Flint River Environmental Leaders

Apply Today!


Saturday, Sep 10th from 9-3

Located at For-Mar Nature Center and Arboretum


October 8th at Thread Lake

November 19th at the Chatfield School

Flint River Watershed Coalition (FRWC) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET). These funds will expand FRWC’s youth programs to bring together middle and high school youth, community partners, and educators who are eager to solve problems facing local streams.

The inclusive Flint River Environmental Leaders program will bring together after-school and in-school educators and student representatives throughout the Flint River watershed. They will decide which issues to explore in their own communities and share ideas with others for how to protect and improve the Flint River and the surrounding area.

FRWC will work with the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) on this project. Fifteen teachers and community program educators and fourteen youth will be selected from diverse regions of the watershed. FRWC seeks a broad variety of applicants from youth organizations and schools from Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, and Tuscola counties within the watershed. Youth-adult partnerships are a core principle of the environmental leadership program, and youth and adult participants representing the same school or community organization are encouraged to apply together. Educators will choose from a menu of topics to learn strategies for sharing meaningful watershed experiences with their students. Youth will meet monthly to explore current issues and learn effective ways to make their voices heard. The two groups will work together frequently on existing community projects to build youth-adult partnerships throughout the watershed. 

Participants will receive continuing education credits and monetary stipends up to $650 for completed efforts. The program will launch in September 2022 and run through August 2023.

Contact: Kelly Sanborn, 810-767-9491, education@flintriver.org


Youth Council

September 2022 – June 2023: Beginning in September 2022, the youth council will meet monthly to explore local environmental issues and solutions. We will begin September 10th by getting to know each other and our communities. In October, explore the river in the City of Flint through biking, walking, or kayaking and learn about historic and current environmental justice issues and solutions around the Flint River. In November, we pull out the work gloves and shovels to help on existing habitat restoration projects in Lapeer county. December and January will allow youth to select and research an issue they would like to address as a group before taking the lead on action and celebration in the spring of 2023.

Youth will be encouraged and empowered to drive the direction of not only this program, but future developments within the Flint River Watershed Coalition and in school and community programs across the region. Commitments include participation at each monthly event which is generally every second Saturday morning from 9am – noon. We encourage applicants to come with an eagerness to make a difference and serve as a role model for other youth and community members.

Benefits include:

  • $15 gas cards for families transporting youth to each of five in-person events.
  • $500 stipends for each youth member fully completing the program (attending each monthly meeting and participating fully in planning and executing a group action project and celebration by June 2023).

Adult Council:

Sept 2022 – July 2023 with rolling enrollment through fall 2022: Professional development will include a variety of online modules geared toward introducing our core principles of meaningful watershed education experiences. These core ideas include teaching and learning outdoors, elevating youth voice and democratic processes, understanding the connectivity of our local waters to the Great Lakes and world oceans, and taking stewardship action to preserve and protect the our natural resources. Additional face-to-face and virtual training opportunities will see these principles in practice through hands-on lesson plans, stakeholder engagement, and youth-adult partnerships.

Teachers and youth educators participating in the program will choose from a menu of training opportunities to help them best meet their own objectives. They will implement learned practices with their students by engaging the youth they work with in their own meaningful watershed education experience near their site.

Commitments and benefits include:

  • Classroom teachers will complete 30 hours of formal professional development sessions over 10 months plus 10 hours of coaching and planning.
  • Community group leaders will complete 14 hours of formal professional development and five hours of coaching and planning.
  • $500 stipend for completing the professional development as described above.
  • $100 stipend for completion of Implementation Plans after attending initial training events and meeting with coaches.
  • $50 stipends for participation in program evaluation
  • Up to $500 mini grants for student action projects