Chicago, IL

SCA fielded its first community conservation program in Chicago in 2010. Partnering with Enlace Community Organization, twenty high school students came together to design, construct, maintain, and advocate for increased green space. Since that first year, more than 500 youth in the Chicago region have participated in SCA programs. Thanks to local environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups, SCA continues to provide conservation opportunities to Chicago’s young people each year.

The SCA Chicago Community Program provides year-round conservation opportunities divided into two seasons: school-year programs (running October through May) and summer programs (running July through August). The Chicago Community Program offers both volunteer and paid service opportunities. Volunteer programs occur on weekends, while paid service programs run Monday-Friday in the summertime, but require evening and weekend participation during the school year. Members serve at sites in and around Chicago. Participants build trails and restore habitat while exploring green career opportunities, building leadership skills, and learning about the local environment through environmental education field trips, outdoor recreation, and service projects.  

During the program, participants learn how to work as members of a diverse team of peers; gain knowledge of public land resources, environmental issues, and career readiness skills; increase understanding of environmental and trail restoration techniques; acquire experience in public service and outdoor recreation; and develop valuable professional skills through teambuilding and leadership activities.

Trainings Offered: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Resume Building       
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills

Eligibility Requirements: 

Applicants must be at least 14 years of age or in high school for teen school year and summer programs. For young adult programs, applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Other requirements vary by position. In order to participate in paid programs, applicants must be able to produce valid citizenship documents. 

Key Partners:

SCA Chicago Office

P.O. Box 30245
Chicago, IL 60630
O: (312) 239-1665
Applicants for Chicago region Community programs should direct their questions to Program Manager, Samuel Vergara ([email protected]

All-Womens Crew

*Click to enlarge


The Application Period for the 2020 Chicago Summer Conservation Leadership Corps (CCLC) Program is now closed.

SCA’s 2020 Chicago Summer Conservation Leadership Corps Program will have crews of high school members, aged 15-19, working in forest preserves throughout the Chicago region. The crews will work Monday through Friday each week during the summer program. Members work 28 hours per week. Please be on the lookout for updated application instructions for the 2021 season in February 2021!