New Youth Parkway Ambassadors Program to host Sycamore Island Open House
November 8th, 2022
MADERA, CA – The San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust (Trust) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a free Open House Day Friday, November 11th from 10 am – 2 pm at Sycamore Island, with activities led by Youth Parkway Ambassadors from Madera South High School.
The new Youth Parkway Ambassadors Program is an outdoor skills and leadership development program for high school aged youth. Participants receive training on skills including canoeing, kayaking, orienteering, and plant identification as well as outdoor gear and park passes to help them access outdoor recreation on their own. In addition to building outdoor skills, the program includes development of soft skills such as communication, public speaking, and community outreach. After completing training, the Youth Ambassadors will host two free open houses with guided activities for their community.
The Trust partnered with Madera Unified and Fresno Unified School Districts to implement the program, which is funded by the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) for the Youth Community Access Grant Program through the California Natural Resources Agency. The pilot program will host four cohorts of participants over the course of two years, one with each of the three Madera Unified High Schools and one with McLane High School in Fresno.
“This program is a fantastic opportunity for our students. They’ve loved the training and the program staff are amazing,” said John Martin, Madera South High School Vice Principal and staff chaperone for the program. “Most of these kids wouldn’t have access to these types of experiences without this, and I’ve really enjoyed watching our students learn new skills and grow. We’re excited to give back to the community with these Open Houses.”
Sycamore Island is a 600-acre open space area conveniently located in Madera near Valley Children’s Hospital. Youth Parkway Ambassadors will be leading free family activities including canoeing, a scavenger hunt, and a nature photography hike for participants. Advance registration for some activities, such as canoeing, is required and registrations can be made at www.riverparkway.org.
Sycamore Island is located at 39664 avenue 7 ½, Madera, CA, 93636. For more information and an event schedule, visit www.riverparkway.org.