SCA Washington, D.C.

Serving D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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 a summer 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. In Washington, D.C., the SCA began fielding local community conservation programs starting in the mid-90s. Since then, more than 2,000 high school students ages 15-19 from around the capital region have built and maintained trails, constructed boardwalks, managed invasive species and completed countless other projects. Thousands more (ages 5-19) have participated in environmental education activities and completed service projects through the SCA’s D.C. Urban Tree House Program.

For more than 20 years, and with generous support from donors, the SCA has provided young people from the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland with opportunities to serve their broader community by completing conservation projects in national, state, and regional parks while participating in valuable environmental education and recreational activities.

Current Opportunities

Urban Tree House Field Leader and Urban Tree House Interns
The SCA is seeking a Field Leader (age 18+) and two interns (age 18+) for its acclaimed Urban Tree House Environmental Education Program for youth (ages K-12) in the Washington, D.C., area. Based at Anacostia Park, the program provides young people an opportunity to have fun experiences in nature, become aware of their relationship with the environment, and participate in hands-on conservation service projects. The Urban Tree House team will host two sessions daily and collaborate on lesson plans and activities. The Field Leader will supervise the interns and is responsible for daily program management. The interns will help facilitate small group activities. Expected dates: June 12 – Aug. 7. Pay: $18/hr.

Natural Resource Management Intern
The SCA is seeking a Natural Resource Management Intern to work at Prince William Forest park in Northern Virginia. This role will identify and inventory non-native and native plant species, and develop maps and other educational products. The intern will also have the opportunity to work with researchers on other conservation projects including forest restoration/reclamation projects, water-quality, stream assessments, vegetation inventories, bird surveys, bat surveys and interpretive programs. Expected dates: June 26, – Sept. 1. Pay: $600/week Living Allowance, One-time round-trip Travel Allowance: $1,100 paid once (personal vehicle is required), Housing allowance: $1000 / month (four payments total throughout the position), Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,678.57, received upon successful completion of this position.

Volunteer & Youth Programs Fellow
The SCA is seeking a Volunteer & Youth Programs Fellow to work at Rock Creek Park. This position will assist with youth program development and management, such as youth engagement and opportunities within the park, and support the Roving Ranger volunteer program. Expected dates: June 19, 2023 – June 14, 2024. Pay: One-time travel allowance of $1,100 (pre-tax), Weekly living allowance: $600 / week (pre-tax), Eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the position valued at $6,495, Eligible for health insurance if accepting AmeriCorps.

Our Programs

High School (Ages 15-19)

  • Volunteer School Year Programs – These programs typically occur on weekends during the school year doing a variety of environmental education and service-related projects. High school members earn volunteer hours towards their required community service hours to graduate.
  • Summer High School Conservation Crew – These paid programs occur during the summer June-August season and offer members a transformative experience outdoors learning about the conservation job field.

Young Adult (Ages 18+)

  • Team-based Programs – Young adult crew members are supervised by an adult Crew Leader and as a team they complete an array of field-based conservation projects. Each crew has its own goals, including removing invasive plants from specific areas in a park, restoring dams, clearing downed hazard trees and more. Past Young Adult Crews include Maintenance Crews, Invasive Plant Removal Crews, Towpath Crews, Wayfinder Crews and more.

Internships (Ages 18+)

  • Urban Tree House – A valuable environmental education resource for youth in the Metropolitan D.C. Area. The Urban Tree House Program is the SCA’s environmental education program located in Anacostia Park in Southeast Washington, D.C., where SCA staff provide free environmental education programs and activities for area youth (ages K-12) covering an array of topics, including urban ecosystems, watersheds, stewardship, conservation and sustainability, environmental ethics, wildlife and ecology. The Urban Tree House Program includes hands-on and interactive components to complement an active outdoor environmental curriculum. For questions or interest with the Urban Tree House, please email: [email protected].
  • Tree & Fire Internship – Interns work alongside professional arborists with the National Park Service and are responsible for conservation projects, including assisting journeyman-level tree workers to move, remove, and prune hazardous trees to preserve the natural spaces. Fire Fighter Type 2 training is provided and there is the possibility to participate in a two-week wildfire detail. 
  • Coming Soon: Roots Together Program

Professional Development and Trainings 

  • Resume Building
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Project WET/Project WILD Training
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills
  • CPR

Key Partners

  • D.C. Aquatic Resource Education Center
  • District Department of Transportation
  • District Department of the Environment
  • National Capital Parks-East
  • US Forest Service
  • National Park Service
  • Rails to Trails
  • Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission


SCA Washington, D.C. Office
Email: [email protected]

Student Conservation Association