Maybe as you’ve hiked an Adirondack trail you’ve come across a trail crew of the Student Conservation Association and wondered about these young people doing the heavy lifting that makes your hike accessible and enjoyable: placing boulders for steps, digging water bars to keep the path from washing out, building log-and-stone cribs to hold a bridge of massive spruce stringers. Why are they doing this for five and ten days at a stretch, sometimes for twelve hours in a day?Read more
Adirondack AmeriCorps Program
Late May – Early October
Number of members: 18
Created in 1998, SCA’s Adirondack AmeriCorps Program is dedicated to recognizing, preserving, and interpreting the nationally signiﬁcant historical, cultural, and natural resources of New York’s Adirondack region. The Adirondack Park is a 6 million-acre preserve made up of a unique mix of private and public lands in upstate New York.
The Adirondack AmeriCorps program is a ﬁve-month residential internship with a focus on trail maintenance and construction. Members serve in teams of ﬁve in remote backcountry settings for up to 10 days at a time, working alongside the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation throughout the majority of the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park. Projects include new trail construction, extensive timber bridge construction, dry stone masonry, removal of invasive vegetation, ﬁre tower rehabilitation, historic building restoration, and trail maintenance. Adirondack Program members share a residential community where they live and work alongside one another for the duration of the season. The cooperative nature and strong team dynamic of the program fosters an incredibly rewarding experience.
Members who successfully complete the program will receive SCA certification as Conservation Field Specialists. Additionally, members receive or have the option to receive the following trainings or certiﬁcations:
- Advanced Wilderness First Aid
- CPR Certiﬁcation
- Game of Logging Chainsaw Certiﬁcation
- Basic Rigging
- Extensive Trail Construction and Maintenance Skills
- Back Country Living Skills
- Leadership and Communication
Members of the Adirondack AmeriCorps program uses traditional 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 Adirondack Park. Members also gain valuable professional connections with NYSDEC, extensive technical skills, and leadership experience.
Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25, and must pass a background check.
Members receive monthly living stipends and are provided with food and housing for the duration of the program.