Serving D.C., Maryland and Virginia

In Washington, D.C., the SCA began fielding local community conservation programs starting in the mid-90s. Since then, more than 2,000 high school students ages 15-19 from around the capital region have built and maintained trails, constructed boardwalks, managed invasive species, and completed countless other projects. Thousands more (ages 5-19) have participated in environmental education activities and completed service projects through the SCA’s D.C. Urban Tree House Program.

For more than 20 years, and with generous support from donors, the SCA has provided young people from the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland with opportunities to serve their broader community by completing conservation projects in national, state, and regional parks while participating in valuable environmental education and recreational activities.

DC Area Conservation Crew Interest Form

Come work with the Student Conservation Association! Our mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people through hands-on service projects. You'll get paid, obtain valuable career skills and make unforgettable memories! Filling out this form will add you to an email list where you'll receive more information about our application process.

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Our Programs

Read more about the National Capital Region conservation programs serving the D.C., Md. and Va. communities. Connect to current opportunities at the SCA Career Website. Please email scadc@thesca.org with questions.

High School (Ages 15-19)

Volunteer School Year Programs – These programs typically occur on weekends during the school year doing a variety of environmental education and service-related projects. High school members earn volunteer hours towards their required community service hours to graduate.

Current Openings:

DC Youth Tree Ambassadors
The SCA seeks (two) high school students living or going to school in Ward 7 or Ward 8 of Washington, D.C., for a paid part-time weekend opportunity working towards local tree conservation and community engagement goals. Program Dates: Feb. – June 2024. Pay: $12.50/hour

Summer High School Conservation Crew – These paid programs occur during the summer June-August season and offer members a transformative experience outdoors learning about the conservation job field.

Coming Summer 2024:

Paid Opportunities: High school Summer Conservation Crews in Rock Creek Park July – August. Gain work experience, and learn new skills while making core memories! Submit your information in the above interest form to stay updated when the application is available.

Community Service Hours for Graduation: High school Urban Tree House Educator Interns receive 100 hours of unpaid volunteer community service hours in one summer internship! Submit your information in the above interest form to stay updated when the application is available.

Young Adult (Ages 18+)

Team-based Programs – Supervised by a 21+-year-old adult Crew Leader, young adult crew members aged 18+ years complete an array of field-based conservation projects as a collaborative team. Each crew has its own goals, including removing invasive plants from specific areas in a park, restoring dams, clearing downed hazard trees and more. Past Young Adult Crews include Maintenance Crews, Invasive Plant Removal Crews, Towpath Crews, Wayfinder Crews and more.

Current Openings:

C&O Canal Towpath Crew in Hancock, Md.
Full-time paid opportunity for (1) crew member to serve the Hancock district of Maryland doing important maintenance of local trails or “towpath” and historical structures throughout the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Member will gain National Park Service experience, and certifications, and may earn a Public Land Corps hiring authority—a pathway towards federal jobs. Hiring on a rolling basis, apply ASAP for priority consideration. Program Dates: Now – April 2024 with potential for July 2024 end date. Pay: $1,200/bi-weekly stipend.

Kenilworth Crew in Washington, D.C.
Full-time paid opportunity for (four) crew members to work at a National Park with unique aquatic gardens nearing the Anacostia River. Crew members will gain experience in trail restoration and invasive plant removal, install signs for visitor use, and work to increase access to recreational resources at the park. Hiring on a rolling basis, apply ASAP for priority consideration. Program Dates: March 4 – April 12, 2024. Pay: $17/hr.

Coming June 2024:

Urban Forestry Young Adult Crew: Full-time paid opportunity for crew members serving in Washington, D.C. This crew will help conserve the District’s urban canopy by learning new skills, providing tree care maintenance, and planting new trees! Submit your information in the above interest form to stay updated when the application is available.

Internships (Ages 18+)

Urban Tree House – A valuable environmental education resource for DC area youth grades K-12, the UTH Program provides programs onsite at Anacostia Park in Southeast Washington, DC and offsite at select youth centers. The UTH Crew provides free environmental education activities and learning experiences covering an array of topics, like fish migration, watersheds, native plants, how to take a nature walk, and more. The UTH Program utilizes National Park Service recreational and natural resources to teach outdoor skills and stewardship. For questions or interest in the Urban Tree House, please email uth@thesca.org.

Coming June 2024:

Summer 2024 Urban Tree House Program: Full-time paid opportunities for (two) interns serving in Washington, D.C. Under the guidance and leadership of a crew leader, interns will help provide two-hour sessions for youth campers during the July – August season. Submit your information in the above interest form to stay updated when the application is available.

Field-based Crew Leader Opportunities (Ages 21+)

Crew Leaders are paid outdoor professionals from varied backgrounds who mentor our high school and young adult participants, while making important decisions daily regarding the safety and well-being of our crew members. Along the way, you’ll gain experience and expertise in various conservation areas like trail building, habitat restoration, environmental education, urban forestry, and community outreach. These positions are great for young professionals building their conservation and environmental work experience.

1. View current Crew Leader opportunities at the SCA Career Website

2. Search Washington, D.C.; Maryland; or Virginia

3. Search Field Leaders

4. Submit your information in the above interest form to stay updated when Crew Leader positions become available

Community Events Open to the Public

1. SCA MLK Day of Service in Washington, D.C.

2. Earth Day events in Arlington and Alexandria, Va.

3. Corporate-sponsored community events

4. Free summer community events at Anacostia Park, Washington, D.C.

Professional Development and Training

  • Learn Trail Skills
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Resume Building
  • Environmental Education
  • CPR and First Aid

Key Partners

  • D.C. Aquatic Resource Education Center
  • District Department of Transportation
  • District Department of the Environment
  • National Capital Parks-East
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • National Park Service
  • Rails to Trails
  • Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission
  • Casey Trees
  • Charles County Resilience Authority

Contact

General Questions
Email: scadc@theSCA.org

Application Questions
Email: rbarrera@thesca.org
Raisa Barrera
National Capital Region Program Manager

Urban Tree House Questions
Email: mprescott@thesca.org
Meredith Prescott
National Capital Region Program Coordinator

Partnership Questions
Email: zhussain@thesca.org
Zaheen Hussain
National Capital Region City Director