Earth Day 2012: At Work for the Planet


Hundreds of SCA volunteers, members, alumni and staff from across the country headed outdoors on Saturday, April 21st to get their hands dirty working for the planet Volunteers planted trees, removed invasive species, cleared trails, picked up trash and did a number of other tasks contributing to the preservation of parks and green spaces in their local communities. 

SCA DC Earth Day

In coordination with the National Park Service and the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden Friends group, SCA Earth Day in DC rallied 110 volunteers, plus an additional 60 with the Kenilworth Friends Group. Volunteers planted 20 trees, removed close to 750 sq ft of invasive species, picked up tons of trash and helped maintain trails in honor of Earth Day 2012. Alumni, current students, summer conservation crew applicants, families and friends came out on a beautiful day to help serve and make a difference in their community! SCA DC’s event was a huge success.

SCA Detroit Earth Day

SCA Detroit and the Belle Isle Conservancy joined forces for an Earth Day event on Belle Isle Park. Over 100 volunteers of all ages took to the forest along Oakway Blvd to remove invasive honeysuckle plants from the beautiful old growth forest. Volunteers worked in teams using hand saws and loppers to remove the invasive plants and pick up garbage. Returning crew members from SCA’s Detroit Conservation Leadership Corps lead the work groups and really stepped up to showcase the skills and the expertise they’d cultivated over the past years with the SCA in Detroit.

SCA Houston Earth Day

SCA Houston had a diverse group of about 45 volunteers at Sheldon Lake State Park, including SCA School Year Crew members and alumni, current and former interns, ARAMARK and Southwest Airline partners, Houston Community College students and members of the Sharpstown High School Ecology Club. Volunteers got to work in the coastal prairie, planting over 2,000 native prairie plants covering about 4 acres of prairie with little and big bluestem, grama grass and Texas coneflower. After the volunteer event, the School Year Crews stuck around the park, learned and practiced archery, were led on an interpretive tour of the park, and even camped out overnight.

SCA Oakland Earth Day

Sixty SCA Oakland volunteers joined the Friends of Sausal Creek at Dimond Park along with about 150 others including Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan. Volunteers fanned out along the creek to remove invasive plants, mostly Himalayan blackberry. At one site above the creek, a group cleared out over 350 sqft of blackberry in order to help restore the bank from erosion. Other volunteers picked up trash along the creek, spread mulch and planted native plants in the forest. It was the warmest day of the season yet, but volunteers didn’t mind getting dirty and sweaty at work for the planet.

SCA Philadelphia Earth Day:

About 200 community volunteers showed up to the SCA Philly Earth Day event, including alumni, potential new students and Aramark volunteers. Everyone participated in collecting trash and debris from Darby Creek and surrounding areas. Two-hundred and fifty (250) cubic yards of cleanup were collected. This equates to about 9 tons of trash and 3 full dumpsters of random trash items, including pieces of metal, bottles, cans, tires, a toy big wheels, bowling balls and many other random trash items not typically found at local community parks.

SCA Pittsburgh Earth Day

Despite rain and cold, 47 volunteers, high school crew members, crew leaders, and staff attended SCA Pittsburgh’s 2012 Earth Day event in the North Side’s Riverview Park. They focused on removing invasive garlic mustard, knotweed, and litter from the trails and hill sides around Riverview Park’s Valley Refuge area. After 141 collective service hours, the crews removed 134 bags of invasive plants and litter, as well as 4 tires. Afterward, they enjoyed good food and a warm fire at the park’s Valley Refuge Picnic Shelter.