Kids hanging out next to the bond

Join the Neighborhood Ecology Corps

The Neighborhood Ecology Corps (NEC) is looking for students entering grades 6-10 to join the program for the 2023-2024 school year!

The NEC is a free program focused on building environmentally-literate citizens with a holistic view of their communities through hands-on experiences. Participants will develop friendships, gain comfort in the outdoors, participate in service learning projects, and deepen their understanding of the relationships between their community, ecology, and environmental justice.

The year begins with a week-long summer day camp in August that fosters community within the NEC cohort. September – May, weekly meetings are held at Walnut Creek Wetland Park from 4:00 p.m.-5:45 p.m., and participants will engage in field trips on select teacher workdays.

Students may elect to continue into a 2-year or 3-year program at the end of the school year.

Through the Neighborhood Ecology Corps, students will have the opportunity to engage in:

  • Outdoor excursions: Participants will take field trips to local parks, museums, and nature preserves
  • Hands-on experiences: Weekly meetings include staff-led activities, scientific investigations, guest presenters, and more
  • Environmental stewardship: The NEC works to protect and improve green spaces in the community by planting trees, gardens, and native plants, participating in stream clean-ups, and working on trail restoration
  • Education and career opportunities: Participants will meet and network with environmental professionals and local universities to learn about education, careers, and engagement opportunities

Applications are open now and will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program reaches capacity. The program is focused on serving Southeast Raleigh, but youth are encouraged to apply regardless of location. Access the NEC Program Application here.

For more information, please contact



Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC 27610


Walnut Creek Wetland Park

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories: