SCA Massachusetts Forests and Parks AmeriCorps

SCA MA Forests and Parks AmeriCorps Program


Program Dates:
February - December
Number of members: 12

SCA’s MA Forests and Parks AmeriCorps is an inaugural program designed to engage enthusiastic conservationists to provide critical environmental outreach and stewardship in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Program Model:

The SCA Massachusetts Forests and Parks AmeriCorps program will be comprised of twelve AmeriCorps members serving with 2 partners at 2 sites. From February to October, all 12 members will complete conservation stewardship and historic preservation projects on public lands to improve and protect natural, cultural and historic resources in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Six members will serve with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) in the Boston area, and 6 members will serve with the Silvio O. Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge out of Hadley, MA. Members will serve under the guidance of Park and Refuge professionals to complete critical conservation projects and to provide environmental education and outreach to local communities. The projects selected will be based on the needs identified by DCR and Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

The 6 FT DCR members and 6 FT Conte members will serve in a team based model with specific guidance from conservation professionals from their respective agencies. The 12 Corps members will come together monthly to complete larger conservation projects, receive additional trainings, and develop a sense of camaraderie!

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR):

DCR is a state agency dedicated to protecting, promoting and enhancing the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Common Wealth for the well- being of all. AmeriCorps members serving with DCR will receive the skills, training and experience to begin a career in the conservation field.

Members will complete historic preservation projects, environmental education, trail work and general park support projects. Members will deploy in a full group of 6 to complete projects throughout the eastern part of the state, often camping and serving on the Boston Harbor Islands. Historic preservation projects will include carpentry repairs, brick/foundation repointing, reconstruction, window replacement, fundamental maintenance, and erosion control.

During the summer, members will complete month long environmental education rotations at local Parks. Additionally, members will help with Park Serve and Learn to Camp events.

Additionally, members will work on trails throughout the parks that they visit. Completing these projects will result in improved access to and sustainability of these public building and properties. As a result, the public will have opportunities to learn about the history and cultural significance of our public lands and facilities.

The Silvio O. Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge:

The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Hadley, Massachusetts is a federal agency is dedicated to strategically and collaboratively addressing the mounting challenges faced by conserving America’s wild plants, fish, animals and their habitats in our rapidly changing world.

The six AmeriCorps members serving at Conte will work on projects that include trail construction and maintenance on two Massachusetts divisions of the Silvio O. Conte Refuge. The 2017 crew will primarily be building on the work of previous SCA/AmeriCorps members on the Fort River Division of Hadley, MA as well as starting a new universally accessible birding and nature trail as part of their Springfield Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership in Longmeadow, MA.

Members will also gain experience developing and delivering environmental education in schools, special events, the Springfield Science Museum and summer camps. Members may collaborate with partners in MA in conjunction with fisheries sampling and research and will work with high school age Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) employees as well as volunteers of all ages and abilities.

Members who successfully complete the program will receive high quality trainings and professional development support from SCA staff. Additionally, members receive or have the option to receive the following trainings or certifications:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • CPR Certification
  • Carpentry Training
  • Hand and Power tools training
  • Extensive Trail Construction and Maintenance Skills
  • Lead Renovator Certification
  • Leave No Trace Training
  • Leadership and Communication Training

Members of the SCA MA Forests and Parks AmeriCorps program use 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 the Common Wealth of Massachusetts. Members also gain valuable professional connections with State, Federal and non-profit agencies, as well as leadership experience to prepare them for future employment.

Interested in SCA MA Forests and Parks AmeriCorps?

Contact: Nancy Perales [email protected]

Applicants must be age 18 or older, and must have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check.

Apply Now

DCR Historic Preservation Crew

Keegan Hall

My name is Keegan. I'm from the Seattle area and spent last year earning a Master’s Degree in Historical and Sustainable architecture over in London. This summer I interned with a conservation architect in London and spent the last few months traveling and doing exhibit installation. I am excited to get my hands dirty doing historic preservation with the DCR crew.

Emma Cuneen

Emma is from Butte, Montana. She graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Historic Preservation with a focus in the trades. After that she spent five months in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho with an SCA Conservation Corps. She loves hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, and basically anything outdoors, as well as playing music, and spending time with people. This will be her very first experience on the East Coast and is very excited for it.

Kelly Boyett

My name is Kelly Boyett. I started this internship when I was 19 years old, coming from Las Vegas Nevada. I have always been interested in working outdoors; bringing together my love for nature and the conservation and preservation of it. Living in Las Vegas I had a very narrow spectrum of outdoors to explore compared to the opportunities of exploration and adventure this SCA internship has provided me. I hope to use this time serving with the DCR to my benefit working with people, and out in nature in the future. I am very excited to start my journey into the woods and onto the next adventure.

Shelly Trivisonno

Hi! My name is Shelly Trivisonno and I am joining the SCA Massachusetts DCR team in Hingham. I'm an Ohio native where I attended the University of Toledo and graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in New Media Design and a minor in Art History and Business. After graduating, I worked with a program called Camp Adventure that provides youth programs for military children around the world. My love for the outdoors and my desire to serve lead me to SCA. My excitement for the coming ten months can be summed up in the following words by Robin Wall Kimmerer. "Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

Jake Pasa

My name is Jake Pasa and I am from the rural upstate town of Jefferson in New York. I recently graduated from Plattsburgh State University with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and a minor in geography. During my time at Plattsburgh, I was the treasurer of the Outing Club and the President of the Iota Nu chapter of Delta Sigma Phi. I am really excited about the opportunity to work with the SCA and the Massachusetts DCR on all of the exciting projects to come!

