Since the early 2000s, SCA has been fielding local community conservation programs in Houston. Since then, hundreds of local Houston youth have participated in SCA programs. These young people walked away with the knowledge of how to serve their communities through conservation service work as well as gained a strong connection to the great outdoors through environmental education. The success of SCA programming in Houston is due in large part to SCA Houston’s many partners like Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, TPWD State Parks, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Memorial Park Conservancy, Bayou Preservation Association, the City of Houston, as well as countless local environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups.
SCA Houston Community Programs aim to build the next generation of conservation leaders and environmental stewards by getting local Houston youth out into their community and environment to do hands-on service to the land. The programs aim to teach area young people how to:
- work outdoors (volunteer service)
- live outdoors (camping)
- have fun outdoors (outdoor recreation activities like hiking, geocaching, kayaking, etc.)
- love the outdoors (environmental education – connecting youth to their environment, empowering them with the knowledge to protect it)
SCA Houston Community Programs offer both volunteer and paid service opportunities. The School-Year Program is voluntary and occurs on weekends, from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. During the course of the School-Year Program, youth attend five camping weekends at parks and nature areas around Houston. Not only does each weekend feature an intensive conservation service project such as trail building, habitat restoration, or invasive species removal, but the crew members also participate in environmental education activities and outdoor recreation designed to instill a greater appreciation for the outdoors.
SCA Houston’s Summer Program is a service opportunity that occurs during the work week, from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday. The participants work all over the Houston region and get the opportunity to serve with a number of local nonprofits as well as city, state, and federal agency partners. Each partner organization offers a specific long-term conservation project. For example, a crew might spend two weeks working clearing half a mile of new trail in Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, one week restoring dunes at Galveston Island State Park, and one week removing invasive species in Memorial Park. Additionally, four to ten hours a week is focused on environmental education discussions, educational field trips, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The Summer Program participants receive a stipend for their service work.
During the program, participants learn how to work as members of a diverse team of peers while gaining knowledge of public land resources and local and global environmental issues. They significantly increase their understanding of environmental and trail restoration techniques through hands-on experience. Finally, the participants acquire experience in public service and outdoor recreation and develop valuable professional skills through teambuilding and leadership activities.
Trainings Often Offered:
- Resume Building
- Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
- Financial Literacy
- Trail Skills
Applicants must be 15-19 years of age and be enrolled in school. In order to participate in paid programs, applicants must be able to produce valid citizenship documents.
SCA Houston Oﬃce
3015 Richmond Avenue, Ste. 290
Houston, TX 77098
O: (713) 520-1835
F: (713) 520-1562