Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

SCA's Claire Ellwanger contributes to the science that will help save this legendary flower

Posted by Claire Ellwanger | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Left: SCA intern and biology masters student Claire Ellwanger prepares for a field survey. Right: An eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea).
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States. Today, Claire Ellwanger checks...
Education, Endangered Species, People, Science

SCA's new Chicago program has engaged more than 2,000 school children

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Young Students at Chicagoland doing an exercise with SCA's Urban Treehouse program

For a child, few places pack the wonder of a tree house. A tree house spurs recreation, observation and imagination. As the youngster climbs, the mind soars and even the stars seem within reach.

Last fall, SCA brought its Urban Tree House to Chicagoland. A unique environmental education curriculum, the Urban...

Education, Kids, Sustainability

Earthsavers of the Month

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, January 21, 2016
US veterans from The Mission Continues volunteers at SCA's Find Your park beach cleanup in NYC

“We aim to inspire the next generation to view service as part of their lives. Service has given us purpose and we want to keep that going.”

People, Volunteer Opportunities

Excelsior AmeriCorps Members Look Ahead to a Year of Service Across New York State

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, January 21, 2016
SCA Excelsior Corps members gather for orientation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently  announced the launch of New York State’s Excelsior Conservation Corps, a new statewide AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program managed by SCA. AmeriCorps members enrolled in the program will perform meaningful and lasting environmental projects across New York State while gaining hands-on experience...

Career Success, Parks, People

We catch up with the Secretary at our MLK Find Your Park Day of Service

Posted by Staff | Thursday, January 21, 2016
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with SCA Alum Roland Richardson at SCA's Find Your Park Day of Service at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC, in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 18, 2016

For the second year in a row, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spent her Martin Luther King Day serving with SCA alongside hundreds of community volunteers in Washington DC’s Anacostia Park. After a busy morning of picking up litter and cutting down invasive plants, she was nice enough to...

600+ Volunteers Join SCA's Find Your Park Day of Service

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, January 19, 2016
SCA's Roland Richardson walks with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, SCA rallied 604 volunteers in Washington, DC for our largest service event to date. The Find Your Park Day of Service event, sponsored by American Express, is one of many that SCA will organize over the next year in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.

Coasts & Water, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

350 Volunteers Restore Urban Beaches at Find Your Park Day of Service

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Volunteers gather storm debris along Jamaica Bay

In honor of the MLK National Day of Service, SCA brought together 350 volunteers this weekend at Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City. The event was the first Find Your Park Day of Service of 2016, as SCA and American Express team up to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial.

Coasts & Water, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

SCA Alum Roland Richardson's remarks at the MLK Day of Service in DC

Posted by Staff | Monday, January 18, 2016
SCA Alum Roland Richardson, pictured second from right, spoke to the hundreds of volunteers gathered for a day of service at Anacostia Park

SCA and American Express gathered over 600 volunteers on Monday at Anacostia Park in Southeast DC, to celebrate the Dr. King holiday through a morning of service. Among those 600 volunteers, was SCA Alum Roland Richardson (pictured above, second from right), who joined Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and...

Reflections from the MLK National Historic Site in Atlanta, GA

Posted by Staff | Thursday, January 14, 2016
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the March on Washington, DC in 1963.

By Camille Vincent, SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at the MLK National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia.

Growing up in the South, including four years at Spelman College, a historically Black school in Atlanta, I felt the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. as ever-present. The “I Have a Dream” speech on...

Diversity, History

Board member Ernest C. Wong on how SCA can help bring diversity to our parks

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, January 12, 2016
SCA Board member Ernest C. Wong (inset) and Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chicago

Look around a national park and you may see brown bears, blue herons, or Redwood trees.

But you’re less likely to see any people of color.  Statistically, 80% of park visitors are white as are park staffs, even as projections show whites will be in the minority within 30 years.

As the...

Career Success, Diversity, Parks

Posted by Staff | Friday, January 8, 2016
SCA Members have been working to protect monarch habitat all over the nation. Photo by docentjoyce via a CC license

For many, Monarch butterflies are magical. Yet their numbers are falling dramatically. But SCA interns from Dallas to Des Moines and Denver have a few tricks up their sleeve and are determined to extend the Monarch’s reign.

Endangered Species, People, Science, Sustainability

Thank you for supporting the Student Conservation Association

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Bryce Canyon is blanketed in snow

SCA members make a significant difference in our national parks, forests, and community green spaces across the country. As we enter 2016, America needs more strong young leaders – leaders with conservation values who are equipped to succeed in an increasingly complex world. SCA programs instill the skills and self-confidence...

