San Francisco Bay Area

SCA Community Conservation Crews cleaning up in the San Francisco Bay Area

Today, only 6% of children play outside on their own. Those who do enjoy less than eight minutes a day in unrestricted outdoor activities. Yet the average teenager spends 10 hours a day staring at an electronic screen.

In urban areas, the disconnect between youth and nature is even more acute. But here in the San Francisco Bay Area, SCA—which launched the American youth conservation movement nearly 60 years ago—is spearheading a new drive to engage young people in hands-on service in the very neighborhoods they call home.

With an active focus on under-served populations, we provide students from all backgrounds with empowering opportunities to preserve city parks, explore the local ecology, and discover their own potential. Independent studies confirm that SCA members gain greater self-esteem and direction, enhanced critical-thinking and focus, and improved fitness and stamina.

Additionally, as students advance along a continuum of conservation experiences, they build the skills and insights necessary to lead effectively, practice lifelong stewardship and succeed in their careers.

Following their initial service, some SCA members return to lead the programs on which they once volunteered; others progress to become interns at Golden Gate NRA, Point Reyes National Seashore, or distant locations like the Great Smoky Mountains. And with seven in 10 SCA alumni employed or studying in the conservation field, their influence will reach across local governments, businesses and communities for many years to come.

In the Bay Area, SCA members have maintained over 12000 feet of trail, engaged over 12000 people and performed over 38000 hourse of volunteer service

Bay Area Special Initiatives:

Community Conservation Crews

Under-served teens from throughout the Bay Area enjoy what is often their first real exposure to the outdoors as they improve local parks and neighborhoods and gain vital work skills and job experience in what the US Conference of Mayors calls “one of America’s top green jobs programs for youth.” Read more about the Community Crew opportunities in the Bay Area

Historical Preservation

SCA interns at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park are preserving the largest museum collection in the National Park Service—at over six million items, the largest maritime collection on the West Coast. Interns research, identify, document, digitize and arrange items ranging from archaeological artifacts to ship plans and oral histories to extend our learning and to keep the past alive.

SF Youth Stewardship Program.

In coordination with the city’s Recreation and Park Department, SCA provides free environmental service-learning programs to students in grades 2 to 12. Each course includes one classroom presentation and five thematic field trips consisting of educational elements as well as habitat restoration work to help young people forge powerful, personal connections with nature.

“I used to not value myself as enthusiastic, helpful and influential until I got to start a journey with my SCA leaders and friends. What we have been through made each member, including myself, a true leader.”

– Marvin Nieto, 17, SCA Bay Area Crew Member

Key Supporters

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service         Midpeninsula Regional Open Space         National Park Service       California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection       San Francisco Recreation & Parks       Easy Bay Regional Park District



News, Stories & Projects

In honor of Veterans Day, SCA brought together hundreds of volunteers in the Bay Area for a Find Your Park Day of Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, planting 1400 native plants along a critical section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

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SCA leader Aaron Gray pulls invasives at an SCA event in San Francisco

“I try to model a passion for service while working with new volunteers so that I can motivate them.”

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SCA celebrated Earth Day and National Park Week joined by 383 community members from across the Bay Area.

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Volunteers from across the Bay Area gathered to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service with SCA through a morning of service to the land and community.

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On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed two important measures that will help move California’s world-class state park system and its steward, the Department of Parks and Recreation, forward in the 21st century.

As longtime park advocates and conservation partners who grew up camping in such iconic parks as Mount Tamalpais and Anza-Borrego, we are happy to see this tangible sign of progress.

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Upcoming Events

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Contact Info

SCA California/Southwest
1230 Preservation Park Way
Oakland, CA 94612


  • Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge
  • East Bay Regional Parks
  • San Mateo County Parks


  • S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • Union Bank Foundation
  • Yosemite Conservancy

Bay Area Internships