At Dumbarton Oaks Park: A Youth Conservation Crew’s Trail to Success

Last summer, a trail crew was hard at work in Rock Creek Park, completing multiple restoration projects to enhance trails for visitor use.

SCA Statement: Respect for Marriage Act

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) celebrates the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act protecting same-sex and interracial marriages. 

Fall 2022 Photo Contest

And the winner is…Colorado! This year’s fall photo contest was certainly a tough competition.

Ways to Support Wildlife

From banding puffins for future monitoring to locating endangered sea turtle nests, SCA members work to preserve some of the most critically endangered and vulnerable wildlife populations and their habitats.

SCA Names Sarah Hoye as Senior Director Marketing and Communications

(ARLINGTON, VA) November 9, 2022 — The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, has appointed Sarah Hoye as Senior Director of Marketing and Communications.

Wittenberg Senior Makes History With First-Ever All-Women Fire Crew in Alaska

Pitching tents, digging latrines, wielding a chainsaw, and traveling by smokejumper plane were all part of a typical work day this past summer for Olivia Lawrence, Wittenberg University class of 2023, as she participated in the first-ever all-women conservation corps fire crew in Alaska hosted by the National Park Service (NPS).   Encouraged by Amber

Celebrating Public Lands

In support of this year’s National Public Lands Day, SCA hosted a Day of Service at Riverview Park in Pittsburgh, PA.

Throwback to the Lady in Black

Some historic sites have a haunted history and are known to be frequented by spirits and unexplainable occurences.

2022 Summer Snapshots: Part 2

Last month, we shared some of the great conservation work SCA members completed at green spaces across the country during the summer season. So much was accomplished that we have even more to share this month. Here are four additional snapshots of what SCA members were up to! 1. Alaska Not all conservation work is

2022 Summer Snapshots: Part 1

From tree planting in Northwest Indiana’s local parks to trail work in Vallejo, California, SCA members have been busy protecting public lands and greenspaces across the country. Here are four snapshots of the amazing conservation work accomplished. 1. Northwest Indiana The Calumet Tree Conservation Corps is working to plant 500 trees in the Grand Calumet

Blue Glacier Then & Now

Since its inception, SCA has provided opportunities for generations of young environmental stewards to step foot into our country’s national parks.

USFS Roving Crew Part 5: Hello to Hiawatha

Mud says I look like I have leprosy. Personally, I don’t think he quite understands what leprosy looks like, but even I have to admit, I look bad.

A Plant Master’s Poem

Two-time alum Elijah Pineda-Rodriguez is sharing his experience serving with SCA and the poem he was inspired to write after his time as an apprentice crew leader in Houston. Howdy Everyone! My name is Elijah Pineda-Rodriguez and I was an apprentice crew leader this past summer with the SCA. I am eighteen years old and was

Intern Perspective: Yosemite National Park Amidst the Flames

Clara Jessup is an SCA Bear Management Intern currently serving at Yosemite National Park. As destructive wildfires continue to blaze through many iconic landscapes in the west, we took some time to learn more about her experience at the park during the recent Washburn and Oak Fires.

The Next Generation of Environmental Stewards Is Training at Cook County Forest Preserves

While federal legislation to create a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps inches its way through Congress, the Cook County Forest Preserve is moving full steam ahead with programs that deploy crews of youth and adults to tackle restoration and maintenance projects across the district’s acreage. On an August morning that was about to turn swampy, 17-year-old

The Next Generation of Environmental Stewards Is Training at Cook County Forest Preserves

While federal legislation to create a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps inches its way through Congress, the Cook County Forest Preserve is moving full steam ahead with programs that deploy crews of youth and adults to tackle restoration and maintenance projects across the district’s acreage.

SCA Statement on Incident at Canyon de Chelly National Monument

REVISED – (Chinle, AZ) July 29, 2022 – The Student Conservation Association (SCA) confirmed that on the afternoon of July 27th, a Student Conservation Association (SCA) crew leader, drove a vehicle into the mouth of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument and the vehicle became stranded. SCA is still gathering details about the incident but

SCA Statement on Incident at Canyon de Chelly National Monument

REVISED – (Chinle, AZ) July 28, 2022 – The Student Conservation Association (SCA) has confirmed that on the afternoon of July 27th, a Student Conservation Association (SCA) crew leader accompanied by four crew members, drove a vehicle into the mouth of the Canyon de Chelly National Monument and the vehicle became stranded.

