To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we are sharing ways the Student Conservation Association has worked to honor Native American culture and preserve green spaces and their cultural significance for generations to come.
Together with the Ramapo Munsee Lunaape Nation, Musconetcong Watershed Association, National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, this SCA crew helped repair 1.8 miles of trails along the river, creating access to land while carefully preserving the Ramapo Munsee Lunaape Nation’s ancestral sites, including ceremonial stone landscapes and sacred land.
“When I’m on the land, it feels peaceful to me. This is where my ancestors were living, and I just feel honored to be able to come here and clean up and let other people come to see the earth and what we’re doing,” said Mahalia Gorham, Ramapo Lunaape SCA Crew Member
As part of the SCA’s Urban Green programming, SCA crew members learn how to become environmental stewards through conservation service projects and engagement within their local communities. This includes learning about the unique green spaces in their region.
To celebrate the conclusion of the 2023 SCA Houston Youth Conservation Leadership Corps season, SCA partner Chikawa Aztec – an ancestral collective of individuals connecting students to nature, Pre-Colombian heritage and culture of the Americas – facilitated the crew member graduation ceremony.