Stories from the Field

This afternoon, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, before rolling up his sleeves to join local SCA members in service.In his address, the President said:We need your service, right now, at this moment in history. I’m not going to tell you what your role should be; that’s for you to discover. But I’m asking you to stand up and play your part.

Saturday, April 18, found many SCA staffers at work even earlier than usual! In honor of Earth Day, we hosted an event for the local community here in Charlestown, New Hampshire. The event included cell phone recycling, #5 plastic recycling, tours of SCA’s new LEED-certified building, recycled craft projects, and an environmental trivia game.

SCA alumna Valerie Lysenko sent me this story about an Earth Day event she hosted this weekend.Hello Fellow SCA’ers!This is Valerie from Middlesex County in NJ reporting on an Earth Day Tree Planting event our Conservation Corps just had.As the head planner and organizer, I spent many weeks scouting the planting site, getting all the materials together, and recruiting and mobilizing volunteers. I decided to pick an old abandoned field off a hidden road where I believe once stood an abandoned house. Since the site is part of a huge preserve, it is often disregarded as nothing more than a dumping ground. In fact, this small parcel of land hosts a very unique ecosystem – the Pine Barrens. Characterized by pines, oaks, and dry/sandy soil, the Pine Barrens make New Jersey one of the only states in the US with this type of habitat. Needless to say, its protection is crucial.

New Hampshire Conservation Corps members have spent the last several months teaching elementary school students about the environment in the Manchester Public Schools.

SCA, in partnership with the city of Manchester, hosted an adopt-a-block cleanup and a celebration in Veteran’s Park.

The clean-up took place in Wednesday, April 15, 2009. SCA teamed up with Sullivan County ATV Club and Stevens High School to clean up a mile lone section of the Sugar River Trail. The clean-up was a huge success and we easily filled one large dumpster, and could have filled three more, so we had to stack it up in bags all around the dumpster. See the photos below for more!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Kingman and Heritage Islands and made for an incredibly successful day!
Over 80 volunteers, SCA alumni and staff hauled away bulging bags of litter, the remains of a dilapidated birdhouse (which had to be demolished with sledgehammers first!), invasive plants, and re-routed a section of newly-built trail out of some wet areas.

By Marnie Miller-KeasLast fall 10 acres of Phragmites australis, an invasive plant also known as common reed, was sprayed with herbicide in attempts to reclaim Iona Marsh with cattail and other native plants. Extensive bird surveys have been done over the past years and as Phragmites has increased in dominance, bird species richness has decreased.

Stephanie Mackley, co-directed and co-edited this documentary-style profile of SCA - 2009

Trail Crew on Mount Rogers in 1993. Found via the SCA Facebook Group.This is the twentieth 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 President Dale Penny and SCA Alum Marcus Hendricks spoke at the hearing.

1977 Youth Conservation Corps backcountry work crew on the shores of Shoshone Lake. The Student Conservation Association was the staff contractor for the program.

Photos by Justin Poehnelt - SCA Project Leader

SCA ASB Staff doing the ‘Leaf and Logo™’ (L to R): Molly, Sam, Emily, RebeccaSCA’s Alternative Spring Break program for 2009 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has finished for the 60 lovely members of the program and is wrapping up for the fabulous SCA staff that joined the members on this adventure.

By ASB Group 2, Final ASB Blog From the Canyon for ASB 2009. See You Next Year!The SCA crew members crawled out of their tents to greet the cold morning. Some crew members had slept outside last night to stargaze and were eager to share their tales over breakfast.

By ASB Group 2 - March 26, 2009 - Grand Canyon We woke up today with sore bodies but energized spirits. With the memories of our varied hikes and canyon experiences fresh in our mind from yesterday, we spent the morning stretching, refueling, and preparing to get back to our conservation work for the park.

By ASB Group 2March 25, 2009Grand CanyonToday was the group’s opportunity to do as they liked. Whether it was relaxation or hiking the sixteen-mile round trip to the Grand Canyon’s bottom (the Colorado River), leisure was the main objective. There were many options including taking a tour of the Grand Canyon’s private artifact collection, cultural and natural.

By ASB Group 2Grand CanyonAfter the vigilant effort to round up warm gear for the freezing bones of campers, the second night brought more warmth than the first. Another soul satisfying, belly warming breakfast, set the mode for a productive day. The group was divided into 5 teams. 3 teams ventured to the boundary of the Grand Canyon National Park to put up boundary fence signs.