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, including the Bay Area. 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. Throughout 2022, bp America and the SCA fueled youth conservation programs in the Greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana with a focus on equity in the outdoors and environmental justice.

The SCA fielded its first community conservation program in Northwest Indiana in 2016. Partnering with the U.S. Forest Service, CommuniTree, local municipalities and the National Park Service, crews have worked on a variety of conservation projects to maintain and advocated for increased green space. Since that first year, more than 10,000 trees have been planted across the region to increase the urban forest and overall tree canopy. Thanks to local environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups, the SCA continues to provide conservation opportunities to Northwest Indiana young adults each year.

The SCA Northwest Indiana Community Program offers both volunteer and paid service opportunities. Volunteer programs occur on weekends, while paid service programs run five days a week in the summertime. Members serve at sites in and around Northwest Indiana while working in Urban Forestry and Ecological Restoration fields. Participants gain job-specific training and certifications while exploring green jobs and building leadership skills. Crew members also learn about the local environment through educational field trips, outdoor recreation and service projects.

During the program, participants learn how to work as members of a diverse team of peers; gain knowledge of public land resources, environmental issues, and career readiness skills; increase their understanding of environmental and trail restoration techniques; acquire experience in public service and outdoor recreation; and develop valuable professional skills through teambuilding and leadership activities.

Current Opportunities

Field Leader – Delta Institute – Community Forest Crew (Lake County, Indiana)
This position will supervise a group of three crew members (ages 18+) planting trees in Lake County, Indiana. The crew will be responsible for the installation of 447 trees/saplings and 333 seedlings. The crew will also lead demonstrations of tree planting for local volunteers and host eight community volunteer tree-planting events. Expected dates: April 14 – May 4, 2024 (paid mandatory training), May 6 – Nov. 8, 2024 (program dates). Pay: $800/wk stipend, $1,100 travel stipend, $45/mo cell phone reimbursement.

Field Leader – Calumet Urban Forestry Crew (East Chicago, Indiana)
This position will supervise four young adult crew members (ages 18+), planting and maintaining trees in Northwest Indiana urban communities. Expected dates: April 14 – May 4, 2024 (paid mandatory training), May 6, 2024 – Jan. 3, 2025 (program dates). Pay: $800/wk stipend, $45/mo cell phone reimbursement.

Ecological Restoration Crew Member
This position will work to inspect, manage and maintain a wide range of habitats, both natural and disturbed. Daily tasks include invasive species control, native seed installation, native plug planting, tree/shrub installation, urban forestry & field data collection or other tasks related to habitat restoration. Expected dates: May 13 – Sept. 27, 2024. Pay: $18/hr

For more information on this position, please contact Leopold Sawyers, Northwest Indiana Program Manager.

Training Offered

  • CPR Certification
  • Resume Building
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills
  • Chainsaw Certification

Key Partners

  • Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • bp America
  • CommuniTree
  • Local Municipalities


SCA Northwest Indiana
Leo Sawyers, SCA Northwest Indiana Program Manager
Phone: (603) 504-3231