60th Anniversary

The year 2017 marks the Student Conservation Association’s 60th Anniversary. Sixty years encompasses an important stretch of history, for SCA and our country. During this period, Americans went to war several times, worked for civil rights and the health of our planet, saw technology advance exponentially, and experienced wave after wave of important cultural, societal, economic and political shifts.

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. Travel with us, as we recall the highlights of our first six decades.

From the Blog

In Part I , we discussed how Liz Putnam founded the Student Conservation Association in 1957, and how the organization developed and flourished in subsequent decades.

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SCA volunteers get around and, as we celebrate 60 years of service to nature, we share 6 sites where you may not expect to find SCA members — but they’re there, protecting and restoring parts of America’s natural legacy.

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In 1953, a twenty-year-old Vassar College junior named Elizabeth Cushman (now Elizabeth Putnam) had a life-changing experience. On a visit to the Grand Teton National Park, she saw the Northern Lights – the spectacular sky show produced by the collision between solar particles and the Earth’s atmosphere.

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All SCA crews keep a journal of their activities, covering everything from work accomplishments to observations in nature. In 1957, SCA crews hauled a portable typewriter and assigned an official scribe to document their adventures. Here are six excerpts from the first two SCA “groups” (as they were called back then) at Olympic National Park.

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After 60 years of conserving America’s public lands, SCA’s place in history is assured. Here are 6 places in SCA’s history that played key roles during the passage of time. 

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Student Conservation Association 60th Anniversary Video Contest

Your story is our story. Share it today in a video and be part of our digital 60th anniversary card.

Submit Your Video