Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Saturday, July 24, 2021
SCA Alum Luis and Crew outside with planters
To celebrate #LatinoConservationWeek, meet SCA Alum Luis Cabrales! Luis (pictured above on the bottom right) is a Natural Areas Worker at the Chicago Park District and is also an Environmental Organizer for the Southeast Youth Alliance.
 
SCA: What is your first memory of nature/spending time outdoors or do you...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Thursday, July 22, 2021
Three SCA leaders with Sam Vergara in the middle
In celebration of Latino Conservation Week, we are recognizing SCA staff, members, and alumni who identify as Latinx. Meet SCA’s Chicago Program Manager, Samuel Vergara!

About Sam

Sam (pictured above in the middle) is a native Chicagoan who grew up in the Greater Lawndale Area. He strives to rebuild connections with nature through...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The world’s seven-warmest years have been the last seven (2014-2020) and should this trend continue, heat waves are likely to become more frequent, more severe, and more extended. As heat waves continue to blanket the country, it’s never been more important to focus on heat safety and taking precautions while outdoors....

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By Jake Westrich, Team Leader

This hitch, they sent us to the aptly-named Hells Canyon National Recreation Area/Wilderness for more trail clearing. An intense heat dome that affected much of the Pacific Northwest. One day we worked in 105+ degree conditions, and the next day we had to leave because we...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, June 21, 2021

Imagine being part of a roving SCA backcountry trail team, working six weeks at Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon followed by five weeks in Mount Rainer National Park south of Seattle. You live in tents, hike from worksite to worksite, and spend your days maintaining trails in the wild.

Well,...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, June 16, 2021

DOUBLE MY GIFT

As we approach SCA Founder’s Day on June 24, we always like to take a look back at the woman who started it all. Liz Putnam kicked off a movement that has continuously inspired young people to make their mark and serve our cherished public lands.

During...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, June 16, 2021
On June 24, SCA will celebrate its 64th birthday! It all started when our beloved founder, Liz Putnam, envisioned a way to enlist student volunteers to assist with the upkeep of national parks and public spaces.
 
Liz is an active member of the conservation community to this day, so...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, June 16, 2021
SCA prescribed fire crews along the Gulf coast just closed an amazing season in which they burned more than 132,000 acres – an area almost as large as the entire city of Mobile, AL – in less than five months!
 
If you’re not familiar, prescribed burning is a tool...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, May 19, 2021

By Chambers English, SCA Forest Technician Intern

Smoke trails behind me as I hike up the next drain along Falling Creek at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Drip torch in hand, I paint a ribbon of fire near the ecotone of hardwoods and pines as the trees leaf out and dogwoods bloom...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Monday, May 17, 2021

All across the nation, SCA crews are working to protect public lands, and the summer 2021 season will be no exception. With projects ranging from trail maintenance to removal of non-native plant species, SCA members will work to improve parks and greenspaces in multiple U.S. cities. Here’s a glimpse of...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, April 19, 2021

AS SCA commemorates Earth Day, we’re sharing nationwide youth perspectives through The SCA Climate Survey, tales of SCA members’ service across the country, and virtual #SaveOurSphere programs online.

We also have a poem from Ida Lewenstein of San Mateo, CA.

Ida, who turns 90 next month, adopted a conservation ethic as a...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Monday, April 12, 2021

Spring flowers fill us with hope, engender feelings of renewal, and delight our senses. Their bright colors and velvety textures are a feast for the eyes, their smell can be intoxicating, and the sounds of bees buzzing and birds chirping among their branches is like nature’s symphony.

As warming weather and...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sometimes storylines just write themselves.

The inaugural SCA Parks Pandemonium tournament, a decidedly non-scientific survey to determine “America’s favorite outdoor playground,” came down to the first national park vs. the most recent one. The trailblazer vs. the trending. Old guard vs. next gen.

And, in the end, New River Gorge National Park...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, March 17, 2021

­Women’s History Month has a rather fleeting history of its own.

According to the WHM website, Congress approved a Women’s History Week in 1981 and, six years later, in response to a petition from the National Women’s History Project, authorized legislation designating March as Women’s History Month. Every year since,...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, March 10, 2021
The SCA’s NH Conservation Corps Digital Educator Naturalists have been hard at work creating and delivering remote environmental education lessons for students across New Hampshire. The new position was created to continue SCA’s Education Service in New Hampshire amidst restrictions brought on by the pandemic. This crew brings a range...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Do you remember the times you had to cook during your SCA hitch? Are you curious about some of the meals SCA members have cooked while serving? Listed below are some delicious recipes and helpful tips for cooking in the field!

BREAKFAST

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11 cups water
  • 5 ½ cups
  • ...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, February 17, 2021

When we first spoke with Caleb Miguel Awe last November, he admitted to some trepidation. “Nobody likes 40 below,” he noted.

Caleb was just beginning his second straight winter as a sled dog intern at Denali National Park and Preserve, so he was already acquainted with Alaska’s oft-harsh climes. More recently,...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, February 17, 2021

In celebrating Black History Month, we reflect on defining moments where courageous indiviuals stood up to injustice and advocated for equity. We also look back on notable African Americans who are seldom recognized for their contributions to society. Commemorating the people and events that shaped Black history often includes a...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, February 15, 2021
“Few if any calendars make note of it, and Hallmark has no greeting card for it, but February is National Youth Leadership Month.” 
 
If that sentence seems familiar, it’s because we posted it last year as part of the promotion behind the inaugural SCA Convening on Youth Co-Powerment....

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Joe Biden pictured above (bottom row on the left).

As special events go, this one was transcendent.

In 2009, SCA hosted the then-current U.S. president and a former U.S. president in a tree-planting project to commemorate Earth Day. At the time, no one knew we were also in the presence of a...

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