Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth (READY) is a program working to create green jobs for young adults and adults while improving watershed health through the reduction of stormwater runoff and providing additional environmental protection services. The READY program is being run in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and is now being piloted in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


The recent economic recession has created difficult employment conditions in many areas. There are also few opportunities for young men and women to earn money for education and/or acquire job skills to succeed in today’s competitive job market. At the same time, local jurisdictions are also being required to accelerate the implementation of stormwater controls in a slow growing economy with continued high unemployment.

READY members are trained in the design and installation of green stormwater techniques such as rain gardens and rain barrels, maintenance of public and private installations, and stormwater assessment techniques. They receive job skills training and are exposed to local and regional environmental issues.

At the core of this project we aim to provide jobs for young adults who have little access to environmental jobs and help to reduce stormwater loads coming from regional roads, rooftops, and parking areas. More deeply, it will help to engage the urban African American community in environmental activities, a community that is mostly under served by our current network of partners. It will also provide a pipeline of trained and enthusiastic young African Americans ready to accept jobs with mainstream Chesapeake Bay environmental groups and institutions working to protect our environment.

The Anne Arundel County READY program was piloted in 2015 and hired 15 young adults to remove invasive plants and install 4 BayScape gardens and 1 rain garden.

The Lancaster County READY program is currently being piloted in Pennsylvania and hired four young adults and rehabilitated adults to support organizations in maintenance work in Lancaster County.

Lancaster County Partners:

  • Lancaster County Conservation District
  • Lancaster County Conservancy
  • Crow and Berry Land Management
  • Janus School
  • Pennsylvania Careerlink
  • Landstudies
  • Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  • Stroud Water Research Center
  • Thaddeus Stevens

Anne Arundel County Partners:

  • Mount Olive Community Development Corporation
  • Our Creeks & Conservancy
  • Annapolis High School: Change Engineering
  • Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy
  • Spa Creek Conservancy
  • South River Federation, Motivation Education
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