USFS Roving Resource Crew Part 4: Feeling “Pine”

We were told we would be staying at a place called Trees for the Future, or something of the sort. Probably a cult-y little community up in the woods of Northern Wisconsin with eerie, half-there people who talk about how they have been “saved.” At least that is what we hoped. 

GulfCorps wants you! Local earn-and-learn program launches careers in conservation

Mobile’s GulfCorps program is like boot camp … but for the environment.

Wolf Administration Visits Outdoor Corps Youth Crew at Harrisburg’s Reservoir Park

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Several members of the Wolf Administration visited with crew members of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps Youth Crew during its first week at Reservoir Park in Harrisburg. 

USFS Roving Crew Part 3: A Superior Experience

Everything smelled of deet and peanut butter. 

The scent had worked its way into everything we owned and by that point, our PB&J consumption had become so high that I imagine our bodies were at least 1% Skippy.

“This Is Nature” – a View from a Wounded Yellowstone

After several days of heavy rain, SCA bison intern Bennett Collins and others noticed last weekend that the Gardiner River on the north end of Yellowstone National Park was running higher than usual. Yet there seemed to be no reason for concern. That rapidly changed.

USFS Roving Crew Part 2: Making the Most of Minnesota

I have fifteen mosquito bites on my face, twelve on my neck, and some weird red marks on my collarbone which may or may not mean I’m dying of iron poisoning. 

SCA100k – Acres Burned!

Earlier this year, SCA placed prescribed fire crews with the U.S. Forest Service at Kisatchie National Forest (Louisiana) and Davy Crockett National Forest (Texas), and with The Nature Conservancy in Alabama and Florida.

USFS Roving Resource Team Kicks Off Their Summer Adventure

Throughout the summer, SCA will periodically feature the exploits of our Roving Resource Crew, serving the needs of the U.S. Forest Service. Here’s the team’s first entry, written by Leader Alexandria “Alex” Ness, a/k/a Slug.

A Lasting Connection to Service

By Elyria Rose Little, SCA Alum and Alumni Council Secretary

Eighteen years ago, I was about to join my first SCA backcountry trail crew. This year, for Earth Day, I co-led a volunteer trail day in an ecological restoration project at Cleveland Metroparks, where I work on the Trails team. 

Conservation Begins Here

At SCA, #EarthWeek reminds us of where conservation begins. It can be in nature, parks, or even your own backyard.⁣⁣ For SCA alum Ingrid, it begins in Houston, Texas! Where does it begin for you? Let us know in the comments below.

For the Love of Parks

During its second annual run, SCA’s Parks Pandemonium Tournament proved once again how much people love public lands.

SCA Announces SCA100K Ambassadors to Mark Major Milestone

(ARLINGTON, VA) April 18, 2022 — They include a retired professor of environmental studies and a 16-year-old high school junior, a sea turtle expert and a senior sustainability planner, a park ranger and a presidential historian. The Student Conservation Association (SCA), which is poised to place its 100,000th service member later this year, today introduced

Madera Canyon Celebrates Trail Restoration

During the pandemic, Madera Canyon saw a record number of visitors using the trails, especially the popular Old Baldy Trail. It was already in need of restoration and the additional heavy traffic led to further erosion. For the last two years, the Friends of Madera Canyon and the U.S. Forest Service, along with volunteers and

SCA to Surpass 100,000 Service Members in Event-Filled 65th Year

(ARLINGTON, VA) April 6, 2022 — The Student Conservation Association (SCA), the national leader in youth service and stewardship, announced today that it will reach an unprecedented milestone this summer when it places its 100,000th service member, and will commemorate the occasion with a year-long celebration that coincides with the organization’s 65th anniversary. “When Liz

SCA Appoints Eboni Boadi as Vice President of Philanthropy

(ARLINGTON, VA) March 14, 2022 — The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, today named Eboni Boadi as vice president of philanthropy. In her new role, Boadi is responsible for all aspects of SCA’s fundraising program, including the development and execution of a comprehensive philanthropic strategy and annual plan

The Power of Not Giving Up: SCA Alumna Katrina Eddy

“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” This is one of my favorite quotes because I spent so much of my life second-guessing myself about everything. My interest in the green industry started early when attending Essex Agricultural and Technical High in Hawthorne, Mass., majoring in Natural Resources. While in high school,

