Stories from the Field

By Ron HasselSo the week’s over, and everyone’s starting to pack for the trip home. One would think that this ending would have a sad undertone, but the reality is that everyone is excited at about all they have accomplished.

This is the eleventh entry in our ongoing series, Photograph Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.This photo is from the 2008 SCA Photo Contest and was taken by SCA Members in Denali National Park.

This is the tenth entry in our ongoing series, Photograph Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.This photo is from the 2008 SCA Photo Contest.

This is the ninth entry in our ongoing series, Photograph Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Katrina Recovery Project, Waveland, Mississippi, 6/1½007 - I found this polaroid in the mud near the site of where a group of SCA Volunteers were building a brand new house for a local family.

I have been camping my whole life. I remember when I was seven carrying a small (which didn’t seem small to me at the time) daypack with a sleeping bag in it up the trail. My sister had the clothing for us. And my mom and dad- well, they had everything else. At the time, I thought I had the heaviest pack ever! I look back and think how amazing my parents were carrying all that weight so we could learn to camp and hike and be in nature at a young age. Those trips so affected me that becoming an SCA volunteer was a natural step for me. I cannot think what my life would be like without the summers of camping with my family and working for SCA. All those backcountry experiences and times with small groups doing our thing in the best places in the world.I came to this project, this Grand Canyon Alternative Spring Break project with the same ideas: working hard outside, camping, being with people who care and learning more skills and gaining more knowledge. I have been an SCA member before and I just needed to get back into it.

This is the eighth entry in our ongoing series, Photograph Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Environmental Education at the Urban Treehouse, Washington DC. Photo taken 7/25/2008

Andon Zebal (SCA ‘08) recently sent me this blog entry recounting his SCA experience.  Andon grew up in Mexico and hopes to return there to work on sustainable forestry and reforestation. This summer, he will embark on a “Reforestation Backpacking Trip,” attempting to see as many  projects as possible as he travels through Mexico and Central America. You can follow his adventures (including his SCA experience last summer) at his blog, Restoring the Americas.Justin, John and I visited the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northern Oklahoma. The preserve is the largest protected prairie remnant in the world. I assumed it was a national or at least a state park, but it turns out the whole thing is run by the Nature Conservancy! We met with Bob Hamilton (in between Justin and me in the picture below), basically the ecosystem manager of the preserve. He has been working with the preserve since before it started in 1989, so the Prairie is basically his baby.

by Molly LundbergToday was the first day of work. After a night spent singing around the campfire, the crew was eager for the hard labor. However, they first had to wait a bit longer, and decided to play a game.

This is the sixth entry in our ongoing series, Photograph Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.SCA Interns team up with Friends of The Forest Preserves in resource magament and FIREMON in The Cook County Forest Preserve in Chicago, IL. Photo taken 10/30/2007.Learn more about The Cook County Forest Preserve

For some, spring break begins with moving into a posh hotel room in Florida and settling in for a week of tanning- but for the SCA spring break group, it began with a late-night arrival at our campground, fumbling around in the dark introducing themselves to people they couldn’t even see. The first-night dinner, sesame noodles with tofu or chicken, was amazing.

This is the fifth entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Detroit Community Crew Program in its first year - July 15, 2008

This is the fourth entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.Robin taking a short water break at Crew Leader Training in Charlestown, NH on 6/29/2007.

By Molly Lundberg, Sam Keller, and Rebecca PikeThe Alternative Spring Break program got off to a wonderful start on March 8th when staff arrived at the Grand Canyon.

This is the third entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs. Jessica Bolis, a two-time SCA alumna and current SCA supervisor at Sequoia National Forest, takes a minute to check out the extraordinary view.

This is the second entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.For a longer description of this image and to find out what they were doing with the sunflowers, see Sandra’s post.

This is the first entry in our ongoing series, Photographs Fantastique, in which we count down 50 days until the Unofficial Official Start of High Season for conservation programs.A-Fig (pictured below) was a member of the 2008 Boston Commuter Crew. The BCC attended the Conservation Commencement 2008 in Charlestown, NH on August 13, 2008.Gloria Flora was the featured speaker.

Conservation came up big in the ARRA of 2009!Some highlights:$500 million for training of green-collar workers$4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund$750 million to the National Park Service$650 million to the Forest Service$515 million for wildfire prevention projects$340 million to the Natural Resources Conservation Service for watershed infrastructure projects$320 million to the Bur

SCA alumna Emily Williams (Kenai, ‘08) sent us this account of her MLK Day experience.  Thanks, Emily!After listening to lectures, filling pipettes in labs, and sitting in classrooms all day, the members of the FAB Environmental Sustainability trip were ready and raring to go get their hands dirty and spend some quality time in the outdoors. On Friday, January 16th, 14 students of the University of Florida in Gainesville piled into two vans and made the two-hour drive to Orlando to volunteer their time and efforts over MLK weekend.

Welcome to SCA’s new website! Take a look around and let us know what you think by leaving a comment on this blog post.What do you like? What would you change? What’s missing?We want to hear from you!P.S… While you’re here, make sure you sign up to receive Hands On, our monthly electronic newsletter.  It’s the best way to stay up-to-date with SCA!

SCA staff member Ashley Hansen provided us with this account of volunteering on Inauguration Day:I witnessed history.I witnessed hundreds of volunteers gather for a 5 am check-in to serve our country.I witnessed my fellow volunteers flow into Starbucks on the corner of 14th and New York Ave to stay warm while the staff called in for backup and fixed the broken toilet.

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