Carson Abrams

My name is Carson Abrams, and I am part of the DCR team! I'm from Valley, Alabama and graduated from Point University with a history degree in December 2015. I have never been to the Boston area, and I'm excited to explore and see the history there. I am a lover of books, an avid movie watcher, and a huge sports fan. I can’t wait to get started with all the projects we will be doing!

Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge Crew

John Riordan

John was born and raised in Southwestern Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. He graduated from Keene State College in 2015 with a Bachelors of arts in Geography. He has always had a love for maps and travel, which sparked his original interest in the subject. There are many activities John took part in while going to college in New Hampshire, which furthered his love for the outdoors. He has had two prior internships before working with the SCA in Hadley Massachusetts. The first was with a housing authority in Keene, New Hampshire as a sustainability and policy intern researching food access and community garden implementation. The second was with The HumanGeo in Arlington, Virginia as a geospatial analyst. He is excited to begin fieldwork with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the SCA in this upcoming internship at Silvio O. Conte Wildlife refuge.

June Arriens

June Arriens is from Guilford, Connecticut. She graduated from UConn in May 2016 with a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, she completed a plant community ecology internship at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, a long term ecological research site run by the University of Minnesota.

Ben Wetherbee

Ben is from Watertown, MA. He graduated from Skidmore College in May 2016, where he studied history with a mathematics minor. He spent his junior year abroad in Cork, Ireland, where he studied traditional Irish fiddle and archaeology. Growing up, he attended many years’ worth of nature camps. There, he gained an appreciation and curiosity for nature and science. He is really excited for the opportunity to be able to work with the environment and wildlife once again! Ben especially loves insects, fungi, and other "creepy" things. He also have a deep passion for playing Appalachian fiddle music and making art.

Sierra Seydel

My name is Sierra. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and as a child from an Air Force family, I have lived all over the US. However, I consider myself a Coloradan at heart. I graduate from Colorado State University (CSU) with a bachelor’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Conservation Biology (FWCB) with a concentration in Wildlife Biology. And though I studied the natural world in college, it has always been a huge part of my life and kind of the center for many of my life passions.

My love for nature and conservation began when I was a girl scout in elementary school. We would go on annual camp outs and I was always excited to explore the forests and sleep under the stars. My dad, brother, and I would go on hikes around our house and you couldn’t keep me out of the greenbelts. When we moved to Colorado, my love for the outdoor world grew with the increasing amount of opportunities to enjoy it. I knew that I wanted to save these incredible environments for people to enjoy, but also, to protect the plants and animals that inhabited them. While in high school, I struggled to figure out what degree path would fit with what I loved to do, and a friend of mine introduced me to the FWCB program at CSU. I immediately fell in love with the program and involved myself in the campus. I joined the Wildlife Society and the sorority Delta Delta Delta. I had a couple different jobs and an internship at a wildlife rehabilitation center that made me learn the true value of working hard for what you want in life. Throughout my coursework and work experiences both during and after college, I knew that I was doing something that not only mattered to me, but could allow me to help change the world!

I stumbled upon the Student Conservation Association (SCA) my freshman year of college as an alternative spring break option. Though I did not get into that particular program, I still kept up with the organization and looked for jobs through their site for a couple years. When I was chosen to interview, and eventually accept the position of Natural Refuge Intern at the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, I was thrilled! Though it was hard to leave my home state of Colorado for Massachusetts; to swap out my aspen trees for maple, my 14,000 foot mountains for ones that I barely consider to be hills, my comfort zone for the unknown. I knew that it was an opportunity I would hate myself for passing up. This position is going to allow me to get a taste of multiple sides of the conservation field. We will be working with youth through our watershed on wheels education program, taking fish population surveys utilizing electrofishing techniques, invasive species control, endangered species population and habitat work with both a mussel and beetle species, and maintaining trails and visitor satisfaction at a local park. As well as partnering with other crews to come together and put on community events. I am so fortunate to be able to take on this position and be able to work towards these conservation goals! And in the process, acquire personal and professional connects, narrow down what the future might hold, and personally grow to love this profession even more.

Brad Thornton

Brad Thornton grew up on a farm in northwest Missouri outside the city of St. Joseph. He graduated from Truman State University in 2016 with degrees in Biology, B.S. and Environmental Studies, B.A, but he started off as a pre-med student. One summer in college he served as a community garden coordinator with a public housing district for the elderly and disabled, and realized he was more passionate about environmental studies than he was medical sciences. Particularly, he enjoyed the community engagement and partnerships that enabled progress toward healthier and more sustainable communities.

Since that summer Brad continued to volunteer with the Green Thumb Project providing outdoor education to elementary school kids, he spent a semester abroad in the Himalayas studying sustainable development and community forestry as a means for community-based natural resource management, and a summer in New Mexico studying soil ecology. He is not entirely sure, yet, where his career path will lead, but is looking forward to serving with SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps on the Silvio O. Conte Refuge. As the only watershed-level refuge, the Silvio O. Conte requires partnerships between federal, state, and local agencies in order to ensure the successful protection of the Connecticut River Watershed. Serving with the Silvio O. Conte refuge will allow him to pursue his interests in both ecology field work and community engagement as equally important tools in conservation.