Driving down the West Side Highway in Manhattan nearly every day can have its ups and downs. On Friday, I found myself in the midst of heavy traﬃc as I exited the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and onto the West Side Highway, en route to Rockland County, NY. I listened every ten minutes to the traﬃc report, trying to plot my best escape from the city.
Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.
Vicki Rubino | June 17, 2013
There is always a moment when a team truly becomes cohesive. I think we reached this point during the second week of the NYC Sandy Recovery Leader Crew. The previous weekend, all of the NYC crew leaders attended the New Jersey crew leader training, which is always a wonderful bonding experience.
Carolyn Lucey | June 12, 2013
For the last four years I’ve lived as a college student in New York City. I knew I wanted to spend my last summer here exploring and appreciating this crazy, vibrant, unexpected city.
As a Student Conservation Association intern, you never know what new experiences each day will bring. I work for Delaware State Parks on the Children In Nature initiative, which is a statewide coalition working to get more kids outside. Children In Nature is a large coalition with expansive goals, and my job responsibilities are equally broad in scope.
Vicki Rubino | June 10, 2013
The ﬁrst week of the SCA Sandy Recovery Leader Crew at Gateway National Recreation Area was excellent – ﬁlled with site visits, planning, stretching, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, hard work, goals reached, education, team building, and so so so much sand and debris in places it was not located prior to Sandy!
Vicki Rubino | June 6, 2013
I’ll be a crew leader blogger for the new Hurricane Sandy recovery team at Gateway National Recreation Area! I’m really looking forward to leading and collaborating on this new, HUGE recovery we’re about to undertake with about 24 crew leaders and over 100 high school members!
Andrea Willingham | June 4, 2013
It’s weird to think of myself as an SCA alum now, which I suppose I am, after having ﬁnished my 9-month internship with Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. I thought I would be working another SCA internship this summer, but as it turns out, last month I was offered a full time park ranger position back at Bering Land Bridge.
Justin “JB” Brimer | May 21, 2013
Everybody likes an “Atta Boy.” And after three years of SCA service projects in the Allegheny National Forest, District Ranger Rob Fallon gave the SCA a tremendous “Atta Boy” last week. “We signed a $1.2 million contract with the SCA (3 years ago).
Justin “JB” Brimer | May 13, 2013
Water. How you’ve been cursed when you fall from the sky, rejoiced when you ﬂowed in river bottoms, and feared when you swell and pull in currents and waves.
For trail workers like myself, water is a dire enemy. About 90 percent of my time is spent diverting, building around, channeling, pushing, even aimlessly kicking it out of the path.
Venice Wong | April 1, 2013
Photo: Hiking Big Sycamore Canyon Falls
A week can seem like forever yet go by in a ﬂash. We spent our last day(Friday, March 29th) as a group working with native plants, for a change of pace, in the Rancho Sierra Vista, not too far from the Wendy Trail trailhead. To prevent over watering natives planted earlier in March by the ﬁrst California ASB, we established a simple system.
Venice Wong | March 29, 2013
For a small change of pace, the National Park Service led us to Upper Zuma Canyon. Despite a new location with greenery that was vaguely reminiscent of the forests of Washington, our task for the day was a classic conservation work: removing invasives This time we took on the poison hemlock and Italian thistle.
Venice Wong | March 29, 2013
The second day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach we continued our invasives battle. A small group kayaked out to one of the further islands to do work. One problem. There were only two kayaks available so ASB members had to be ferried out two at a time - a hilarious scene to behold.
Venice Wong | March 27, 2013
The majority of ASB participants spent most of yesterday ﬂying into either Burbank, CA or LAX. After waking up early for morning ﬂights, I was glad that we were saving group introductions for Monday. Instead we met each other at our own pace as people arrived to Malibu Creek State Park. Students who arrived ﬁrst, like myself, set up tents for ourselves and for those getting in later.
Venice Wong | March 25, 2013
It begins, but who’s to say when it begins. The drive and desire to protect natural spaces, to ensure adequate resources for future generations, to promote the recovery of endangered species while preventing others from becoming threatened, and to simply enjoy something so majestic that man can never hope to recreate it. It’s conservation.
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 22, 2013) – How can one sum up the past week here with SCA alternative spring break? Gathered around a campﬁre, under a big clear sky, with Orion overhead, a mandolin strums. Bluegrass ﬁlls our ears. Songs of the mountains and the stars. Marshmallows are passed around.
Exploring a gator pond in a swampy cypress mound. Knee deep in water.
Photo via Giovanni Paccaloni, Flickr
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 19, 2013) — Nearly everybody here has a story of someone who has driven into a canal. That’s just life in the ‘Glades.
Canals cut along all the roads here; they always have. The roads were made by digging the canals and dumping the dirt to form the roadways.
Photo via carolinabirdclub.org. Woo!
BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 18, 2013) — Sandwiched between mangroves, alligators ﬂoat on the water’s surface, manatees ﬂoat just below, and a woodpecker works for its lunch: Tck tck tck. Tck Tck Tck.
“This is the woodpecker mecca,” says Ross Scott of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Vivian Nguyen | March 21, 2013
Today, we got the insider view of some of the struggles the National Park Service is currently facing.
Pedro Ramos, the Big Cypress National Preserve superintendent, came to our campsite and joined us for dinner. After our delicious meal, we gathered around the campﬁre. He asked us what he can do to improve the National Park System. The main issue was relevance.
We begin by rubbing our ﬁngers together. The sound, imperceptible, is obscured by a light breeze and the occasional bird overhead. Next, we snap our ﬁngers. It’s hard in the cold, but the sound is persistent, an organized cacophony. Better still is the light clapping. The tips of our ﬁngers on our right hands meet the palms of our left. With 42 campers the rhythm is undeniable.