All across the nation, SCA crews are working to protect public lands, and the summer 2021 season will be no exception. With projects ranging from trail maintenance to removal of non-native plant species, SCA members will work to improve parks and greenspaces in multiple U.S. cities. Here’s a glimpse of the conservation work taking place over the next few months!

1. Houston

Starting in June, SCA’s Houston Community Crew will play an important role at local public schools. One of the sites, FURR High school, is located in a food desert. The nature of the work at these school sites includes agriculture and resilience, food sovereignty, and establishing a permaculture garden system and fruit orchards. In Houston area parks, SCA crews will tackle invasive species management and habitat restoration alongside Bayou Greenways trails.

Additionally, SCA plans to host a place-based summer employment internship program on their school’s campus dedicated to community agriculture and resilience. The program will receive mentorship of environmental and social justice from Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S), as well as, learn from Chikawa Aztec – an ancestral collective of individuals connecting students to nature, Pre-Colombian heritage, and culture of the Americas.

2. Chicago

Working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Forest Foundation, the Chicago crew will focus on prairie restoration at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, the first national tallgrass prairie in the country. Midewin represents a major effort to restore 20,000 acres of farm and industrial land to a unique American landscape and the complex ecology of the prairie.

3. California

The Keeping Yosemite Wild Crew, made up of all BIPOC Youth from the Bay area, will specialize in ecological restoration of inappropriate campsites along the John Muir trail. The team will learn about the basics of habitat restoration on a professional level and work to restore parallel and social trails throughout the Yosemite wilderness.

4. New York

In partnership with the Pussycat Foundation, the New York youth crew will take on construction of erosion mitigation and implementing drainage structures such as water bars, turnpikes, and checksteps for community trails. The crew will also have virtual lessons on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), climate change, career planning, and assist other crews at sites including Van Cortlandt Park, Inwood Hill Park, Raoul Wallenberg Forest, and Pelham Bay Park. 

5. Hawaii

Ahinahina (silversword) (A. Rulison/ NPS Photo)

At Haleakalā National Park, one SCA member will manage resources and vegetation to help protect the park’s diverse ecosystem of cinder desert and rainforest. This includes propagating and transplanting native plants for restoration at the park nursery and controlling non-native plant invasions.