SCA Excelsior Conservation Corps members have hit the field for their first hitches at park sites across New York State. Working in five teams of ten members each, the Corps tackles critical conservation projects from New York City to the Adirondacks. SCA Excelsior Project Leaders share some of the best moments — and biggest surprises — during their first days in the field…Read more
Excelsior Conservation Corps
Excelsior Conservation Corps
The Excelsior Conservation Corps is a New York State AmeriCorps program recruiting members for Year Two of the program starting February 13, 2017. In Governor Cuomo’s 2015 State of the State Address, he proposed the creation of a modern day version of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) called the Excelsior Conservation Corps (ECC). The Student Conservation Association was selected to operate the Corps under the auspices of the NYS Commission on National and Community Services and in partnership with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the NYS Oﬃce of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP), the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC), and SUNY Morrisville.
The ECC program will address the environmental needs of New York State, will tap into the spirit of community service among New Yorkers, and will provide an avenue for employment training and an education grant to participants of the program. The program will enroll 50 members (including vets), ages of 18 to 25, to volunteer 10 months of their lives to serve their country as AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members will receive a small stipend, health insurance, and will be eligible for a Segal education award at the end of their term of service in the amount $5,815 which can be used to pay off qualified student loans or use towards future educational expenses.
During their term, members will work with the NYSDEC and NYS OPRHP to complete environmental stewardship projects on public lands that will result in the protection of natural and recreational resources, thus helping to sustain these resources over the long term for the benefit of the community. Based on the needs identified by partners, the ECC members will be divided into the following small project teams:
Mixed Stewardship Crews (3 total crews)
These crews will work on a diversity of projects which may include invasives removal, trail construction and/or improvement, erosion control, basic carpentry projects, chainsaw projects, culvert assessments, and GPS/GIS resource mapping.
Infrastructure and Sustainability (1 crew)
This crew will be focused on projects that help improve the infrastructure of buildings and lands while also improving sustainability. The projects may include weatherization, historic preservation, energy eﬃciency including lighting retrofits, solar panels, basic carpentry, and stone work.
Environmental Outreach & Education (1 crew)
This crew will be focused on doing education and outreach for each agency. The team may be broken down into smaller crews of 2-4 if needed. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the crew will be doing weekly programing at campgrounds, environmental education centers, or nature centers. The projects for this team may include interpretive trail building and design, outreach at fairs and festivals, creating educational videos, and conducting interpretive education programing.
ECC members will also plan and facilitate volunteer service projects that will introduce over 1,000 volunteers to natural resource management, trail repair and maintenance, habitat restoration, and general conservation stewardship efforts.
Finally, ECC members will undergo basic disaster response training so they are qualified to help NY communities impacted by extreme weather events.
Members will receive extensive trainings and certifications that will help prepare them to safely and successfully complete assigned projects. Some of the trainings will include:
- Wilderness First Aid
- CPR Certiﬁcation
- Game of Logging Chainsaw Certiﬁcation
- Basic Rigging
- Extensive Trail Construction and Maintenance Skills
- Back Country Living Skills
- Leadership and Communication
- Certified Interpretive Guide Certification
- OSHA 10 Construction Certification
Members of the Excelsior AmeriCorps program will use traditional trail skills, restoration techniques, carpentry skills, and hard labor to complete an array of projects aimed at protecting and enhancing the lands and cultural resources of NY State. Members also gain extensive technical skills, leadership experience, and valuable professional connections with NYSDEC, NYS OPRHP, and other program partners.
Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 (or up to age 28 for Veteran applicants) and must pass a background check.
Members receive monthly living stipends and are provided with food and housing for the duration of the program.
Applications for 2017 Excelsior Corps will begin August 2016. Once you have started your application contact [email protected] to have your application fee waived.