Meeting Mentors Through The SCA Network

In January, the inaugural cohort of SCA Alumni Fellows began their three-month remote internships supporting different SCA departments on a national level. Now in the second month, the seven Alumni Fellows are collaborating and connecting over the research, writing, and video content that makes up their respective projects. In a recent cohort meeting, Alumni Engagement

SCA Trail Treats on TikTok

Is it surprising that one of the more memorable parts of serving on an SCA crew is the food? From learning new recipes to connecting with others, mealtime is a huge part of the SCA experience!   Over the next three weeks, follow along on TikTok as SCA alum Ingrid Piña cooks up three popular

Uncovering and Protecting History’s Overlooked Narratives

Photo: Stewart’s Canal, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park (NPS) In United States history, countless critical moments have resulted in significant change. Economic pathways emerged, citizens became liberated, and movements were established. While new generations continue to learn of these milestones, many key change makers tied to historical shifts are commonly absent or minimized

New Trail Would Keep Adirondacks Forever Wild

The Adirondack Park just got bigger. The previous landowners of the park’s new land, located on the south side of Moxham Mountain, left the area undeveloped, so the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) have a chance to create a new recreational area with long-lasting trails that can withstand heavy foot

Celebrating #SCA100K

The Student Conservation Association will achieve a major milestone this year when we place our 100,000th service member! We will mark this momentous occasion with a year-long #SCA100K celebration, one that showcases SCA members, alumni, and others as they shape stronger communities and a more resilient world. Throughout this, our 65th year, there will be many opportunities

SCA Names Toby Bokum-Fauth as Vice President of Partnership

(ARLINGTON, VA) January 11, 2022 — The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, has appointed Toby Bokum-Fauth as vice president of Partnership. Bokum-Fauth (BOH-kum FAWTH) is responsible for developing and directing SCA strategies to provide youth-led conservation solutions for resource managers at the federal, state, and municipal levels. SCA

Love of the Outdoors Comes Full Circle for One PA Outdoor Corps Member

I grew up native to northeastern Pennsylvania. Throughout this time, I developed many memorable moments in the outdoors. After I graduated college, I found myself moving to Arizona for a year to experience a change of pace. It was here where I first learned about Americorps and various programs that operate in similar ways. I

Return of the Lamprey

Tribal-led conservation helps revive an ancient fish in Wenatchee River By Sarah Ortiz, Student Conservation Association intern On an overcast afternoon, I find myself hauling bins to the banks of the Wenatchee River with fellow biologists. I struggle to grip the handles as something alive and energetic thrashes inside. I peer curiously over the rim,

On the Crow Pass Trail

by Clayton Rudiger, SCA Intern “I thought there would be more wildflowers” the woman said, four miles into her two-day through-hike of the Crow Pass Trail. Visiting from the lower 48, she didn’t know that if she had started her hike a week prior she would have been regaled with monk’s hood, dwarf dogwood, wintergreen,

SCA Archaeology Crew Sifting Through Ohiopyle State Park’s Past in Search of Cultural Treasure

A pilot project at Ohiopyle State Park has members of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps sifting through dirt, looking for items of cultural significance in advance of a campsite expansion. The cultural resource crew has been working for the past week in a wooded area near Kentuck Campground, said crew leader and archaeologist Kate Peresolak. So

SCA Among Nonprofits Receiving Funding to Improve Local Waterways

Hunter Potchen, 8, has picked up “a lot of garbage” since he started cleaning up the Deep River at just 5 years old. Then last year, after Potchen recruited the Shirley Heinze Land Trust to help with his mission, the project grew.  “I want to get everybody out of the house and back on the river,” Potchen

SCA Statement on Chuck Sams, Civilian Climate Corps

The Student Conservation Association applauds the unanimous U.S. Senate vote to confirm Chuck F. Sams III as director of the National Park Service. Mr. Sams, a member of the Cayuse and Walla Walla tribes, which are part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, will become the first Native American to lead the agency

Climate Justice with Chicago’s Calumet Tree Conservation Corps

The U.S. Forest Service places the number of trees in and around Chicago at 157 million. These trees store 62 million tons of CO2, annually remove another 677,000 tons of carbon from the air, and are valued at over $50 billion. SCA crews are helping to maintain these extraordinary ecological assets. In nearby Indiana, SCA’s

