Gabe Cummings


Earthsaver of the Month

What’s your SCA story?

Through SCA, I have spent the last two years leading New York City youth in stewardship and conservation programs. I had the privilege of working on several projects alongside the National Park Service, including at Governor’s Island and at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This year I returned to serve with the SCA Sandy Recovery Program, leading crews of high school students in storm resiliency projects.

Why do you serve the planet?

I serve the planet because it has become a finite resource that is spoken for by the interests of few at the expense of many. In spite of all the environmental negligence in our past, I feel that we have awakened as a society and are paying more attention to our impact on the planet. I want to inspire fellow community members and leaders to make good decisions for the future.

What’s your favorite piece of earthsaving gear?

My favorite piece of gear is a simple pair of gloves. It may be the most overlooked tool, but it’s the most accessible in times of need. Whether you’re at a tree planting or a beach cleanup, work gloves are the first thing you pick up and last thing you take off. So, what are you waiting for? Throw em’ on and get your hands dirty!

Tell us about one of your favorite service moments.

Last fall, I had the pleasure of teaming up with fellow earthsavers at Santa Monica National Recreation Area to assist American Eagle with a service event. SCA facilitated a planting in an area that was ravaged by forest fire in 2007. The project made a lasting impact on me, because I realized how many allies I had who are willing to serve the planet and get involved with conservation.

What’s your next earthsaving goal?

As a lifelong resident of the New York City area, I have seen firsthand how the lack of environmental curriculum in public school systems creates a disconnect between young people and nature. SCA has given me the opportunity to impact the lives of students like myself from diverse backgrounds. I want to utilize my knowledge and skillset to become a champion of urban environmental education and empower my community members to follow more sustainable practices.

Student Conservation Association