Two young women in natural area pick up trash

Youth Program

Conservation Crew Conservation Minnesota

About the Crew

Conservation Crew is a student leadership program for Minnesota middle schoolers designed to empower youth through conservation projects in their school and community. As a youth-led after-school program, the Crew will research, select, and perform a conservation project that benefits its school and the surrounding community.

Each Conservation Crew—made up of five to 25 student and supported by a teacher or school staff—selects their focus and service project. Each Crew is supported by Conservation Minnesota staff and will be provided a program guide, a project budget, and a $3,000 teacher stipend.

Conservation Crew will instill leadership and real world experience in students and support them as they select, perform, and lead a hands-on conservation project in your school or community.


The Conservation Crew program is flexible in design and will augment your STEM, civic, and leadership development curriculum. Each Crew will have its own focus and document and share its project with other Crews all across the state. A panel of experts will select three outstanding projects from participating schools and award a grant to support future activities.

Sign up your school today and engage your students in a statewide, STEM-aligned, youth leadership and conservation program.

Applications for the 2022–23 academic year are closed. Complete the form to join our waitlist for the 2023–24 academic year.

Join the Waitlist for Conservation Crew

Benefits of Conservation Crew

Conservation Crew is a youth-led program that equips future leaders for Minnesota while engaging them in conservation. Students get to Discover, Decide, Design, Do, and Document a conservation project centering on issues important to them and their fellow classmates. 

Examples of projects include:

  • installing rain barrels on school grounds
  • conducting an energy audit and promote energy reduction solutions
  • conducting water testing at local waterways
  • cleaning up a local park
  • planting a rain garden
  • developing educational posters, brochures, websites, or social media on conservation issues.

Conservation Crew is a fully resourced program that comes with a generous coach/advisor stipend and program support, including connections to experts in your project area. The team at Conservation Minnesota will work with you to help customize our program guide to fit the unique culture, resources and student body of your middle school.

Conservation education isn't always included in a school's curriculum. Participation in a Crew gives students from all backgrounds a chance to identify and fill a need in their communities. A Crew can engage with local policy makers and conservation professionals to make their communities more sustainable.

“Facilitating an after-school environmental club has been a dream of mine for many years but I was intimidated trying to figure it all out  alone. Conservation Crew provided us with the resources and support in getting it started, and to keep it going.”

—Shelbee Jaeger, Hiawatha Academies teacher

Backing Up the Crew

Conservation Minnesota is dedicated to protecting the people and places we love. We invest in programs that equip leaders of today and tomorrow to care for our natural resources.

Conservation Crew is generously supported by a grant from the Manitou Fund.

Contact Us

Contact with questions about Conservation Crew.