Nature Works

“The one thing that I’ve taken away from Nature Works is I can make a bigger impact in my community. I plan to open a food/compost garden to teach others that you can make a real change in the world.”
— Rickell, 2018 Nature Works Crew Member

Nature Works is...

a collaborative workforce development and experiential education program aimed at teaching St. Louis-area high school students about conservation efforts and environmental job opportunities, while developing their knowledge and skills for the environmental job field. 

Interns will be working with environmental professionals in Forest Park as well as in collaborations with other organizations in the St. Louis area, which have included: the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden & the Shaw Nature Reserve, the Saint Louis Zoo and more!

Check out a recap from the 2018 Nature Works crew on our blog: "A Chance to Grow & Learn: Nature Works Wraps Up Another Successful Year."

You can read more about Nature Works in this article written for Forest Park Forever by Krystin Arneson: "Training Days: Discovering Green Career Paths in Forest Park"

How It Works...

Classroom Outreach

Classroom activities designed with the teacher to enrich curricula with case studies from Forest Park. 

Forest Park Field Experience 

The opportunity for classes to work and learn alongside environmental professionals on projects in Forest Park. Bus funding provided. 

Paid Summer Internships for Students 

Ten paid internships available for high school students working with environmental professionals. 

You Can Make an Impact

  • Restoring and maintaining Forest Park’s natural areas

  • Removing invasive plant species

  • Planting native species and learning how to help them thrive

  • Restoring wildlife habitats

  • Increasing the size and connectivity of Forest Park’s Wildlife Corridor

  • Helping with the restoration of 11.3 acres of riparian habitat throughout the Park

  • Working as a team to complete important Park improvement projects

  • Sharing gained experience through this program with others (as well as other programs and partnerships)

  • Gaining knowledge of different environmental jobs

Nature Works is made possible through generous grants from Boeing, Mysun Charitable Foundation and ESCO Technologies Foundation.

In April 2015, Nature Works was recognized as an official partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior as a member of its 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.


2019 Nature Works Schedule

We are seeking energetic individuals who are interested in working outdoors while exploring and learning about the ecosystems in Forest Park. Positions are primarily assigned to natural areas of Forest Park, however, opportunities may be provided for learning and enrichment in other work zones.

Important Dates

  • January 1: Application available

  • February 22: Application deadline

  • March 4-8: Interviews

  • March 29: Participant offers sent out

  • April 12: Participant acceptance deadline

  • June 10: Program starts

  • August 2: Program ends

Applications coming soon!

Available Positions

Crew Members

Nine paid internships are available for high school students. The program is eight weeks, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. (including an hour for lunch).

Assistant Crew Leader

One paid internship is available for a college-level applicant or above to aid the Nature Works Field Coordinator with planning and oversight. The Crew Leader will have two weeks of orientation before crew members start, working Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m.-3:30 pm. (including an hour for lunch).

Position Competencies 

  • Strong Listening skills

  • Attentive and able to receive and follow instruction

  • Ethics/Dependability

  • Team work

  • Mentoring

  • Leadership

Job Responsibilities 

  • Help with the restoration of 11.3 acres of riparian habitat throughout the Park, increasing the size and connectivity of Forest Park’s Wildlife Corridor

  • Assist with native habitat restoration, native species plantings and invasive species removal

  • Operate equipment used for managing environmental areas (training will be provided)

  • Potential to lead or teach other individuals, groups, or visitors

  • Assist in special projects as needed

Physical/Visual Job Abilities

  • Standing, walking, sitting, stooping or crouching, kneeling, reaching, talking, hearing

  • Exerting up to 40 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently to lift, push, pull or otherwise move objects and operate equipment.

  • Clarity of vision at a distance of up to 20 feet with the ability to bring objects into sharp focus.

  • Willingness and ability to work outside in an environment subject to sunburn, insect bites, poison ivy or other natural elements. Appropriate dress and repellents highly suggested.

  • Willingness to work in inclement weather. This includes heat, rain, and wind. If there is severe weather we will adapt our plans for the day, to keep everyone safe.

Past Nature Works Seasons