The Student Conservation Association is the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults. Our program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, community green spaces and more across the country.
As America’s most effective youth conservation service organization, the SCA transforms lives by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. Founded in 1957, the SCA is dedicated to building the next generation of conservation leaders and inspiring lifelong protection of the environment and our communities.
2022 marked the Student Conservation Association’s 65th Anniversary. As we look back and remember, what becomes abundantly clear is that while times change, SCA remains a stalwart presence for conservation and our country. The young people with whom we work gain an adeptness, an ability to press beyond whatever challenge comes next.
SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.
It happens every day, all over our great country. A 19-year-old in Louisville. A 20-year-old in Des Moines. A 16-year-old in Nome. Every day our youth want to do something important with their lives, and begin to ask, “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to become?” At the same time, every day our parks and natural resources fall into disrepair and are depleted.
Today we stand at a critical point in time where the desire to do something can be met with the need to preserve and protect our environment. SCA is there. Every day SCA unites young people with hands-on environmental challenges. Every day we create future stewards of our land, healthier environments and ultimately a better world.
- Our Impact On Youth
- A Look At What We’ve Done
- A Look At Where We’re Going
- SCA’s Conservation Impact in 2018
Board of Directors
SCA is led by a diverse group of Board Members ranging from leaders in both the public and private sectors who care deeply about the stewardship of our land and the empowerment of young people as conservation leaders. See List of Board members.
SCA’s Leadership Team is also comprised of leading experts in the fields of conservation, partnership development, Philanthropy, marketing and corporate relations. Together, they mentor and guide a staff of over 150 national employees. See Leadership Team bios.
SCA Founder, Liz Putnam
Visionary is an accurate word to describe Liz Putnam. Launching an American conservation service powered exclusively by young people would be ambitious today, but considering that she conceived of the idea in 1953—at age 20—makes her all the more remarkable. While still attending Vassar College, Liz modeled SCA on the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps. and enlisted student volunteers to assist with the upkeep of U.S. national parks and public spaces. Be motivated by Liz’s story.
The President’s Council is comprised of distinguished philanthropic, corporate, conservation and youth development leaders from across the country who have agreed to promote SCA’s mission, advise on strategic matters, and assist in raising public and private funds.