Youth Community Greening

Youth Community Greening is an environmental education program targeting disadvantaged urban and regional youth from preschool to young adults across New South Wales.

Child and adult planting seedlings

About Youth Community Greening

For ten years, Youth Community Greening (YCG) has operated as the offspring of Community Greening which was established in 1999. Educators help youth and teachers connect with the natural environment and experience the joys of being outdoors and gardening.

Youth Community Greening (YCG) commenced in 2008 and is an environmental outreach education program targeting disadvantaged youth from birth to 25 years across the State. YCG is a partnership between the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Bloomberg, Eucalypt Australia, John T Reid Charitable Trust and the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens.

YCG delivers the program while corporate and philanthropic support provides funding, input into strategic development, plants and products. The program inspires the appreciation and conservation of plants and the environment. Educators help youth, teachers and community connect with the natural environment and experience the joys of being outdoors and gardening.

YCG assists disadvantaged preschools, schools, migrant youth groups, Youth off the Streets, Juvenile Justice Centres, and young people with disabilities through helping create productive school and community gardens and green landscapes. The program also delivers syllabus-linked environmental classroom and outdoor activities at schools and centres across New South Wales.

Visits to our city from Youth Community Greening encourage community groups and education centres to talk to each other, support each other and share information. This builds on existing social capital and increases social capacity.

Youth Community Greening Volunteer


  • Building self-esteem and resilience in vulnerable youth
  • Create opportunities for young people to connect with nature
  • Increase youth ownership of public places
  • Educate young people about healthy lifestyle choices
  • Provide and develop gardening skills and enhance employment opportunities
  • Green the urban environment and promote sustainable lifestyles
  • Promote sustainability through garden programs in schools and youth centres
  • Provide training opportunities for staff involved with disadvantaged youth

We are so grateful for the wonderful workshops, training and information that Peter Dawe has imparted to teachers and students from the local Belmore Schools. These valuable workshops were empowering and community building.

Belmore School Teacher


Why target youth?

Children (0-14 year olds) and young people (15-25 year olds) face many challenges for the future, including finding their identity in an uncertain and changing world. They experience peer group pressure and have to deal with social, employment and financial issues.

Young people are readily influenced by their environment and their personal development is shaped by their experiences with family, friends, school and community. They are also affected by their surroundings - the built and natural environment. Many young people today are growing up with few opportunities to connect with nature. 

Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime. Youth Community Greening (YCG) gives young people the opportunity to experience this natural affinity which is too often lacking in this day.

With the help of John T Reid Charitable Trusts', Youth Community Greening (YCG) has established 'Habitat Gardens' in rural areas across New South Wales. A summary of those gardens can be downloaded as an iBook for free here.

abg close up tour

Community Greening resources

A child walks through the meadow at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Discover the magic of family forests, seed-raising and nature walks.
Four children at a bench in the garden planting seedlings
Create a reflective self-portrait and improve your garden with a compost system.
A wooden bowl full of a variety of Australian bush foods.
Explore how plants evolved, plus the benefits of a bush tucker garden.
sowing seeds of hope thumbnail
Find out about the steps you will need to follow and all the tools you will need to establish your community garden.

Meet some of the team

Peter Dawe

Peter Dawe has been the Youth Community Greening Coordinator for the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for the last four years and has been delivering environmental education to students and communities for the last 30 years. This experience combined with a Masters of Environmental Management, Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Sustainability provide him with the expertise, knowledge and passion to deliver such an important message and program.