SCA’s Battery Kemble Crew Experiences Community, Conservation, and Connection at Rock Creek Park

Over the summer, the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the National Park Service Youth Programs Division were excited to visit SCA’s Battery Kemble crew at Rock Creek Park on July 29, 2021 to check out the hard work they had been putting in for the past seven weeks. This crew worked for ten weeks on

Chi-Cal Rivers Fund Awards $1.2 Million in Conservation Grants, SCA Among Recipients

CHICAGO, Nov. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners today announced six projects selected to receive $1.2 million in grant funding to improve and enhance waterways in the Chicago-Calumet region. These investments will protect and conserve fish and wildlife habitat, reduce stormwater runoff, and improve access to and use of natural areas and

This Program to Restore Alabama’s Coastal Environment and Economy is Expanding

A $7 million restoration project spawned in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is expanding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the RESTORE Council have announced they will spend an additional $11.9 million to continue the work of the GulfCorps program through 2025. The program, created in 2017 originally as a four-year joint project of The Nature Conservancy and NOAA,

DEC Announces Restoration of Accessible Trail at Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today the completed restoration and improvement of an accessible trail at Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center in Wappingers Falls, Dutchess County. The half-mile Woodland Trail was destroyed by a microburst in May 2018. “The hard work of the Excelsior Conservation Corps and

US Forest Service and Student Conservation Association Invest in New Talent

The Student Conservation Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting environmental education, and the U.S. Forest Service sponsored the Southern Region’s first-ever Roving Forest Management Corps, a young adult crew caring for the nation’s forests. They are currently recruiting for the 2022 crew. The Roving Forest Management Corps’ crew consisted of one leader and three

SCA Statement on Establishing a Civilian Climate Corps

President Biden today announced a path to Congressional approval of an ambitious strategy to advance employment, education, health care, and more. The Student Conservation Association applauds a key part of this plan, the creation of a robust Civilian Climate Corps. In its most recent accounting, the federal government puts the annual cost of weather and

Getting a Boost from SCA Trail Crews

This past summer, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge saw the benefit from four additional trail crews provided by the Student Conservation Association. They added 1.4 miles of trail to the already existing 0.9 miles of the trail. Previous SCA crews built the previous trail during two stints. The last stint was back in 2007 by

Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall

The Chemistry Behind Autumn’s Awesome Hues There are so, so, so many reasons to love autumn (milder weather, jackets, less crowded parks and trails, fewer mosquitos, less poison ivy, cozier camping, pumpkins, squash, gourds… we could go on forever), but the best—and certainly brightest—may be what happens to the leaves. But what exactly does happen

Tallgrass and Big Discoveries

By Ernesto Paz SCA Crew Member Fifty miles southwest of Chicago, hiding in plain sight, sits a time machine. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is one of the last remaining ecosystems of its kind, offering a glimpse of the landscape that defined the Midwest for centuries, right down to the (reintroduced) bison herd. The name Midewin

State Game Lands Rededication Honors Heroes of United Flight 93

Forty American flags stood tall and the sound of bagpipes rang out on State Game Lands 93 in Somerset County as the Pennsylvania Game Commission rededicated a memorial to honor the 40 heroic passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93. The agency dedicated a new wooden game lands sign; two stone, engraved benches,

SCA Crew Joins Chippewa National Forest for Summer 2021

This summer the Chippewa National Forest was fortunate to host a group of Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns. SCA is an organization created by Liz Putnam, who modeled it based on the Civilian Conservation Corp model. The basic concept was national lands need summer staff for projects and high use times; and young adults need

Remembering Richard Guadagno, Wildlife Refuge Manager and Flight 93 Passenger

Richard Guadagno was the Refuge Manager at the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was passenger 19A on flight 93, the plane that crashed in an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  The Wildlife Refuge has created two plaques on the property in his honor. “He went back

SCA Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, SCA shares a collection of unique perspectives. Most are tied to Richard Guadagno, who in 2001 was manager of Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge and among the courageous passengers on United Flight 93. Since 2015, the Guadagno family has generously funded Richard J.

