Do you enjoy being outside? Are you looking for an adventure and willing to try new things?

Linking Individuals to their Natural Community (LINC) is a summer internship program for high school students based in the Golden Gate National Parks. During this six week long program, students assist with service projects, gain career and leadership skills, and take field trips to special park sites such as Alcatraz and Muir Woods. Projects and activities vary by week and include trail work, plant propagation, and habitat restoration. In addition, students will get the opportunity to learn more about ecology and science. The 2016 summer will begin with a 3-day backpacking trip at Point Reyes National Seashore, during which participants will learn everything they need to know to be comfortable and feel strong in the outdoors.

The 2016 Program will be a special ‘Centennial Edition’ of LINC to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the National Parks.

In honor of the Centennial, the program will conclude with a special adventure during which participants from both teams will join other local youth in a 4 day, 3 night hiking journey across the Golden Gate parklands. Upon completion all students will receive an award of $1,000. Participants must be able to commit to the entire six week period without schedule conflicts.


Two Opportunities to Get Involved

LINC: TAM June 14th – July 24th (Tuesday – Friday 9-5 p.m.)
(Meets at the Marin Municipal Water District Headquarters in Corte Madera each morning)

LINC: Golden Gate June 14th – July 24th (Tuesday – Friday 9-5 p.m.)
(Meets at Fort Mason in San Francisco each morning)

Questions and Information

What are the details of the Centennial Backpacking Adventure (Packing the Parks)?

In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, 100 backpackers, more than half of them youth participants, will journey through these parklands, exploring the sites and stories along the way. The trip will be comprised of two teams, one in the north and the other in the south, who will spend three days and four nights following the trails though these stunning parklands. The participants will be supported by a range of park partners and youth advocates who will join them on various legs of this adventure. On the final day of this 4-day trip, the two teams will converge on Crissy Field for a public celebration.

  • This backpack trip will take place from July 21st – July 24th 2016
  • Youth from the East Bay National Parks (Rosie the Riveter, Eugene O’Neill, John Muir and Port Chicago) will join the journey.
  • Breakfasts and dinners will be prepared for the backpackers, who will only carry lunches and layers with them each day.
  • Participants will hike an average of 8 miles per day.

Is this program the right fit for me?
Do you enjoy being outside? Are you looking for an adventure and willing to try new things? The LINC summer high school program is ideal for students who are open to new experiences, eager to learn new skills, and enjoy working outside. No previous experience is necessary—just an ample supply of enthusiasm.

How old do I have to be to participate?
All applicants must be currently enrolled in high school. Current high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are all welcome to apply to the program.

How will the program be organized?
The LINC program consists of two teams, one in the north and one in the south. Each session will consist of a team of 17-18 students who will meet daily at our park offices. Students will work 8 hour days, 4 days per week for a total of 6 weeks.

What kinds of service projects are involved?
LINC interns provide a wide variety of service for the parklands and local open space. Past projects have included maintaining trails, growing plants at our native plant nurseries, creating habitat for endangered species, restoring historic sailing ships, and building fences to protect sensitive park sites. These service projects vary each year depending on park priorities and project availability.

What kinds of field trips and workshops are provided?
Field trips and workshops vary can from year to year depending on scheduling opportunities. Students in years past have gone on ropes courses and taken behind-the-scenes tours at Alcatraz. Through workshops, LINC participants will get the chance to develop personal resumes, learn medicinal uses of California native plants, and more!

Am I required to go backpacking?
Yes, backpacking is a key activity for the program this year. The 2016 LINC program kicks off with a 3-day backpacking trip to Point Reyes National Seashore. The program ends with the special Centennial Adventure (see above) during which the program participants will backpack across the lands of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Does the program cost anything?
The LINC program does not cost anything. Youth who complete the LINC program will receive an educational award of $1000. All gear and meals will be provided for the overnight backpacking trips. Limited funding is available to offset commute expenses for those who qualify.

How do I apply?
Complete the application at this link by March 20th at 11:59 p.m. Qualified applicants will be asked to come in for a short interview in April. Make sure and list an email and /or phone number where we can easily reach you for scheduling.

What is the best way to prepare for the interview?

Read this FAQ for tips on how to prepare for the interview.

For more information, please contact the LINC Program Coordinator at


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