Ohio Conservation Corps Project Leader

Conservation Begins Here. 

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), America’s #1 conservation service organization seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire members for the Northeast Ohio Program!   


Program Dates:February 27, 2023 – December 15, 2023


Location: Multiple locations in Northeast Ohio, primarily the extensive natural areas managed by Cleveland Metroparks 


Position Summary: 

Come lead a trail crew completing high-impact projects throughout the surprisingly varied terrain of Northeast Ohio. Project leaders are responsible for daily management and supervision of a Conservation Trail Corps project in front-country sites with members 18 & older. Project Leaders coordinate with a dedicated team at Cleveland Metroparks to plan and implement projects, and with SCA staff to manage crew safety, performance, and logistics in the field. Leaders are required to perform administrative tasks to track project outcomes, approve members timesheets, and manage a field budget as well as completing trail work in an extraordinarily popular park system that sees nearly twice as many visitors each year as the most-visited national park.  


Program Description: 

SCAs Ohio Conservation Trail Corps is a team-based program designed to introduce crewmembers to the rigors of conservation fieldwork and practice the interpersonal skills required in a team environment. Teams engage in project work focused on trial building and maintenance. Teams work with trail builders and land managers from Cleveland Metroparks, one of the nation’s most visited parks. 


Crews will begin their program with a two-week field-based training program close to their project sites. Guided by an experienced Project Leader, Corps Members learn and practice all the requisite hard and soft skills that are essential for a successful conservation project. 


After training, Trails Corps teams will work on a variety of projects. Trail projects will likely include clearing the trail corridor, installing grade dips and drainage structures, rehabbing and reestablishing the tread of a trail, building structures (i.e., retaining walls, check steps, staircases, fences, or barriers), rerouting the trail to more sustainable locations, decommissioning social trails, or logging out trees that have fallen on the trail. Trails within the Cleveland Metroparks see hundreds of visitors each week, and crews should be prepared for a variety of work projects to build and maintain sustainable trails given that unusually high intensity of use. 


Crews are based out of shared housing around Cleveland Metroparks, but participants may opt to live at home instead. Work hitches may vary from 4 to 8-10 days in length, depending on project needs and partner schedules. 


Field life is physically and mentally demanding. This crew will have access to amenities including electricity, running water, and cell phone reception, but should expect to spend evenings while on-hitch resting, refueling, and preparing for the next long day in the field. While on each hitch, this program is alcohol and substance-free. 


Primary Responsibilities: 


  • Act as Team Leader by facilitating teamwork, managing field-based tasks, guiding group dynamics, building community, and being inclusive, transparent, and receptive to ideas when making decisions. 

  • Serve as a Teacher by supporting personal and professional development, teaching environmental stewardship, and modeling and sharing conflict resolution skills. 

  • Act as a Project Manager by coordinating with agency partners to ensure successful and timely completion of work projects to the partner’s standards and upholding a positive representation of SCA. 

  • Perform tasks as a Program Administrator by organizing logistics, completing timely documentation, managing a budget, and proactively communicating with SCA staff, agency partners, and their own team members. 




  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age 

  • Must have the ability to legally work in the US 

  • Valid driver’s license and MVR that meets SCA standards required 

  • Ability to meet SCA’s criminal background check standards 

  • Must be able to attend mandatory Crew Leader training 

  • Wilderness First Responder certification preferred but not required, Basic First Aid minium

  • At least one year of experience working with young adults 18 and older; managing group dynamics; teaching in an outdoor environment a plus 

  • At least one year of experience with conservation work skills, trail work skills, or related skills required, i.e. habitat restoration, trail maintenance, trail construction, chainsaw, carpentry, landscaping, and gardening 

  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor for 8 to 10 hours per day, exposed to the elements, occasionally lift and/or move 50 pounds or more, and potentially hike up to 10 miles in a day 

  • Ability to accurately assess situations and make good judgement calls even when physically tired 

  • Not required to provide own housing during the dates of the program 

  • Ability to implement and enforce SCA COVID policies and procedures 


Leader Benefits and Compensation: 

  • $720 weekly salary 

  • Up to $1,000 travel related expenses refunded 

  • Housing will be provided by Cleveland Metroparks should it be needed by the leader 

  • Eligible for SCA health insurance and paid time off.  


To Apply Click HERE


Conditions of Employment: 

Beginning on 1/18/22, all new SCA program participants are required to provide proof of up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19. Per CDC guidance, up-to-date vaccination now includes all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when indicated. For example, if someone has completed the primary series but is not yet indicated for a booster shot, they are considered up to date. Once a person is indicated for a booster (6 months after Pfizer or Moderna primary series, 2 months after J&J primary series), full and up-to-date vaccination includes the completed booster shot. Visit the following website for more information, including medical and religious exemptions: www.thesca.org/covid. 


The Student Conservation Association, Inc. is an Equal-Opportunity Employer. 


Student Conservation Association