A New Park Brings Nature Closer to Home

Roberta Royce’s excitement was palpable as she walked along a nearly finished boardwalk, pointing to the things she loved — three tall willow trees, a swath of cattails, a small brook tumbling over rocks. “We have a resident deer who’s made a bed out here,” she said, laughing, continuing on toward the wooded section of

Biologists Observe Rare Birds with Nest Cams

After months of planning, coordination and a lot of patience, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fort Hood’s Natural Resources Branch have successfully monitored and filmed a black-capped vireo nest. On April 7, Sydney Dragon, a Student Conservation Association intern for the USFWS from the Arlington Ecological Services Field Office, came to Fort Hood

Alaska ‘Super Bloom’: the Beauty of Regrowth

It was March 16 of 2019 when I first heard of the ecological phenomenon known as a “super bloom,” an event that draws thousands to the desertscape of California. Spurred by heavy winter rains and snow, a super bloom is a higher-than-normal growth of flowers in a natural area. As a result, flowers blanket hillsides,

Meet the Chicagoan Determined to Break Down Barriers to Outdoor Inclusion for Latino People Like Him

The 297-acre Big Marsh Bike Park on Chicago’s Southeast Side draws herons, egrets, and mallards to its wetlands, coyotes and deer to its meadows, and riders to its bike trails. But as one of the park’s natural environment workers, Luis Cabrales is quick to remind first-time visitors that the surrounding area is far less idyllic.

Roving Trail Team Pt 6: End of the Trail

The final diary entry from a melancholy Team Leader Jake Westrich: I can’t believe it’s over. One guy on my team asked Patrick [Gallo, SCA program manager] very early on how long the season might feel, and he was told it depends on his experience. We had times where life was slow and times where

SCA Statement on the Nomination of Charles Sams III as Director of the National Park Service

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) applauds the nomination of Charles “Chuck” Sams III as director of the National Park Service. Mr. Sams’ extensive executive experience, decades of conservation leadership, and resolute commitment to diversity, make him uniquely qualified to take the agency’s helm. The people and resources of the National Park Service, without a Senate-confirmed

SCA Summer 2021 Snapshots

It has been quite an eventful summer season for SCA crews! From clearing trails in the Atlanta area to rebuilding bridges in Washington, DC, SCA members helped protect parks and public lands across the country. Here are six snapshots of the amazing work they accomplished! 1. Arabia Mountain Crew – Georgia Five SCA interns from

Roving Trail Team Pt 5: That’s Why They Call It Paradise

Here’s the very latest from Team Leader Jake Westrich: After finishing up our work on the Golden Gate Trail, we transitioned to another neat locality called Marmot Hill. One of Rainier’s most popular trails is called the Skyline Trail, also based out of Paradise, and Marmot Hill is just one half-mile section of it. That

Conservation Begins Here, With Each One of Us

By Dakota Springer The thing about poison ivy – aside from the obvious, of course – is once you know what it looks like, you can’t not see it. Like a lot of things in life. I learned to identify the itch-inducing plant as well as many others this summer while working on a Student

SCA Covid-19 Management Plan

Since the start of the pandemic, SCA has continually monitored Covid-19 trends, CDC guidance, and related local protocols. Parallel to this exercise, we have also maintained a comprehensive and ever-evolving Covid-19 Management Plan to safeguard the health and well-being of SCA members, partners, and staff. This plan includes measures for mitigating risks, directives related to potential infections

And Just Like That, I Was in Full Camp Mode

As a child, being outdoors was a huge part of my life. Some of my favorite memories are those in nature with the people I love. These memories included canoeing with my dad, fishing for bluegill with my grandfather, or even going to environmental education camps at a local arboretum in my hometown of Newark,

Roving Trail Team Pt 4: Hello, Rainier

Just a few days after getting back in from Bonny Lakes, we hitched up our trailer and drove Dusty five hours from Enterprise, OR to Longmire, WA: the Park Service’s main hub for Mount Rainier. Unlike our time in Oregon, our work in Mount. Rainier National Park is all in the front country. This means

SCA Making Cold River Trails More Accessible

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) has returned to the Cold River stretch of the Mohican-Mohawk hiking trail. A joint effort last November, with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the Manice Education Center, reopened the trail, which had been strewn with blowdowns. Now the task is to improve the treadway, including bog bridges. This segment

Connecting to Nature with SCA Alum Luis Cabrales

To celebrate #LatinoConservationWeek, meet SCA Alum Luis Cabrales! Luis (pictured above on the bottom right) is a Natural Areas Worker at the Chicago Park District and is also an Environmental Organizer for the Southeast Youth Alliance.   SCA: What is your first memory of nature/spending time outdoors or do you have a specific memory?  

