SCA Northwest Indiana

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, including the Bay Area. 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. Throughout 2022, bp America and the SCA fueled youth conservation programs in the Greater Chicago area and Northwest Indiana with a focus on equity in the outdoors and environmental justice.

The SCA fielded its first community conservation program in Northwest Indiana in 2016. Partnering with the U.S. Forest Service, CommuniTree, local municipalities and the National Park Service, crews have worked on a variety of conservation projects to maintain and advocated for increased green space. Since that first year, more than 10,000 trees have been planted across the region to increase the urban forest and overall tree canopy. Thanks to local environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups, the SCA continues to provide conservation opportunities to Northwest Indiana young adults each year.

The SCA Northwest Indiana Community Program offers both volunteer and paid service opportunities. Volunteer programs occur on weekends, while paid service programs run five days a week in the summertime. Members serve at sites in and around Northwest Indiana while working in Urban Forestry and Ecological Restoration fields. Participants gain job-specific training and certifications while exploring green jobs and building leadership skills. Crew members also learn about the local environment through educational field trips, outdoor recreation and service projects.

During the program, participants learn how to work as members of a diverse team of peers; gain knowledge of public land resources, environmental issues, and career readiness skills; increase understanding of environmental and trail restoration techniques; acquire experience in public service and outdoor recreation; and develop valuable professional skills through teambuilding and leadership activities.

Current Opportunities

Indiana Dunes National Park Restoration Crew Leader (Porter, Ind.)
This position supervises a team of SCA crew members on natural resources management and restoration projects at three locations within Indiana Dunes National Park. Crew leaders will be paid $840 weekly. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age.

Calumet Tree Conservation Corps Crew Member (Lisle, Ill.)
Crew members will help plant 500 trees across East Chicago, Hammond, Whiting, Gary and Hobart, Ind. The crew will work closely with SCA and U.S. Forest Service staff to recruit, develop, and support community volunteers to help increase the number of people dedicated to nature-based solutions for combating pollution and climate change. Members will be expected to engage with local community members and corporate partners at designated volunteer events, mostly on Saturday mornings. Crew members will be paid $15/hr. and will work 35 hours Tuesday-Saturday. Applicants must be age 18 or older.

Davey Resource Group Ecological Restoration Crew Member (South Bend, Ind.)
Crew members will work alongside environmental restoration technicians and project managers to help with plating native plants, installing trees and shrubs, invasive species control and other tasks related to habitat restoration. Members will receive on-the-ground training for hand and power tool use, herbicide application and gain exposure to careers in urban forestry. Crew members will also have the opportunity to participate in environmental education and professional development workshops, training sessions and travel for special projects across the state. Crew members will be paid $18/hr. for up to 40 hrs./week and $27/hr. for occasional optional overtime up to 5 additional hrs./week. Applicants must be age 18 or older.

Trainings Offered

  • CPR Certification
  • Resume Building
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills
  • Chainsaw Certification

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for young adult programs, must be at least 18 years of age. Other requirements vary by position. In order to participate in paid programs, applicants must be able to produce valid citizenship documents.

Key Partners

  • USFS
  • bp America
  • CommuniTree
  • Local Municipalities


Applicants for Northwest Indiana Community programs should direct their questions to SCA Program Manager, Leo Sawyers via email at [email protected].

Student Conservation Association