Stories from the Field

By Joseph Thurston

TOP PHOTO: NPS Director Jon Jarvis surveys the litter haul with DC Community Crew member Ashley C. during SCA’s MLK Day service project in Ft. Dupont Park

SCA volunteers braved rain, sleet, and snow at January’s ConSERVE NYC event in Manhattan – and kept going strong! The project was an auspicious start to a weekend of SCA service events nationwide to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service.

By Joseph Thurston

This year we celebrate MLK Day’s 20th anniversary as a national day of service. While the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr has been a federal holiday since the early eighties, it wasn’t until 1994, when an act of Congress created the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), that we began to observe the date as a “day on, not a day off.”

On January 8th, at the memorial dedicated to the president who founded the Civilian Conservation Corps, SCA members and alumni joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in announcing a $1 million pledge from American Eagle Outfitters to launch the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.

The winter weather didn’t stop more than 90 volunteers from coming out to Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday, December 7th, for SCA’s biggest ConSERVE NYC event so far.

Your support is an essential ingredient in our time-tested recipe for success: Investing today to build the conservation leaders of tomorrow.

To express the gratitude of everyone at SCA, we’re sharing another recipe that has proven successful year after year: Our founder Liz Putnam’s very own Thanksgiving apple pie.

Next spring, a 600-ft section of slope along Riverside Drive in upper Manhattan — badly eroded by stormwater runoff — will burst into bloom again with 850 bluebells and daffodils planted by SCA volunteers at this weekend’s ConSERVE NYC event.

On Saturday, October 26th, SCA kicked off the ConSERVE NYC initiative with a coastal restoration project to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

For the 2013 Got Dirt? Photo Contest, we asked you to show us how you connect with the natural wonders we all work hard to protect. Your responses were as varied as they were impressive, and it’s been our pleasure to share some of our favorites with you over the last several weeks. 

But picking just three winners out of so many great entries? That was no walk in the park.

When the organizers behind the West’s wildest music festival brought over 2000 conservation thought leaders to Austin, Texas this month for the 2nd annual SXSW Eco conference, SCA was there!

After more than two weeks of being idled by the government shutdown, SCA members on federal lands were more than ready to get back to the conservation work they signed up for when national parks, forests and other sites reopened. The shutdown caused many critical and time sensitive projects to be put on hold but our members are already tackling these problems head-on.

By Evan Escamilla

Nestle Waters teamed up with the SCA to pitch in at Jones Beach restoring the beach the beach after Hurricane Sandy in NYC. As usual we were live tweeting photos from the event.

Learn more about SCA’s NYC Recovery

 

Guest blogger Elise Heffernan, currently serving in SCA’s Hudson Valley Corps, tells SCA about the work that went into planning last week’s 9/11 Service Project at Vassar.Last week’s SCA Service Project at the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve was a big success!

By Joseph Thurston

Being from western New York I am not used to the heat of south central Oklahoma, especially this year as the temperatures have insisted in remaining 5-10˚ above average.

The trees were chosen for their ability to tolerate climate change. The footbridges were anchored by cables to withstand floods. The guest of honor?

By Joseph Thurston

To celebrate the first week of school, SCA Manchester’s Conservation Leadership Corps recently took a trip to Vermont for a tour of the University of Vermont and a visit to Knoll Farm. Leaving shortly after school ended, we made the 3 hour journey up to Jericho Research Forest, a piece of land owned by UVM and used as a part of many classes.

By Joseph Thurston

SCA’s 2013 Designing the Parks intern team, serving this summer in Boston with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, worked with National Park Service professionals and others to develop a plan for Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor. The 4-member team included a high school student, a recent high school graduate, an undergrad, and a graduate student.

By Joseph Thurston

50 years ago today, over a quarter million people gathered in one of our most famous national parks to peacefully demand that our nation live up to its promise to recognize in everyone the unalienable rights to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. To that end, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Founder’s Day – June 24th – is the yearly commemoration of SCA’s launch in 1957 at Olympic (WA) and Grand Teton (WY) National Parks.

By Joseph Thurston

What’s the best way to celebrate the 56th year of a youth-led conservation service movement?

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