Celebrating 56 Years of Youth Service in Conservation


56 years ago, a movement began. It was based around the idea that young conservationists would jump at the opportunity to serve their communities, give back to nature, and help conserve our treasured outdoor spaces.

When the first group of SCA volunteers reported for work at Olympic National Park, they weren’t there to embody this powerful idea, they were there to save the park. It just so happens, though, that the work they began that day in 1957 blazed the trail for the youth-led conservation movement. Realizing the vision of SCA founder Liz Titus Putnam, they formed the Student Conservation Association, a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps with young people at its heart.

Join us this week as we celebrate SCA founder’s Day, recognizing the more than 70,000 young adults who have helped protect our priceless public lands over the past 56 years. Since 1957, they’ve defended forests and wildlife, restored at risk ecosystems, and provided environmental education to millions, proving that the partnership between public lands and student volunteers is a strong and enduring alliance.

 Here are a few ways to help mark SCA’s 56th birthday and the beginning of the youth-led conservation movement:


Come out to the National Mall in Washington DC for a day of service with SCA and Points of Light. Register here if you can make it, or join us on Twitter with @the_sca and #sca56.

AEO and SCA for Founder’s Day

The SCA American Eagle Outfitters Sandy Recovery Crew is dedicating its service to Founder’s Day this week. Follow their stories and the entire #SCASandy project here.

Add a Brick to Our Service Wall

How has SCA service impacted your life? Tell us on our Service Wall. Visit the wall to post a photo, or tweet your message with hashtag #SCAserve!

Support the Youth Service Legacy

Celebrate 56 years of empowering youth in conservation with a donation to SCA. We encourage you to make your gift in honor of SCA originator, and true original, Liz Putnam. Give now.


Early next week, Liz Titus Putnam will return to the birthplace of SCA, Olympic National Park. Stay connected to SCA for the story of that reunion, and stories from our members that highlight the power of what young people can do to address today’s conservation issues.