Members of the next Sandy restoration crew will fly into New York this weekend from all around the country: places like Chino Hills, CA, Greendale, WI, and Moore, OK.
Moore, the OKC suburb that was flattened just three and a half weeks ago by an EF5 tornado. Twenty-three dead, 13,000 homes destroyed or damaged, $2 billion of widespread wreckage. Yeah, that Moore.
“When the tornado first struck, I volunteered at church every day for two weeks, handing out donated food and clothing,” notes 18-year oldJason Dydynski, a student at the University of Oklahoma. His family’s home was largely spared, “but just a block from my house, it’s total devastation. So many of my friends lost their homes.”
With his hometown in such need, you may wonder why Jason wants to go to New York. Simple, he says. It’s payback. “We (in Moore) were so blessed that people wanted to help us,” he explains. “People from across the country, from all over the world were helping my town, sending supplies and donations, even though many didn’t even know where Oklahoma is.
“I want to take up that spirit to help a place you’re not related to. I live here, I can always help Moore. But by volunteering to help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy, I can help some of the people who have been helping us in Moore.”
Jason says his altruism comes in part from SCA. A part-time model for American Eagle (he won the gig in a contest), he participated in an AE video we shot in California and a few months later served on a Santa Monica Mountains ASB last spring. “I really enjoyed it. It was such a different experience,” he recalls. “Everyone was so passionate about the environment, it really inspired me. It’s one thing to say ‘yeah, we all need to conserve water’ but when you get outside and work in a park, for example, it gets a lot more personal, you realize the stakes, and you can’t help but to want to make a difference.”
How transformative could the SCA experience really be? Ask Jason Dydynski!
SCA's very own Graphic Designer, Julia Jandrisits, responsible for our "look" as it appears from our website to our flyers to our Alternative Spring Break T-shirts, has received the G. D. Industry equivalent of being hoisted up and carried around by a wild throng of happy admirers.
Graphic Design USA, an influential industry publication, has honored not one, but two of her recent projects in their yearly Inhouse Design Awards competition: SCA's 2012 Annual Report and our "Earthsavers Wanted" Recruitment Brochure.
The competition has over 4000 entries each year, with a mere 15% being selected as winners. Now these two examples of Julia's excellent work may appear alongside 2012's other winners in Graphic Design USA's Inhouse Design Awards Annual, back issues of which can be found crowding the bookshelves of pro-designers nationwide.
If you happen to see Julia out and about in New Hampshire, please offer her a congratulatory fist-bump.
Congratulations, Julia! [fist-bump]
Check out her winning work below (click images to download pdf files):
SCA needs your vote. We are vying to be one of the featured presenters at South by Southwest ECO, a fairly new spin-off from the annual Austin-based entertainment and technology conference, and event organizers are relying on crowd-sourcing to help them identify the top contenders. Help us make sure that the youth voice is represented! With more than 200 submissions, you may have to search for the SCA entries:
To vote, visit the Panel Picker website, sign in, search for "SCA," & Click the "thumbs up” icons next to each of what are obviously the three very best proposals. Voting closes May 24th, so don’t delay!
Conservation Caption Competition, Round 4, go!
There must be a tale behind why this SCA member is running around a parking lot wrapped snugly in a mummy bag… Clue us in with your best caption (either here or on Facebook) by 5 PM EST on Monday 5/20. We'll post our favorite to Facebook, and send the writer of the chosen caption sundry objects emblazoned with the SCA logo.
Special thanks to SCA national partner Dr. Pepper Snapple Group for making the Conservation Caption Competition, Spring 2013 Edition possible.
Click here for the boring stuff (rules).
The Student Conservation Association is mounting a largescale, collaborative, youth-fueled recovery program to repair storm-damaged public lands throughout the New York-New Jersey area. SCA restoration teams will address urgent ecological needs at a range of sites, from national parks to local waterfronts, employing the organization’s considerable institutional experience and expertise. Current plans call for the engagement of more than 200 primarily local youth and young adults this spring and summer and as many as 1,000 students over the next three years.
Sandy’s environmental damage is substantial. In addition to damaging historic structures, visitor centers and park offices, the storm destroyed wildlife habitats, dumped tons of sand and debris, and wiped out trails and campgrounds. “Our immediate objective is to help ready these parks for the summer season,” states SCA Director of Program Innovation Laura Herrin. “This region has proven its resilience time and again and our young people here are ready to do whatever it takes.”
Among the largest projects, SCA is partnering with The National Parks of New York Harbor to coordinate a comprehensive youth engagement effort at Gateway National Recreation Area, one of the region’s hardest hit sites. SCA will remove massive piles of wreckage, uprooted trees and beach sand. In addition, members will conduct environmental impact studies, reforest and replant washed out areas, restore damaged habitats and coordinate other volunteer groups. SCA is reaching out to potential partners including the Jamaica Bay Conservation Corps and The Corps Network to add hands and speed to the recovery effort.
An SCA advance team will soon assess Gateway’s Jamaica Bay and Staten Island units and work with park managers to develop a restoration plan for refuge islands, Jacob Riis Park, Fort Wadsworth, Miller Field and more. “These sites are rich in heritage and personal meaning for the people of New York-New Jersey,” notes Herrin. “As we help these landmarks heal and restore public access to them, local residents may visit to aid their own healing process.”
SCA’s own history has come into play at The National Parks of New York Harbor. Giles Parker, the chief of staff, began his park career as an SCA intern in 1994. Carol Whipple, on assignment at New York Harbor from the NPS Denver operations center, is an alumna. Tim Hudson, Gateway’s newly appointed hurricane recovery coordinator, worked with SCA 25 years ago when he was chief of maintenance at Yellowstone and SCA conducted a far-reaching wildfire recovery project. More recently, SCA led flood-restoration efforts at Mount Rainier National Park and assisted in the Gulf oil spill environmental response.
Part of the SCA response at Gateway will be a special team funded by American Eagle Outfitters. “We’re very excited to support the National Parks of New York Harbor because we know the need there is so critical,” says American Eagle Outfitters Foundation Director Marcie Eberhart.
Other SCA volunteers will continue to aid Hudson River Park, an estuarine sanctuary on Manhattan’s west side that was battered by Sandy. An additional SCA team will restore portions of Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey. Still other SCA crews will serve in New Jersey state parks, including Cheesquake and Voorhees, where SCA earlier volunteers assisted in the initial storm clean-up.
Beyond specific recovery projects, SCA members will conduct public outreach and provide environmental education throughout the restoration effort, relying on social media to tap into recreational, birding and other networks.