Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View Less

GRUNT (middle school)

GRUNT has a new name! It is now "Teen Nature Team," or TNT. 

What is Teen Nature Team (TNT)?

TNT is a FREE program for middle school students.

TNT is a FREE volunteer environmental science, stewardship and job skills program that connects youth to nature, environmental careers and college programs. During this time of uncertainty, being in nature is more important than ever! With TNT, you will enjoy activities in nature and create a community with new friends. 

TNT is a partner of Ninth Grade Transition (All Hands Raised), which is community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates by supporting summer learning and keeping more kids on track through the transition into high school.  Furthermore, graduates receive ongoing support applying for paid jobs with Portland Parks & Recreation.

When is TNT?

TNT meets on Saturdays, school holidays, and during the summer. Opportunities to continue the program year-round throughout middle school and the summer before 9th grade.

Where does TNT meet?

TNT meets at parks and natural areas.  We switch location once a month.  All locations can be reached by bus or MAX, and bus tickets are provided upon request. 

(In non-COVID years, TNT meets at East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave, and take daily field trips to parks, natural areas, college and career sites.)

Who can apply?

  • Current 6th - 8th graders
  • Willing to get dirty
  • Able to walk two miles on uneven ground
  • Able to safely handle sharp tools

 Volunteer slots are limited. When there are more applicants than spaces, priority will be given to eligible applicants who meet one or both of the following criteria:

  • Low-income (as demonstrated by enrollment in Title I school, participation in Free and Reduced-price School meals program or qualification for other federal assistance programs)


  • From a background underrepresented in professional environmental fields (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+).

How do I apply?

Apply online (link will be here soon) anytime. Youth will be invited to join as space is available. 


TNT takes safety seriously.  During COVID-19, we are doing the following:

  • We stay outdoors.
  • We wear masks unless we are eating.
  • We keep our distance. We plan activities in which it is easy to stay 6 feet apart.
  • We sanitize all equipment and materials.


Karen Chao (I speak Mien y un poquito de Espanol)