Stories from the Field

For some, spring break begins with moving into a posh hotel room in Florida and settling in for a week of tanning- but for the SCA spring break group, it began with a late-night arrival at our campground, fumbling around in the dark introducing themselves to people they couldn’t even see. The first-night dinner, sesame noodles with tofu or chicken, was amazing.

This is the fifth entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Detroit Community Crew Program in its first year - July 15, 2008

This is the fourth entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Robin taking a short water break at Crew Leader Training in Charlestown, NH on 6/29/2007.

By Molly Lundberg, Sam Keller, and Rebecca PikeThe Alternative Spring Break program got off to a wonderful start on March 8th when staff arrived at the Grand Canyon.

This is the third entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs. Jessica Bolis, a two-time SCA alumna and current SCA supervisor at Sequoia National Forest, takes a minute to check out the extraordinary view.

This is the second entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.For a longer description of this image and to find out what they were doing with the sunflowers, see Sandra’s post.

This is the first entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.A-Fig (pictured below) was a member of the 2008 Boston Commuter Crew. The BCC attended the Conservation Commencement 2008 in Charlestown, NH on August 13, 2008.Gloria Flora was the featured speaker.

Conservation came up big in the ARRA of 2009!Some highlights:$500 million for training of green-collar workers$4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund$750 million to the National Park Service$650 million to the Forest Service$515 million for wildfire prevention projects$340 million to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for watershed infrastructure projects$320 million to the Bur

SCA alumna Emily Williams (Kenai, ‘08) sent us this account of her MLK Day experience.  Thanks, Emily!After listening to lectures, filling pipettes in labs, and sitting in classrooms all day, the members of the FAB Environmental Sustainability trip were ready and raring to go get their hands dirty and spend some quality time in the outdoors. On Friday, January 16th, 14 students of the University of Florida in Gainesville piled into two vans and made the two-hour drive to Orlando to volunteer their time and efforts over MLK weekend.

Welcome to SCA’s new website! Take a look around and let us know what you think by leaving a comment on this blog post.What do you like? What would you change? What’s missing?We want to hear from you!P.S… While you’re here, make sure you sign up to receive Hands On, our monthly electronic newsletter.  It’s the best way to stay up-to-date with SCA!

SCA staff member Ashley Hansen provided us with this account of volunteering on Inauguration Day:I witnessed history.I witnessed hundreds of volunteers gather for a 5 am check-in to serve our country.I witnessed my fellow volunteers flow into Starbucks on the corner of 14th and New York Ave to stay warm while the staff called in for backup and fixed the broken toilet.

SCA Alumni Editorial Board member Angie Mrozinski sent us her reflections on the inaugural events today:”What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the

SCA’s own Emily McGinty sent us this update yesterday from Pittsburgh’s MLK Day events: I had a great time with the SCA crowd today—from crafts and drumming to ice skating and dancing, we had a really fun time and got tons of people, especially kids, hyped up about MLK Day. Our event ended at 4:30pm and I’ve just come home with the pictures. I am actually headed to the inauguration in about an hour and a half with 30 kids from my school and 150 people from Pittsburgh—-pretty crazy!!

What was truly astounding about spending today with SCA in DC was the palpable spirit of service. In a moment of clarity amid the bustle and energy of the day, I realized just how much we were embodying the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.

We all know President-elect Obama is a strong proponent of service, but everyone has different ideas about what that should mean.Naturally, here at SCA we’re focused on conservation service. And we’d like to know, as an SCA alum or supporter, what would you tell the President if you had a chance to chat with him about conservation service?Leave us your thoughts here in the comments section.

The Economic Progress Through Conservation Project was a public planning project which deployed SCA interns working under the direction of the staff of the Progress Fund to create an economic development plan based on tourism in the Laurel Highlands region.The Project was developed by the SCA (Student Conservation Association, Inc) in partnership with the Progress Fund and was financed in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation under the Growing Greener Program.ScopeThis Project seeks to provide an economic development plan based on tourism in the Laurel Highlands and to understand how to best leverage successful regional achievement in conservation, integrating regional resources such as Park and recreation areas, historic conservation areas, and areas of natural beauty into a plan that will provide a framework for supporting sustainable economic development for the benefit of rural communities in the four-county Laurel Highlands area of Southwestern PA.Download the full report - Economic Progress Through Conservation - 1.77MB .PDF

American Eagle Outfitters announced today it is offering an AE Better World holiday gift card program to benefit its three charity partners, Jumpstart, Big Brothers Big Sisters and SCA.

We need your help now to close the funding gap for AmeriCorps and the National Service Trust.

SCA has just learned that there is potentially a very problematic situation brewing around funding for national service. The Appropriations Committee is, at this moment, finalizing the Omnibus appropriations bill (the money bill). For a variety of reasons, they are estimating that they will be $41 million short in funding for AmeriCorps State and National and the National Service Trust. Losing the AmeriCorps educational awards will make it hard, or even impossible for many young people to serve through SCA and other organizations.

If someone from the National Park Service ever hands you a business card, flip it over. On the back, you’ll find the simple slogan “Experience Your America.” My most recent experience was among my most powerful…and the fact that it was delivered via 12 hours of watching TV is an irony that has yet to wear off.

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