SCA New York State Parks Corps

SCA New York State Parks Corps

Program Dates:
January – November
Number of members: 21

Application Review
Begins: October

Created in 2017, SCA’s New York State Parks Corps program engages enthusiastic conservationists to provide critical environmental education and stewardship throughout the New York State Parks system.

SCA Certified: Conservation Field Specialist Certification

The New York State Parks Corps program is a ten-month residential program focusing on environmental education, trail maintenance and construction, invasive species removal, and dune restoration. Members live with one to five other members in a state park and are supervised day-to-day by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation staff.

Projects include new trail construction, environmental education and interpretation, volunteer coordinator, invasive species removal, dune restoration, and more. Parks Corps members share a residential community where they live and work alongside one another for the duration of the season. They gather together for trainings and events, explore New York State Parks, and develop a sense of comradery and shared experience.

Members who successfully complete the program will receive high quality trainings and professional development support from SCA staff.   Additionally, members receive or have the option to receive the following trainings or certifications:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • CPR Certification
  • Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG)
  • Project Learning Tree, Project Wet/Wild curriculum
  • Game of Logging Chainsaw Certification
  • Extensive Trail Construction and Maintenance Skills
  • ACA Level 1 Canoe Training
  • Leave No Trace Training
  • Leadership and Communication Training

Members of the SCA Parks Corps program use trail skills, restoration techniques, carpentry skills, and hard labor to complete an array of projects aimed at protecting and enhancing the lands and cultural resources of New York State Parks. Members also gain valuable professional connections with NYS OPRHP, extensive experience delivering environmental education and interpretation, and leadership experience.

Members are placed in one of the following parks regions and perform the following tasks:

Thousand Islands Region

Based out of Wellesley Island State Park, the Thousand Islands Environmental Education team is a three-member team living and working together engaging school groups and the public who visit the Minna Common Anthony Nature Center..

Based out of Westcott Beach State Park, the Thousand Islands Conservation Steward team is a four-member team travelling throughout the region helping parks complete trail projects.

Finger Lakes Region

The Finger Lakes Environmental Education Team is a four-member member team living and working together to create and deliver programs that will enhance the visitor experience at Watkins Glen, Taughannock Falls, Robert H. Treman, and Buttermilk Falls State Parks. The team will also act as spotters and trail clean-up crew for the Finger Lakes Region Scalers, a team that helps ensure the safe and timely opening of the gorge trail in our seven gorge parks by clearing off potential hazards from cliff walls. 

The Finger Lakes State Parks Trail Steward Crew is a two-member team living with the environmental education team and travelling throughout the region helping parks complete trail projects. Along with their own projects, the trail crew leads one-day volunteer groups to complete trail projects in their local state parks.

Allegany Region

Two members live together at Allegany State Park and engage in individualized internship opportunities, each with a specific focus:

The Environmental Interpreter develops interpretive programs for Lake Erie State Park and Long Point on Chautauqua State Park. This SCA members designs, promotes, and presents weekly programs between Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day at both parks.

The Volunteer Trails Program Steward contributes to achieving the agency’s mission of providing safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities by developing a recreational trail volunteer program for Allegany State Park. The members will solicit volunteer assistance in performing manual work on recreational trails, organize and conduct trail maintenance techniques training to volunteers and organize and perform their own trail work.

Niagara Region

The Environmental Educator at Reinstein Woods assists with diversity programs aimed at connecting underserved youth with nature. The member leads educational tours and stewardship activities for school groups, patrons, youth groups. 

The Invasive Species Management Steward maps, monitors, and removes invasive species and develops invasive species management plans for New York State Parks. 

The Environmental Educator creates programs, leads groups on hikes, and helps with school field trip groups. 

Interested in SCA New York State Parks Corps?

Student Conservation Association
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