Barleymash chef Kevin Templeton at Olivewood Gardens.

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is teaming up with A Reason to Survive on a year-long internship for young people, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The internship will culminate in the community’s first youth-focused Resident Leadership Academy.

It will focus on art and culture, outdoor spaces, health equity and sustainability, according to Isabella Oidem of Mixte Communications. Using leadership and design skills, students will complete a project that enhances outdoor space for the community.

Youth access to the outdoors and related education is considered unequal for low-income or minority communities, according to Oidem.

The nonprofit San Diego Foundation is funding the program.

According to the foundation’s Parks for Everyone 2020 report, focusing on communities lacking outdoor access will involve more than 17,000 acres of natural land and reach 6,700 San Diegans.

Located in National City, Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is an interactive, indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults from around the county.

Founded in 2001, A Reason to Survive offers creative arts programming and community project opportunities to youth ages 6 to 24 in National City and across the South County region.

For more information, visit or

–City News Service