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The SCA Cafe Press store, shopping via Amazon Smile and Giving to SCA are all ways you can support Conservation this holiday season

Considering where we are on the calendar, it seems likely that you’ll be doing a little shopping sometime in the very near future. Considering that it’s 2015, odds are some of it’ll take place… on the internet. Here are three ways to support SCA (and therefore the future of conservation) just...

SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Jacob Breslin Considers Why Parks Need Year-Round Advocates

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, December 10, 2015
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Jacob Breslin at Shenandoah National Park

“This year, as the funding deadline approached, the stress in our office was palpable.”

Parks, People

SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Jimi Hightower Considers the Value of Parks at the Brink of a Shutdown

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, December 10, 2015

I had an unconventional childhood. After my dad took a job that kept him on the road for months at a time, my parents decided we should join him so we could all be together. We bought a motorhome, began to homeschool, and hit the road – stopping at national parks along the way. We saw ancient forests, historic buildings, fascinating museums, national monuments, and dramatic landforms – all national parks. While I didn’t have much space of my own, traveling to these magical places allowed me to explore my greater backyard and make it my own. I learned that national parks belong to us all and their purpose is to conserve OUR history, OUR culture, and OUR landscapes.

Education, Parks, People

Recommendations from SCA's Gear Guru

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The Modular Hauler Outdoor Gear Organizer would make a great gift for any gear-loving conservation adventurer.

Shopping for a true lover of the great outdoors can be tough. More than anything, they’ll appreciate gifts that make getting out and connecting with nature easier, lighter, and more seamless, but they likely have high standards when it comes to such things. How do you make sure your gift...

SCA Alums Gather for Fall Events in NYC, DC, San Francisco & Chicago

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 8, 2015
SCA alumni explore Pullman National Monument in Chicago

Over the past month, SCA brought together more than 100 SCA alums in a series of fall alumni engagement events across the country. From New York City to San Francisco, from Chicago to Washington DC, SCA alums gathered to reconnect and spend time together enjoying the spectacular public lands in...

A Brief History of the Patch & Its Designer

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, December 3, 2015
A hand-painted version of the original Student Conservation Association (SCA) logo.

Prior to the adoption of the much celebrated and now defunct “Space Eaglelogo in the 1980’s, SCA was represented by an earthbound eagle on a shield patch that intentionally nodded to the National Park Service’s Arrowhead insignia.

Below you’ll find a brief history of that logo...

People

SCA Intern Alex Kirk's Summer Removing Non-native Brook Trout from the White River National Forest

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, December 2, 2015
SCA Intern Alex Kirk uses an electro-shocker to stun non-native brook trout in the White River National Forest

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with fisheries biologist Matt Grove along with my two crew leads Mark and Graham in the heart of the Rocky Mountains within the White River National Forest. At the beginning of my internship, I heard foreshadowing stories from the guys about...

SCA Crews Support the NYC Parks 2015 Urban Street Tree Census

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 1, 2015
SCA members survey NYC street trees

As fall foliage peaked in New York City this season, SCA members hit the streets to support TreesCount! 2015 — a NYC Parks initiative to map and catalogue every street tree on every block in NYC.

Forests, Parks, People, Sustainability

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Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA

Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.

75000 Members have served with SCA

Throughout the Summer of 2014 we marked our 75,000th member with 75 stories of the women and men have served with SCA - read them here.

Read about the women and men who helped build America’s oldest and largest youth conservation service organization here

Member Bloggers

Rachelle Hedges
San Mateo County Parks
See Posts by Rachelle Hedges
Sarika Khanwilkar
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Sarika Khanwilkar
Elizabeth Braatz
St. Croix Wetland Management District
See Posts by Elizabeth Braatz
Noah M Schlager
National Trails Intermountain Region
See Posts by Noah M Schlager
Dakota McCoy
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Dakota McCoy
Ariel Lepito
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Ariel Lepito
Jessica Zamudio
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Jessica Zamudio

Staff Bloggers

Ann Pedtke
New York City
See posts by Ann Pedtke
Joseph Thurston
Washington, DC
See posts by Joseph Thurston

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

Todd Nelson is the volunteer coordinator at Grand Canyon National Park. We asked him about his career, the National Park...
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.
SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

New findings on SCA's youth impact - read about the Search Institute's study

A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »

Michelle Bobowick, Interning with SCA in Yellowstone National Park, 1985
It was 1958, when our family affair with the Student Conservation Association began. Since, then our family has continued its commitment to improving the world around us through SCA.
During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in...
When Student Conservation Association (SCA) supporter and 1983 alumnus, Bob Kachinski, was fresh out of college, he went on what...

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