EXPECT to see more young people getting their hands dirty next time you visit the Hunter Wetlands Centre.
The 45-hectare wetlands ecosystem was announced as a launch site in the first round of the Green Army program.
Conservation Volunteers Australia is one of five organisations chosen by the federal government to run the Green Army, a grassroots, hands-on program that targets 17 to 24-year-olds.
The Green Army program was one of the federal government's campaign promises in the lead-up to the 2013 election.
The government has allocated $525 million for the Green Army over the next four years.
The Green Army was launched last week with some criticism about its work-for-the dole similarities.
School leavers, gap year students, the unemployed and graduates have been encouraged to apply.
Green Army participants will be paid between $10 and $16 an hour - less than the minimum wage. However, they will be able to obtain certificate I and II qualifications in environmental fields for their work.
Green Army projects will include revegetating river catchments, wetlands and coastal foreshores, pest animal management; upgrading walking tracks; and monitoring threatened species.
Conservation Volunteers Australia Northern NSW manager Leonie Winner said the program provided direction for young people.
"This is a good opportunity for people to get started in the industry."
Hunter Wetlands chief executive officer Ken Conway said help from the Green Army would allow the wetlands to progress a lot of ongoing biodiversity projects, including planting and weeding.
■ For information about joining the Green Army, go to conservationvolunteers.com.au/green-army.