youth we serve this may be their first time out in nature, and it will almost certainly be their first time seeing the Bull Run. Most of all they will understand where their water comes from beyond the pipe. We will be working with the Portland Water Bureau to schedule a formal tour of the watershed.


In-Town Field Trip

We will have the youth visit the Columbia Boulevard Water Treatment Plant to further their understanding of fresh water resources, and city infrastructure in relation to the full hydrology cycle. Most of all youth will expand their understandings of watershed management and their own sense of place in the Portland area.


Neighborhood Housing Project

In keeping with our theme of water conservation, one of the ongoing projects that the youth will be working on is retrofitting our 116 low-income units with water conserving measures. Water conservation will be accomplished by installing low flow showerheads and faucets, testing for and eliminating leaks which may include the installation of low-flow dual flush toilets, unclogging drains, reducing water run-off, improving the use of rain water on the property, and developing an educational program regarding important home care skills to be led by participating youth.


Watershed Health Project

yo-kid1Complete one or more property improvement projects that provides a watershed benefit under the direction and recommendation of a storm water technician. These projects may include: building of a bio-swale, de-paving parts of our property, rainwater collection, building of a garden space, or other projects recommended by the storm water technician.


Sabin properties to look at include:

– Estates Plaza 5421 NE 14th place (14th and Killingworth)

– Alberta st 5010 NE 19th ave (19th and Alberta)

– Oteshia place 4935 NE 15th Ave (15th and Alberta)

– Endelea 5511 NE 27th avenue

– Avenue Plaza 5025 NE 8th (8th and Alberta)


End of summer overnight trip
To close out the summer program, and wrap up what we have learned, we will take an overnight trip to the Oregon coast. Like the trip to the Bull Run, this trip will expose local youth to new places, and give them an experience they will never forget. Having this overnight trip on the Oregon coast will allow the youth to see the completed cycle of the water system. They will see where all of the water that flows through their neighborhood, whether through their faucet or the streets, ends up. Knowing where their water ends up will help them to understand why it is important to protect the water “up stream” in the city. The trip will culminate by participants earning their Leave No Trace Trainer certification in a youth-led interpretation and presentation of actions that they can take in their own backyard and teach forward in their community.



It is our goal that after this program is implemented, we will not only have water saving and watershed preserving improvements to our properties, but we will have a group of educated youth leaders in our community working to become the next generation of watershed stewards and professionals.