The C.R.E.W. offers teens and young adults the opportunity for hands-on work in the great outdoors. With projects that include wildfire prevention, habitat restoration, and trail maintenance, the work is hard and its impacts are both rewarding and enduring.
Since 1991, The C.R.E.W. has been a leader in employment development for young people through environmental work. We invite you to explore these pages and learn more about our people, our projects, and our partners in the Ojai Valley and throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
OJAI VALLEY CHIPPING PROGRAM
Ojai and Santa Paula wildfire safety program. Serving Ojai, Santa Paula, Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte, Oak View, Casitas Springs, Foster Park, and surrounding areas. FREE chipping to reduce wildfire risk for the whole community!
GREEN VALLEY PROJECT
The C.R.E.W. has embarked on a multi-year initiative that puts local young people at the center of ecological leadership and restoration throughout the Ventura River Watershed. Alongside the valuable environmental education that these students will gain, working in nature connects people with each other and gives a sense of purpose and optimism.
THOMAS FIRE TRAILS
Since 1991, the C.R.E.W. and the Los Padres National Forest have had a successful partnership providing employment opportunities for “at risk” young people, ages 14- 24, while completing necessary project work for the Forest. Since 1999, the C.R.E.W. has employed and trained more than 2,000 young people from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
MIDDLE STEWART CANYON CREEK RESTORATION
Stewart Canyon Creek winds through Ojai, from the upper reaches of the watershed and through Ojai before joining into the Ventura River. This waterway is a vital lifeline for local wildlife and a source of beauty and joy for residents.
BRINGING "RELEAF" WITH TREE PLANTING
In 2021 C.R.E.W. in partnership with the Center for Regenerative Agriculture, Ojai Trees and Ventura Land Trust was awarded a generous grant from Ca ReLeaf to plant over 300 trees throughout Ventura County.
SUPPORT THE CREW
The C.R.E.W. provides employment and leadership training to teens and young adults through hands-on environmental work. Since 1991, C.R.E.W. members work year-round to maintain trails, restore habitats, and reduce the risk of wildfire, while building skills and developing relationships that last a lifetime.
ABOUT OUR STAFF
WE BELIEVE IN PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING & EDUCATION FOR ALL STAFF
Team members learn the skills necessary to be successful as CREW members, as well as life skills that are personally and professionally valuable.
Because of our commitment to providing steady employment for the young workers on our team, all trainings are paid at their regular wages. Professional development is supported by generous grants and donations – learn more on our Financials page.
On-the-job technical skills training includes general safety, hand tools and power tools, fire prevention, forestry, habitat restoration, wildscaping, and maintaining backcountry trails. CREW members learn how their physically demanding work creates a lasting positive outcome on our local natural spaces. In the course of their work, staff meet leaders in a wide array of fields who share their expertise, career ideas, and opportunities.
EVERY PROJECT PROVIDES AN
OUTDOOR CLASSROOM FOR LIFE SKILLS
Skills taught include working in a team, respect for fellow workers and supervisors, and creating positive relationships with many different types of people. We hold high expectations for all staff to grow in leadership, ensuring safety for the whole team, and personal accountability.
As we are often the first or second formal ‘job’ for many of our young staff, CREW embraces educational opportunities out of the field as well. Workshops in communication, conflict resolution, resume writing, critical thinking, and so much more, provide skills that empower our staff to become stronger leaders in the workplace and in the community.
One of our capstone activities is the spike-out, where teams hike far into the backcountry to perform trail work over multiple days at a time. CREW has held a spike-out nearly every year since 1991, and participating staff members receive advanced training in wilderness living skills, Leave No Trace, emergency prevention and response, and a deeper level of knowledge in native plants and animals.