Excelsior Conservation Corps

Excelsior Conservation Corps


  • Program Dates:
    February - December 
  • Number of members: 50
  • Application Review Begins:
  • SCA’s application fee is waived for this program.
  • Download the flyer

Excelsior Conservation Corps Created in 2015 as a Governor’s Initiative, the Excelsior Conservation Corps (ECC) is a ten-month residential AmeriCorps program that partners with:

AmericorpsAmeriCorps: AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions, like Excelsior Corps, where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic PreservationThe Mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources.

Environmental Facilities CorporationThe Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) is a public benefit corporation which provides financial and technical assistance primarily for water quality infrastructure projects.

NYS Department of Environmental ConservationThe NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s mission is to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment.

The ECC works on environmental stewardship projects on NYS DEC and NYS OPRHP public lands that result in the protection of natural resources, thus helping to sustain these resources over the long term for the benefit of the New York State community. Based on the needs identified by partners, ECC members will be divided in to the following crews:

Mixed Stewardship (2 total crews)

These crews will work on a diversity of projects which may include invasives removal, trail construction and/or improvement, erosion control, basic carpentry projects, chainsaw projects, culvert assessments, and GPS/GIS resource mapping.

Infrastructure and Sustainability (1 crew) 

This crew will be focused on projects that help improve the infrastructure of buildings and lands while also improving sustainability.  Projects may include weatherization, historic preservation, improving energy efficiency by installing lighting retrofits and solar panels, basic carpentry, and masonry work.

Surveying and Assessment (1 crew)

This crew will be focused on surveying for invasive species or habitat types, assessing culverts using North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) guidelines, GPS/GIS resource mapping, and other related projects.

Environmental Outreach & Education (1 crew)

This crew will be focused on doing education and outreach for each agency. The team may be broken down into smaller crews of 2-4 if needed. From Memorial Day to Labor Day the crew will be doing weekly programing at campgrounds, environmental education centers, or nature centers.  The projects for this team may include interpretive trail building and design, outreach at fairs and festivals, creating educational videos, and conducting interpretive education programing.

ECC members will also plan and facilitate volunteer service projects that will introduce over 1,000 volunteers to natural resource management, trail repair and maintenance, habitat restoration, and general conservation stewardship efforts.

Members will receive extensive trainings and certifications that will help prepare them to safely and successfully complete assigned projects.  Members of Excelsior Corps are eligible to receive the following trainings or certifications:

  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA)
  • CPR Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer
  • Comprehensive Trail Construction & Maintenance Skills
  • OSHA 10 Construction Certification
  • Outdoor Living Skills

Education and Outreach members also receive the following trainings and certifications:

  • Curriculum Trainings
  • Project Wet
  • Project Wild
  • Project Learning Tree
  • Certified Interpretive Guide Training

All other members may receive the following trainings and certifications:

  • Native Timber & Stonework
  • Carpentry*
  • Game of Logging Chainsaw Certification
  • Basic Rigging
  • Crew Management and Leadership
  • S-190 - Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior*
  • NAACC GPS/GIS mapping*

(* members will specialize in one of these skills)

Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 and have lived or attended school in New York State. The age for Veterans is extended to age 28. Also, veterans do not need to have New York affiliation. All applicants must be able to pass a criminal background check.

Members receive monthly living stipends and are provided with food and housing for the duration of the program.

Interested in serving with the Excelsior Conservation Corps?

  • Contact [email protected] with any questions regarding the program or application process. Once you have started your application contact [email protected] to have your application fee waived.
  • Follow the Excelsior Conservation Corps on Facebook.
  • Follow the Excelsior Conservation Corps on Twitter.


Related Posts & Program Information

Excelsior Conservation Corps Members

The Excelsior Conservation Corps is gearing up to start their third field season! While they begin preparations for a new class of members, slated to arrive in March, they recently reached out to a few Year One members to see what they are up to now:

Read more
SCA Excelsior Corps project leaders gathered at their home base in SUNY Morrisville

SCA Excelsior Conservation Corps members have hit the field for their first hitches at park sites across New York State. Working in five teams of ten members each, the Corps tackles critical conservation projects from New York City to the Adirondacks. SCA Excelsior Project Leaders share some of the best moments — and biggest surprises — during their first days in the field…

Read more
SCA Excelsior Corps members gather for orientation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently  announced the launch of New York State’s Excelsior Conservation Corps, a new statewide AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program managed by SCA.

Read more
The Excelsior Conservation Corps, a joint program with SCA, AmeriCorps and New York State,  will restore, enhance and protect New York's natural resources.

Governor Cuomo announced the launch of New York State’s Excelsior Conservation Corps, a new AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program for 18 to 25 year olds. Once enrolled in the program, members will perform meaningful environmental projects across New York State while gaining hands on-experience and skills in conservation careers.

Read more