Stories from the Field

Their morning commute is a 35 minute hike past colossal cacti and under constant sun. Not a Starbucks or a donut shop in sight. Once they arrive, they use some admittedly silly routines to ensure everyone is stretched before they pick up their tools and go to work.This is how every day has started for nearly the past two weeks.

I’ve seen some worn trails but never one like this before.You might think I was still at Grand Canyon but look closely.  This is the Garwood Trail at Saguaro National Park East near Tucson.  Heavy equestrian use has turned the trail into a trench.This SCA ASB crew — all volunteers from Vermont Academy — has been working for the past week and a half to restore the hazardous trail.  In some cases

I’m sitting here in a park cafeteria that won’t open for another hour, the lights down low and a couple of staffers puttering about. Five for Fighting’s “What Kind of World Do You Want?” is coming out of the ceiling speakers.

Dawn had hardly broken and two hikers had broken their wrists on icy South Kaibab Trail at Grand Canyon NP. At the same time, the one-time parking lot SCA’s Alternative Spring Break team was to reveg was still covered in snow, so: activate Plan B.

I arrived at Grand Canyon a day ahead of the ASB crew (on my own dime, auditors!).

Photo Credits: Rick Zamore, SCA Program Manager You can read Rick’s short article about Cumberland Island in the February edition of Hands On.

A section of the bridle trail at Bethpage State Park is so muddy, that the suction reportedly pulled shoes off of the horses hooves (it definitely pulled boots off of feet).

What if you woke up one winter morning to a suddenly alien landscape?…

Thanks, Ted Miller, for photos of SCA DC’s retreat at Hard Bargain Farm — 24 first year students, 5 old faithfuls, and an awesome staff.

More year-end, all-time-great photos. Thanks Garrett and Kevin for your photos! And thanks American Eagle Outfitters for making SCA’s Alternative Spring Break program possible. Sign Up for News & Stories

Removing graffitti and restoring trails on spring break in the Grand Canyon. Thanks, American Eagle Outfitters, for making this possible.Help more SCA members preserve our land for generations to come. Donate now. Sign Up for News & Stories

Another post in our “best-photos-of-all-time” series. When it rains in Houston, well, it really rains. But this SCA crew didn’t seem to mind. They planted lots of trees and had some fun doing it.Thanks Misty Knight, Houston crewleader, for the great photos. Sign Up for News & Stories

Another in our year-end-best-of-09 series. Thanks Dan Crossett for the photos and your contribution to saving coral reefs.
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Thanks Kevin Bacher, Mount Rainier Volunteer Supervisor, for the great photo — our all-time favorite for 2009.Looking for an expense-paid internship? Check out this Visitor Services internship starting at Mount Rainier this spring. Sign Up for News & Stories

SCA Detroit removes invasives, plants trees, learns about conservation, makes new friends, works really hard, and has a great time.Thanks Johnson Controls for your support.
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Ben Goldfarb recently completed a hitch as an SCA Fisheries intern at Yellowstone, charged with helping restore the native cutthroat trout, a food source for grizzlies and otters among others. You can learn more about these photos and Ben’s assignment by visiting his blog, wastivore.blogspot.

A crew from the Student Conservation Association WildCorps has been working on a variety of projects on lands managed by BLM-California. WildCorps is a partnership with the BLM, to train a cadre of youth leaders to enhance public lands.

By Wendy Liscow, Program Officer, The Geraldine R. Dodge FoundationOne warm, crystal clear morning in August, I was lacing up my hiking boots with great anticipation.

Elizabeth Titus Putnam and the Student Conservation Association

“As a twenty-year old Vassar College student in 1953, Elizabeth Titus Putnam was inspired by her experience of the aurora borealis in Grand Teton National Park to create a modern-day conservation corps for students. She used her connections and entrepreneurial instincts to make it happen.