The SCA is a national non-profit changing lives through hands-on conservation work in the outdoors. Our program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces at various locations across the country. After working with the SCA, program participants emerge with increased environmental awareness, social responsibility and leadership skills.

Through its Urban Green Program, the SCA provides young people with paid green jobs, including single-day service projects, seasonal work and year-long internships or fellowships. In Houston, the SCA began fielding local community conservation programs in the early 2000s. 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 and gained a strong connection to the great outdoors through environmental education.

Our Houston Urban Green program offers 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.

Houston Urban Green Summer Program

Our summer program in Houston is a service opportunity that occurs during the workweek, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The participants work all over the Houston region and get the opportunity to serve with a number of local nonprofits and partners from city, state and federal agencies. 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, 4-7 hours a week is focused on environmental education discussions, educational field trips, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The Summer Program participants receive an hourly wage for their service work.

During the program, participants also 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 team building and leadership activities.

Houston Urban Tree House Program (Fall)

Our Houston Urban Tree House Program, in partnership with the Houston Parks Board, provides free and memorable environmental education programs for Houston urban youth (K-12). The Urban Tree House Program gives Houston youth the opportunity to have fun experiences in nature, become aware of their relationship with the environment, and participate in hands-on conservation projects.

The Urban Tree House Program programs take place during in-school hours, in the classroom, and outside in parks/greenspaces near the school. The program supports the belief that increased community awareness and appreciation of the local ecosystem will create a stronger, cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful world. When students are given the knowledge, they need to make informed decisions and act in conscientious ways, they can make lasting positive impacts on their local environment and become lifetime stewards of their communities.

Key Partners

  • Houston Parks and Recreation Natural Resources Department
  • Texas Commission On Environmental Quality
  • Houston Parks Board
  • U.S Fish & Wildlife Service-Houston Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership
  • Bayou Preservation Association
  • National Park Service
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Houston Independent School District


SCA Houston Office
Valeria Casas, Houston Program Manager
5208 Harrisburg Blvd. Unit B
Houston, TX 77011
Phone: (713) 903-2790