It’s been a busy summer of conservation in cities nationwide! From Pittsburgh to the Bay Area, Student Conservation Association crew members have worked to improve local green spaces and parks and engage with surrounding communities. Here are a few highlights.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Tree Pittsburgh Roving Crew was run in partnership with Tree Pittsburgh, a Pittsburgh-based environmental non-profit dedicated to restoring and protecting Pittsburgh’s urban forest. Some of their accomplishments include improving 150 feet of trail and 800 feet of shoreline and planting nearly 50 trees and wildflowers.

Completed box steps descend the steep slope connecting Tree Pittsburgh’s parking lot to the Allegheny riverside.

At Riverview Park, a crew worked on the Wissahickon Trail. This work was necessary to create a more walkable and bike able trail, and to stop future water damage from pooling and flowing. Together, the team improved 139 feet of trail and built and maintained eight new structures.

Wissahickon Trail after members installed five steps and regraded the tread.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital had multiple teams working on conservation projects and community outreach. At Rock Creek Park, a small but mighty SCA crew spent the season completing turnpikes, reverse grade dips and clearing new trail throughout Washington D.C.’s largest green space.

Members of the 2023 SCA Rock Creek Park Crew.

The SCA Urban Treehouse crew had an eventful summer connecting with the community and providing environmental education. From river ecology to native plant scavenger hunts to fun outdoor games, local youth enjoyed getting outdoors and learning about nature from crew members at Anacostia Park.

SCA Urban Treehouse crew members leading environmental education activities at Anacostia Park.

Houston, Texas

Down south, the Houston Youth Conservation Leadership Corps completed data collections of vegetation, invertebrates and decimals at Thomas Bell, Woodlands Park and Little Thicket, trail maintenance at Katy Prairie Conservatory and removed invasive plant species. In total, the crew improved 1,548 feet of trail.

SCA Houston Youth Conservation Leadership Corps members working on conservation projects.

At Furr High School, conservation interns worked to improve the status of environmental and food desert issues within the Songwood community. The work completed by the Furr students contributes to establishing food sovereignty, sharing gardening practices and reducing the effects of climate change.

The team working together to weed out and mulch the banana trees around Furr High School.

San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.

The SCA Solano County Community Youth Crew for high schoolers in California worked at regional parks, local farms and with the Fairfield Suisun Sewer District. The crew was tasked with improving and maintaining trails, picking up litter, removing invasive species and more at multiple sites across the San Francisco Bay Area.

2023 SCA Solano Youth Crew.

By summer’s end, the team improved 28.4 acres of land, 1,980 feet of trail and installed 410 feet of barbed wire fencing.