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At The Blueprint Foundation, our program model follows a 4-phase W.I.S.E. approach, where Black youth (W)itness natural areas and ecosystems, (I)nvestigate environmental issues, (S)olve problematic environmental impacts, and (E)ducate their community about the environmental issues they learn about and efforts to mitigate them. These phases are integrated into culturally specific mentoring programs focusing on environmental science and green sector career exploration in the Portland Metro Area.

Grounding Waters

The Grounding Waters and Constructing Careers programs are project-based mentoring initiatives aimed at fostering interest in environmental science and green building, and designed to inspire Black-identified youth, grades 6-12, to pursue careers in the green sector. Utilizing hands-on training, multigenerational mentoring, and civic engagement, these year-round programs provide opportunities for BIPOC students in the Portland Metro area to healthily connect with nature and develop community, while exploring opportunities for success in environmental, green building, and other STEM fields. Through participation in outdoor experiential learning events and connections to trade opportunities in Portland's green sector, students are empowered to pursue careers aligned with environmental sustainability that are in desperate need of increased diversification and representation.

Roots After School

Roots afterschool program is offering support and opportunities for BIPOC-identifying students to engage with mentors who will aid in their academic success as well as help foster a relationship to their environment and community through experiential learning activities and green sector opportunities.

Salmon Watch
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Tappin Roots

A 9 month long environmental leadership development internship program for Black-identified high school youth in the Portland Metro region. Created and hosted by a collaborative group of community-based organizations including ELSO Inc., The Blueprint Foundation, Friends of Tryon Creek, and Wild Diversity. Tappin Roots is a culturally specific community investment and restorative justice project. Tappin Roots seeks to train and empower the next generation of environmental educators and community leaders using: Storytelling, Mentorship, Career exploration, Place-based learning, Cultural enrichment, and Healing practices.

VISIT: Tappin Roots

Leach Back 5 Project

The Leach Back 5 Project, led by a collaborative effort including Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Wisdom of the Elders, The Blueprint Foundation, David Douglas High School, Lent K-8 School, African Youth Community Organization-AYCO, and Connecting Canopies, alongside expertise from Portland Parks and Recreation, and dedicated volunteers, embarked on a multi-year endeavor to restore the eastern 5 acres of Leach Botanical Gardens. Restoration encompasses removing non-native species, planting natives, creating walkable trails, and ongoing maintenance, while prioritizing educational and community science opportunities, especially for underserved demographics, aligning with Leach Garden’s mission and values. Additionally, the project involves ongoing assessment and analysis, with nearly 3,000 person-hours invested in documenting vegetation, surveying wildlife, constructing a vernal pond, and implementing restoration practices without herbicides, aiming to extend efforts to adjacent acres until the entire site is revitalized and monitored.

Learn more about the Back 5 Project and Leach Botanical Gardens at their website: Here

Blueprint Mentor

Interested in becoming a Blueprint Mentor?

What it Means to be a Blueprint Mentor

Being a Blueprint Mentor means holistically serving the Black-identified youth community, within the backdrop of environmental stewardship and green sector career exploration. Mentors have the privilege of supporting and uplifting young individuals in their personal, academic, and professional growth to achieve their aspirations. These relationships go beyond mere guidance; they are built on trust, respect, and understanding, resulting in lasting impacts on the lives and trajectory of our students. Beyond personal accomplishments, the role also entails contributing to the restoration of our planet and fostering sustainability for future generations. Through guidance, encouragement, and advocacy, Blueprint Mentors play a vital role in empowering youth to realize their potential while instilling a sense of responsibility towards their environment and community.

What you get to do as a Blueprint student

Being a Blueprint student offers youth the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of environmental science-based experiential learning activities throughout the year. From planting and tree pruning to the removal of non-native species, paddling, camping, hiking, mindfulness and meditation, birding, water quality analysis and plant identification, students immerse themselves in hands-on experiences while fostering a deeper connection with the natural world. These activities are not only educational but also culturally-specific, providing a sense of affinity and belonging as students collaborate with other Black-identified peers and mentors. Engaging in these activities allows students to expand their knowledge and skills in environmental science while also cultivating a profound appreciation for nature and community with a commitment to their preservation for future generations

Blueprint Student

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