SCA Interns Complete Experience at Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

Five students from four Atlanta-area high schools have completed a month-long internship maintaining trails and greenspace in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and other sites around Atlanta. The Student Conservation Association (SCA) paid internships, sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Georgia’s CITY Program, provided students with practical job training while working with park rangers.

Q&A with SCA’s Samuel Vergara

In celebration of Latino Conservation Week, we are recognizing SCA staff, members, and alumni who identify as Latinx. Meet SCA’s Chicago Program Manager, Samuel Vergara! About Sam Sam (pictured above in the middle) is a native Chicagoan who grew up in the Greater Lawndale Area. He strives to rebuild connections with nature through experiences and education. He loves

Roving Trail Team Pt 3: Eagle Cap Caps Oregon Run

By Jake Westrich, Team Leader So for our final hitch in the Oregon Wilderness, we went to work on trails near Bonny Lakes in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. We had been running out of gas on Day 6 of our previous 10-day hitches, so I decided to split this last one into two 5-day ones. But

Keeping it Cool with SCA Crews

The world’s seven-warmest years have been the last seven (2014-2020) and should this trend continue, heat waves are likely to become more frequent, more severe, and more extended. As heat waves continue to blanket the country, it’s never been more important to focus on heat safety and taking precautions while outdoors. SCA crews spend hours

Roving Trail Team, Pt 2: The Legend of Trusty Dusty

By Jake Westrich, Team Leader This hitch, they sent us to the aptly-named Hells Canyon National Recreation Area/Wilderness for more trail clearing. An intense heat dome that affected much of the Pacific Northwest. One day we worked in 105+ degree conditions, and the next day we had to leave because we ran out of water.

SCA Gives Face Lift to Madera Canyon Trails

During 2020, record numbers of visitors came to Madera Canyon to enjoy the trails, nature and a little time away from all things COVID-19. The additional foot traffic further eroded the canyon’s most popular trails. The non-profit Friends of Madera Canyon, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, this month completed the majority of phase

First Day of Summer Brings First Report from SCA Roving Trail Team

Imagine being part of a roving SCA backcountry trail team, working six weeks at Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon followed by five weeks in Mount Rainer National Park south of Seattle. You live in tents, hike from worksite to worksite, and spend your days maintaining trails in the wild. Well, we’ll try to help

Fighting Climate Change Can Also Mean Improving Equity

Climate Action = Climate Justice, Says SCA SVP The fight against climate change may be taking a striking new turn under the Biden administration. The White House is calling climate action a form of environmental justice, part of a campaign to address economic and racial inequity. It’s bringing new attention and, potentially, a flood of cash to

The Thesis that Helped Launch the SCA

As we approach SCA Founder’s Day on June 24, we always like to look back at the woman who started it all. Liz Putnam launched a movement that has continuously inspired young people to make their mark and serve our cherished public lands. During her first year at Vassar in 1951, a course called “Conservation

Vote for Your Favorite Liz Putnam Photo

On June 24, SCA will celebrate its 64th birthday! It all started when our beloved founder, Liz Putnam, envisioned a way to enlist student volunteers to assist with the upkeep of national parks and public spaces.   Liz is an active member of the conservation community to this day, so we thought it would be

Fire Teams Burn Through Gulf

SCA prescribed fire crews along the Gulf coast just closed an amazing season in which they burned more than 132,000 acres – an area almost as large as the entire city of Mobile, AL – in less than five months!   If you’re not familiar, prescribed burning is a tool that land managers use to

Fire Lights the Way for Restoration and Management at Piedmont NWR

By Chambers English, SCA Forest Technician Intern Smoke trails behind me as I hike up the next drain along Falling Creek at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Drip torch in hand, I paint a ribbon of fire near the ecotone of hardwoods and pines as the trees leaf out and dogwoods bloom this spring. Flames creep

SCA Alums Named in NPCA’s 10 under 40

Members of NPCA’s Next Generation Advisory Council shine a spotlight on young leaders around the country who are making a difference in conservation.   Safe, equitable access to our public lands plays an important role in our physical, mental and spiritual health. These 10 individuals, selected by members of the Next Generation Advisory Council from

