Junior Green Corps’ Spring Training with GTECH

Operation Better Block’s Junior Green Corps and GTECH are working together this Spring!

This spring, we are kicking off a 4 part training program for the Junior Green Corps of Homewood.  The goal of these training sessions is to help the Junior Green Corps students understand the process of vacant land reclamation so they can share and practice such skills outside of the program. The bi-monthly educational sessions will extend from March through April and culminate in a final project on a vacant lot in Homewood that complements Operation Better Block‘s Cluster Plan. We are excited to work with the students to beautify underutilized spaces in Homewood. To learn more about the progress of the training and updates on the Junior Green Corps’ partnership with GTECH, check out our project page here.


Outline for Spring Junior Green Corps training sessions:

  1.  For the Community 

    During this session we will focus on how the term community is interpreted by different JGC members and what it means to belong to a community. We will also touch on strategies for connecting and engaging a community to holistically understand its unique needs for place-based development.  This topic is very important when looking to engage residents to help ensure that a project is community-serving.

  2. Design and Charette Process 

    This session will teach the students what aspects go into a strong design, what to consider when designing a project and how to share ideas with the community. It is important to have community input when designing a public space; this maximizes the audience that is served and encourages these same people to come use the space when it’s complete.

  3. Volunteer Coordination and Tool Safety 

    This session will discuss tactics for coordinating volunteer days and how to prepare for them. This will be followed by an on-site tool safety overview. When leading community volunteer days to implement a chosen design, it is important to remember that you are serving the volunteer just as much as the volunteer is serving you. Running a well planned and prepared for volunteer day can make a community member’s engagement with the project very special and thus encourage their continued involvement and support. If you would like to read more about the benefits of volunteering, check out this report from Corporation for National and Community Service.

  4. Vacant Lot Analysis 

    This session will train the students on how to assess a vacant lot for its project suitability. They will learn what to consider when activating a vacant space and how to choose the space that best serves their community and project goals. A lot of this process is done using publicly sourced data regarding home ownership, current uses of the vacant space, and accessibility. Learning where the community members would like their new asset to be is just as important as knowing what type of asset they would like.


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