Stories from the Field

By Joseph Thurston

Sometimes opportunity knocks. Other times it swims and poops, providing nutrients for the plants growing atop its aquarium. SCA alum Quincy Swatson is determined to establish the latter, more rarefied kind of opportunity in the place where he grew up, Pittsburgh’s often troubled Manchester neighborhood.

By Joseph Thurston

SCA and its members are Moving Conservation Forward. What does that mean? It means they’re gaining the experience they need to be tomorrow’s conservation leaders. It means they’re finding new ways to tackle our biggest environmental challenges. It means they’re forging ahead, realizing their goals to improve the world and strengthen the future of conservation.

SCA Alternative Spring Break program in Ventura CA 2013 - Volunteer planting native grasses
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States.

SCA ConSERVE NYC volunteers aren’t scared of a little rain! This weekend, 50 dedicated volunteers gathered at Jacob Riis Park in Queens, braving intermittent showers and near-freezing temperatures to help restore one of New York City’s most beloved beaches.

As we prepare to give thanks with friends and family, I want to express my gratitude for your ongoing support of SCA volunteers. Your generosity allows SCA volunteers to impact every corner of our country…two in particular come to mind today.

Student Conservation Association's Community Crews like this one in Camden NJ, bring environmental stewardship to underserved communities

On November 15th, over 40 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner MUFG Union Bank gathered on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to restore East River Park as part of MUFG’s National Employee Volunteer Month.

By Joseph Thurston

As you’re tallying up all the various stuff you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, take a moment to recall that without Earth and its delicately-balanced ecosystems, we wouldn’t have any of the things we need to survive. No planet, no nature, no life, right?

One way to show some gratitude for this fact is to keep the planet’s health in mind as you put together your holiday meal. To that end, here are 3 ways to go eco-friendly with your Thanksgiving turkey.

Starting today, Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will be featuring monthly posts by Student Conservation Association interns working to promote, protect, and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States. This is the first post in the series, written by Rachel Snodgrass, who served with SCA this summer at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina.

National AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl joined 65 SCA volunteers on 11/11 at Fort Mahan Park to honor Veterans Day through service.

By Joseph Thurston

Considering where we are on the calendar, it seems likely that you’ll be doing a little shopping sometime in the very near future. Considering that it’s 2014, odds are some of it’ll take place… on the internet.

Here are a couple ways to support SCA (and therefore the future of conservation) just by doing the shopping that you were planning on doing anyway.

SCA honored Veterans Day through service in NYC by bringing 116 volunteers to Randall’s Island for our second-largest ConSERVE NYC event of the year.

By Joseph Thurston

Over 90 SCA volunteers gathered at Rio Salado Habitat in Phoenix on November 8th to honor Veterans Day with hands-on service to America’s public lands.

By Joseph Thurston

Friday is the very last day to enter the 2014 Got Dirt? Photo Contest, which means on Saturday… judging begins. We usually end up with a few thousand entries, so if you’re hoping to win, you better do all that you can to make your photos stand out.

Here are 5 things that you can do right now.

SCA kicked off the second year of ConSERVE NYC by bringing 92 volunteers to Jamaica Bay to continue work on a new wheelchair-accessible trail from the Visitor Center to the waterfront.

On October 4th, SCA teamed up with national supporter Domtar to renovate campgrounds and clear storm debris at Millwood State Park in Ashdown, Arkansas.

SCA celebrated the one-year anniversary of ConSERVE NYC by bringing together 100 volunteers for historic restoration at Governors Island National Monument.

By Joseph Thurston

Alongside SCA President Jaime Matyas, AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl, and George Washington Memorial Parkway Superintendent Alex Romero, Secretary Jewell led 125 SCA and AmeriCorps volunteers in an hours long effort to restore a stretch of Potomac River shoreline located just outside of Washington, DC.

On August 23rd, SCA teamed up with national supporter Domtar to refurbish a community skating rink and playground in Nekoosa, Wisconsin. Since 2012, Domtar has supported SCA’s urban initiatives for youth in cities across the country. SCA crew leaders from New York City, just finished with a season of fieldwork helping urban parks recover from Hurricane Sandy, were excited to travel to Wisconsin to help facilitate the project — and share stories of their work with urban youth.

By Emily Bowles

When William Bradford hopped off of the Mayflower and onto Plymouth Rock, he described the landscape that lay before him as a “hideous and desolate wilderness.” Wilderness, in 1620, was not a scarce resource to be protected and treasured. It was scary and empty, a wasted space awaiting the day that an enterprising human might chop it up, organize it, and put it to good use.

ConSERVE NYC events have taken our volunteers as far north as Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, as far west as Hudson River Park in Manhattan, and as far east as Queens Botanical Garden in Flushing. On August 16th, our volunteers traveled to the southern-most point of New York to serve at Conference House Park on Staten Island.

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