The SCA Adirondack program is based out of the William C.Whitney Headquarters on Little Tupper Lake near the outskirts of Long Lake, NY. This program serves the Adirondack State Park in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The Adirondack Park is a unique 6 million acre mix of private and public lands in northern New York State. Established in 1892, the Adirondack holdings are under state constitutional protection. Any change to how land within the park boundaries is managed requires a change of the state constitution to be ratified by two consecutive offices, therefore making it one of the most protected wild places on the planet!
The Adirondacks comprise some of the most rugged and remote country in the eastern United States. High mountains, lakes, rivers and ancient glacial basins make up its varied North Country landscape, of which over 1 million acres are protected wilderness allowing no motorized access. As the largest intact temperate forest in the world, approximately 14% of the viable remaining wetlands of the continental US are found within the park boundaries. The park’s management system is currently a study model for more than 30 countries that are developing or reviewing their National Park systems. All of this makes the Adirondacks a unique, rewarding place in which to work, play, live and protect.
The NY Adirondack Program is currently in its 12th season of service. Each May thru October a team of 20 interns join 3 staff members for 5 months of conservation service work throughout the majority of the 6 million acre park. The service projects include traditional trail maintenance and construction including bridge building, rock staircases, and tread and drainage work, along with fire tower restoration, construction of Adirondack style lean-to’s, and historical building restoration. The program is also involved in an 8 year partnership with The Nature Conservancy on invasive plant species management within the park boundaries.
Crews are generally made up of 4 to 6 members who serve for 5 or 10 days in remote backcountry or front country locations. Each crew has a crew leader organizing the details and management of that particular project. Every Adirondack Corps member has an opportunity to lead 2 or 3 projects throughout the summer, providing an experience that increases their leadership skills.
Before members are set loose in the park comprehensive training is provided to them.
Communication, Leadership, Team Collaboration, and Trail Construction and Maintenance techniques are covered to prepare teams for the season of service work. Chainsaw safety, Risk Management, Wilderness Advanced First Aid and CPR, Outdoor Living Skills, help the crews work safely in the field. Finally a sense of Adirondack cultural and natural history helps members grow an appreciation of the unique habitat they will be a part of for a summer.