SCA & American Express Celebrate Earth Day in Washington, DC


360 Volunteers Serve at Greenbelt Park

In celebration of Earth Day, SCA brought together 360 volunteers from across DC, Maryland, and Virginia for a Find Your Park Day of Service at Greenbelt Park. 

SCA volunteers repair bridges at Greenbelt Park

Situated just within the National Capital beltway, Greenbelt Park is known for its accessibility and peaceful surroundings. With over 170 campground sites, nine miles of trails, and three picnic areas, the park provides a great way for local urban residents to get out and explore our shared public lands.

National Park Service Deputy Director Denise E. Ryan and SCA President & CEO Jaime Matyas welcomed volunteers to the park for Earth Day service. Three-quarters of the day’s participants reported that they were volunteering with SCA for the very first time — while more than half had never been to Greenbelt Park. 

SCA volunteers repaint buildings at Greenbelt ParkSCA volunteers haul tires out of Greenbelt Park

Volunteers completed a range of projects at a dozen sites across the park. Groups repainted benches and picnic tables, refurbished campsites, mulched playgrounds, and cleared 2.5 tons of tires and other debris. Other groups removed invasive garlic mustard, cleaned out water bars and culverts, and repaired three bridges to restore access to favorite park trails. 

Despite cloudy skies and chilly temperatures, energy levels stayed high and volunteers accomplished an enormous amount of work to help this popular park space prepare for another busy summer season.

Special thanks to American Express, the National Park Service, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Davey Tree Expert Company

SCA volunteers repair bridges at Greenbelt Park

Thanks also to all the volunteers who joined the day from the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince Georges Community College, ACT-IAC,, Alice Deal Middle School, Alpha Phi Omega, AmeriCorps, Avalon Consulting, Boy Scouts of America Troop 29, CUNY SPS, DeMatha Catholic High School, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Dunbar High School, E. L. Haynes High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Frederick Douglass High School, George Washington University, Girl Scouts of America (Troop 1165, Troop 1724, & Troop 3758), Gonzaga College High School, the Greenbelt Park Trail Crew, High Point High School, Holton-Arms School, International Monetary Fund, John Eaton Elementary School, Kenmore Middle School, Literacy Lab, National Collegiate Preparatory High School, Oxon Hill High School, Parkdale High School, Roberto Clemente Middle School, The Severn School, Suitland High School, T. C. Williams High School, Takoma Park Elementary School, University of Maryland – Terrapin Trail Club, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. 

See more photos from the event on SCA’s DC Facebook page.

Register now for SCA’s next Find Your Park Day of Service in DC for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4th, 2016.
SCA volunteers at Greenbelt Park



SCA & American Express Celebrate Earth Day in DC


350 Volunteers Transform Fort Totten Park

This Saturday SCA teamed up with American Express to celebrate Earth Day by bringing more than 350 volunteers to Fort Totten Park in Washington, DC. This event followed another successful partnership event with American Express in New York City last weekend, and concluded a month of SCA Earth Day celebrations in 16 cities nationwide.

In DC, hundreds of students and community members came together at Fort Totten Park (managed by the National Park Service) to strengthen a popular hiking trail with a brand new set of check steps and move mountains of brush to close an unauthorized trail that was causing severe erosion. Volunteers also built new picnic tables and removed hundreds of pounds of trash, old tires, and other debris from the park’s forests and streamsides.

SCA’s President & CEO Jaime Matyas joined volunteers at the work site along with AmeriCorps Director Bill Basl. “SCA has been one of our strongest partners right from the beginning,” Director Basl said, as SCA AmeriCorps members worked side-by-side with members of AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA Corps to heft a heavy log off the trail. “It’s great to see our members thinking creatively to solve conservation challenges.”

Other participants included volunteers from Camp Rising Sun, Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy, DC EnvironMentors, DC Youth Advisory Council, General Services Administration (GSA), Graduate Theological Union (GTU), H&M, Interfaith Youth for Climate Justice (IYCJ), Kappa Lambda Chi Military Fraternity, National City Christian Church, Playworks DC, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington DC, School Without Walls, Southwest Airlines, The Washington Center, and Youth Service America.

Big thanks to our sponsor American Express and to National Park Service staff at Rock Creek Park for hosting this event. And bravo to the 350 volunteers who gave their time to serve the planet for Earth Day!

See more photos from SCA’s Earth Day event at Fort Totten Park.

See video from the Washington, DC event here

Stay tuned for details on the next event at