Youth-Led Environmental Leadership

YMCA Earth Service Corps (YESC) is an innovative youth-led program that empowers students to take a hands-on role in creating a healthier environment in their schools, communities, and region while nurturing a respect for diversity within the natural world. 

Young people in Earth Service Corps are recognized as valuable leaders who collaborate with peers, teachers, and community members to solve pressing environmental issues in their communities.

Ways to Engage

Denny Creek Hike | November 21, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Join us for a hike at Denny Creek in the Snoqualmie Region. It’s a 6-mile hike that will lead us through old-growth forest, passing natural water slides and Keekwulee Falls. Sign up with friends from your club or come ready to meet youth from other schools. It will be a fun day of getting to know our hiking group, learning more about the natural world, and enjoying the beauty of Washington’s forests! Pickup locations are at Jefferson Community Center and Bellevue YMCA.
Registration closes November 18 >

Article Club | December 3, 4:00 - 5:15pm
Join YESC for another online Article Club meeting to connect with other youth in the Puget Sound area while exploring and discussing environmental issues facing our communities. Register now for more information and to receive the video link! 
Register > 

Nature Night | December 8, 4:00 - 5:15pm
Learn more about wildlife near your home! Fascinating things in nature can be found everywhere if you know what to look for. We will talk about different types of life that might be living in your neighborhood, give time to get outside and explore, and we will document our findings using photos and iNaturalist. Join us and explore nature in your neighborhood!
Register >

Environmental Leaders Summit | Save the Date - January 20
Save the date! The Environmental Leaders Summit is a forum for local teens and environmental professionals from around the Puget Sound to discuss environmental issues facing our communities. The summit will consist of multiple sessions in which youth and adults will be able to discuss environmental topics and issues they care about. 
Registration information is coming soon! 

iNaturalist | Ongoing
Are you interested in learning more about wildlife in Seattle? Do you enjoy being outside? Do you watch Planet Earth and wish you could see amazing nature in real life? iNaturalist is a mobile and web-based app where users from all over the world upload cool pictures of wildlife they see all around them. YESC started a year-long project to see how many species we can document all over Seattle and Washington.
Join the YESC Greater Seattle BioBlitz > 

About YESC

YMCA Earth Service Corps emerged out of an idea Bill Sieverling, then director of the YMCA of the USA’s International Office in Asia, proposed in the 1989 issue of the YMCA publication, International Notes. He suggested that given the YMCA’s tradition of youth leadership development and concern for the natural world that there was an opportunity to engage youth in a service-based leadership program that addressed growing concerns about the global environment.

Get Involved

YMCA Earth Service Corps is driven by its clubs. Teens meet weekly to take on the environmental issues facing their communities and create projects to address these needs. Club meetings take place before, during or after school. Meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours and are led by youth leaders, YMCA staff and Teacher Advisors.

Resources

YMCA Earth Service Corps has been supporting environmental service projects and leadership development for over twenty years. We have the knowledge and experience to help teens, clubs and schools reach new heights, develop youth leaders and create meaningful change in the community. If you're looking to start a club at your school or want to take your club to new heights we can provide the resources to help you reach your goals.

Alumni & Volunteers

Since 1989 young people have grown as leaders and addressed the environmental issues facing our world through participating in the YMCA Earth Service Corps. For many these opportunities instilled a lifelong ethic of stewardship that drives them as educators, engineers, scientists and volunteers. Are you an Alumni? We'd love to hear from you.