For decades, those who care about the health of our environment—the Student Conservation Association—have fought to protect our parks and public lands from development, deforestation, pollution and other destructive threats.

Today is no different. By providing pathways for young people into conservation, the SCA is building the next generation of leaders to create more resilient parks, generate healthier communities and plant seeds of a stronger conservation future.

But each year, we receive far more applications than we have the funding to fill, which is why we launched a funding campaign, Inspiring Young Leaders to Meet Our Conservation Challenges, outlining our plan for 2024.

Download Proposal (PDF)

1. Strong Conservation Future

Two SCA crew members in Mojave Desert

SCA participants provide nearly a million hours of service each year to benefit parks, communities and wildlife. But at its core, our work is about people. It needs to be because environmental challenges will only be solved if we have enough people ready to do the work. The SCA is already the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and young adults in the country, but we’ll be working harder than ever to extend those opportunities to even more young people.

2. Healthy Communities

SCA crew member smiling in garden

The environmental health of urban areas is as essential as that of our national parks and wilderness areas. Poor air quality, reduced tree canopy and a lack of outdoor recreational opportunities are among our country’s most urgent environmental challenges. The SCA helps young people immerse themselves in outdoor projects that improve the environmental health of their own neighborhoods, such as creating more robust tree canopies and maintaining community gardens.

3. Resilient Parks, Forests and Coastlines

North Cascades stream and mountains under pink sky

With the increased wear and tear on our national park and a maintenance backlog of $22 billion, the SCA continues to provide service opportunities for young people in our most beloved national and state parks and forests. But our work goes far beyond the critical trail work in remote parks and forests. We educate visitors, monitor wildlife habitats and increase the resilience of forests against fire.

We’re facing an abundance of conservation challenges, but with your support, we can build the network of future conservationists needed to meet them. Become an SCA Trail Builder! Through Jan. 31, your first monthly gift will be matched with an extra $100.