SCA Pittsburgh

The SCA is a national non-profit changing lives through hands-on conservation work in the outdoors. Our program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces at various locations across the country. After working with the SCA, program participants emerge with increased environmental awareness, social responsibility and leadership skills.

Through its Urban Green Program, the SCA provides young people with paid green jobs, including single-day service projects, seasonal work and year-long internships or fellowships. The SCA has been fielding conservation crews in Pittsburgh for more than 20 years. Our largest and longest-running program is our High School Summer Program, which provides youth with a 6-week summer job doing hands-on conservation work in city parks and community green spaces. Our high school summer crews meet for 30 hours a week, Monday through Friday, performing service work such as improving trails, removing invasive species, and improving community gardens.

In addition to the physical labor project, the crews also perform hands-on environmental education activities to better understand the ecosystems they are working in, how their work is improving habitat for plants and animals, and the relationship between humans and nature. No previous work experience is required, just a strong desire to be outdoors and a willingness to try new things.  

The SCA High School Summer Program starts the last week of June and runs through the first week of August each year. To be eligible for the program youth must first enroll in the City of Pittsburgh’s Learn and Earn program. 

Fall and Spring job opportunities designed around school schedules are often available for people who successfully complete our summer program.  

Current Opportunities

Seattle Community Crew Leader
Lead, supervise, transport, and mentor a team of five high school students (ages 14-19) for seven weeks. Complete an assortment of hands-on conservation projects including trail construction and rehabilitation, general trail management, natural resource enhancements, and invasive species removal across multiple Seattle Parks and Recreation sites and the Washington Park Arboretum. Plan and lead weekly educational field days and integrate career exploration, leadership development, and team building. Administrative and reporting duties are required, including data management, photo documentation, and youth assessments. Crew leaders will also be expected to facilitate an environmental education curriculum which will be provided. Expected dates: June 12 – Aug. 25. Pay: $840/wk.

Key Partners

  • This program runs in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh Learn and Earn program and the Parks Department.  
  • More than a dozen foundations and local organizations provide financial, material, and educational support for the program.  


Fall 2022 Crew

2022 National Public Lands Day event in Riverview Park

Every summer for the last 7 years we have:

  • Engage 45-80 high school youth 
  • Builds or improves 10 miles of trails
  • Improves over 20 acres of public land
  • Maintains at least 5 acres of urban farmland
  • Plants or maintains 300 trees
  • In end-of-program surveys, more than 75% of participants will report that they have learned valuable conservation and employment skills, and are better prepared to address environmental issues and to contribute in positive ways to their communities.


SCA Pittsburgh
Darren Gruetze, Program Manager
Email: [email protected].