Student Conservation Association: Rescuing National Parks


Back in September the New York Times covered the 50-year old Student Conservation Association (SCA), with the writer asking "Ever wonder who builds the stairs on hiking trails deep in the woods"? When this writer was very young his father pointed out trails and buildings that were built by the now long gone, but never to be forgotten, Civilian Conservation Corps (also known as Roosevelt's Tree Army). That was from a time when job creation was as important as tree planting or building recreational facilities. Jumping forward several generations, the Student Conservation Association's "crew of 3,000, mostly high school and college students" assist a variety of Federal Agencies, helping to continue programs that lack budget support.Per the Times, "It [SCA] deploys three types of workers among various public land agencies. Conservation interns are undergraduate or graduate students who spend 3 to 12 months working on field projects like land surveying or bird tracking. Interns' expenses are paid, and they receive a stipend. The association also dispatches interns to tackle large-scale land projects like fire prevention and detection of burn-prone areas and weeding out of invasive plant species. Each summer it also deploys conservation crews of six to eight high school students recruited through their school and two adults on 15- to 35-day labor-intensive projects like clearing and maintaining trails".

The SCA's rather nice website includes staff picks of upcoming paid internship opportunities -- just the thing for planning next summer's learning/giving adventure.