SCA’s Summer Season

All across the nation, SCA crews are working to protect public lands, and the summer 2022 season will be no exception. With projects ranging from trail maintenance to removal of non-native plant species, SCA members will work to improve parks and greenspaces in multiple U.S. cities. Here’s a glimpse of the conservation work taking place

SCA Statement on the Death of Dr. Lee Talbot

SCA mourns the passing of Lee Talbot, Ph.D., husband of SCA Co-Founder Martha “Marty” Hayne Talbot and one of the most distinguished ecologists the world has ever known. A professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in Virginia, Dr. Talbot’s remarkable life path seemed predestined. His grandfather founded what would later become

Statement by SCA CEO and President Stephanie Meeks on the Renewal of GulfCorps

“Today, the RESTORE Council, charged with restoring the long-term health of the Gulf Coast ecosystem and economy, announced it has awarded $11.9 million to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to fund the GulfCorps program for an additional four years. SCA has been a GulfCorps partner in the State

SCA Statement on the Verdict in Minneapolis

More than a century ago, a minister by the name of Francis Bellamy authored the original Pledge of Allegiance and, with it, the words “justice for all.” Bellamy hoped the Pledge, and that phrase in particular, would help unite a nation still struggling in the aftermath of the Civil War. Today, our country’s racial strife

Young Americans Believe Climate Change is Real – and Want to Do More to Stop It

SCA Climate Survey Also Reveals Support for Civilian Climate Corps, Environmental Justice Initiatives (ARLINGTON, VA) April 20, 2021 — Eighty-six percent of young Americans believe the world’s climate is changing and 71% conclude human activities are the cause, but youth are struggling to identify individual practices they can take to improve global sustainability, according to

Consider the Litter

AS SCA commemorates Earth Day, we’re sharing nationwide youth perspectives through The SCA Climate Survey, tales of SCA members’ service across the country, and virtual #SaveOurSphere programs online. We also have a poem from Ida Lewenstein of San Mateo, CA. Ida, who turns 90 next month, adopted a conservation ethic as a child, one borne

SCA Tree-Planting Blitz Kicks Off at County Park

Trees can do plenty of good, environmentally, economically, and even emotionally. All it takes is someone to plant, trim, and maintain them. For Arbor Day and Earth Day, the Student Conservation Association partnered with CommuniTree to plant about 500 trees around Northwest Indiana. That effort kicked off Saturday with a blitz planting of trees at

Native Spring Flowering Trees

Spring flowers fill us with hope, engender feelings of renewal, and delight our senses. Their bright colors and velvety textures are a feast for the eyes, their smell can be intoxicating, and the sounds of bees buzzing and birds chirping among their branches is like nature’s symphony. As warming weather and longer days beckon you

New River Gorge Takes Parks Pandemonium

Sometimes storylines just write themselves. The inaugural SCA Parks Pandemonium tournament, a decidedly non-scientific survey to determine “America’s favorite outdoor playground,” came down to the first national park vs. the most recent one. The trailblazer vs. the trending. Old guard vs. next gen. And, in the end, New River Gorge National Park bested Yellowstone by

SCA Statement on American Jobs Plan

This week, the White House unveiled its American Jobs Plan, which, among other objectives, is designed to improve the nation’s infrastructure, invest in clean energy, advance environmental justice, and spur employment for millions of our fellow citizens. The Biden plan also targets climate change by establishing the previously proposed Civilian Climate Corps, a wide-ranging blueprint to

Former USFWS Trailblazer Mamie Parker Voted Chair of SCA Board

Eight New Directors Also Seated at SCA Annual Meeting (ARLINGTON, VA) March 30 2021 —- The Student Conservation Association (SCA), a national leader in youth service and stewardship, has announced its board of directors unanimously elected Dr. Mamie Parker as chairwoman at its annual meeting on March 25, 2021. Dr. Parker (above) was a pioneer

Nat’l Forests, SC Governor’s School of Ag, and SCA Team Up On the Trail

The SC Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe (JDLH) and the Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests (FMS) have more than a few things in common – first, Agriculture, and second, they have a passion to educate and mentor the youth of South Carolina. A partnership could not have evolved more organically;

SCA Statement on Violence Against Asian Americans

The Student Conservation Association mourns and strongly condemns the recent rash of violence against Asians and Asian Americans. These acts are as horrifying as they are senseless, and remind us that even after months of racial reckoning and soul searching, as a nation we still have much to reconcile. We must not tolerate prejudice, bigotry,