Conservation Curriculum Reader Survey Says?

Thank you to everyone who participated in our latest survey about the Conservation Curriculum Reader for youth programs. As promised here are the results below for you all to enjoy and reflect upon. We will be using this information in the planning process for upcoming youth programs. Specifically, addressing some of the key concerns around specific implementation strategies, reducing the number of hours of teaching in the field, and tailoring the resource to be more program specific. So, thank you again for your time and effort. We greatly appreciate your help in the crafting of SCA’s educational message.

CCR Survey Results Summary 2013

NJ Crew Leader Training is a Blast!

It’s our favorite time of year again, training season. Throughout the last six months we’ve been playing phone tag, emailing and once even faxed with you, but now is the time to really connect, learn and grow before we head out to for the 2013 summer season.

We as an organization take all of your feedback seriously and implement changes based off of said feedback each year. If you have completed a Crew Leader Training, please take the End of Leader Training Survey.

New Jersey training is in full force with Community Programs from: Baltimore, Boston, Connecticut, NJ, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and a couple Leaders from Pittsburgh, Houston, and Detroit. Here are a few fun pictures from training so far:

 

Joshua Tree Leader Team a Success!

From Left to Right: Justin Quinn, Kara Conner, Emily Lord, Sunny Tsou, and Project Leader Joe Hall.

A Leader Team in Joshua Tree, focusing on native plant re-vegetation, just finished up last week. The crew length was short but with only one week on the ground they were still able to plant 300 over plants including; Joshua Trees, Yucca, native grasses and others. They also watered 355 plants and recorded data for over 115 other plants in the “Hall of Horrors”.  All of the Leaders on the crew will be leading for SCA’s National program this summer. This team was a “fantastic opportunity  to shake and winter cobwebs off before the upcoming National Crew season.” 

 

 

Hurricane Sandy Relief Team

After Hurricane Sandy demolished the New Jersey coast line, The SCA knew they needed to act. It wasn’t clear how easy it would be to staff a Leader Team of S212 chain saw certified Leaders with only a two week window until Liz Vogel sent out an email calling on recent Field Leaders to lend a hand. Within 48 hours there were over 30 qualified Leaders who wanted to help. This out pouring of support helped illuminate what it means to be a Leader, it isn’t just a job, it’s an intentional decision to act when others are unable to help themselves. It’s the desire to get dirty, sweaty, and exhausted all to see the look on peoples faces whose lives you have touched. These Leaders are humble and hard-working; this post serves to share their effort and dedication to SCAs mission.

Jarred Shaw, Leah Cantor, Alex Terry, Jennica Tamler, and Dan Solmon comprised the two week Leader Team and were joined by SCA Staff; Rachel Lettre, Lori Robertson, Nelson Bruni, Will Kirkpatrick, Melissa Paterson, Daniel Parr and Ted Miller.

The following are a few before and afters to represent the amount of damage Sandy had done and the amount of clean-up the crew accomplished.

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Before: 

(Almost) After: 

Other Work / Crew Photos:  

The Crew gets coffee and thank-you’s from the Park Service Staff.                                                            -All photos courtesy of Leah Cantor

 

 

 

 

The SCA would like to send out a huge thank you not only to the Leaders and program staff that served on this crew, but also to the other 30 Leaders who wanted to help the people and parks of New Jersey. As the number of natural disasters per year grows, so does the need for passionate, driven, and socially minded Leaders. Moving forward, The SCA is looking to become more active in disaster relief, if you have an interest in serving on a Disaster Relief Crew in the future please send an email to [email protected] with “Disaster Relief” in the subject line. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!

Silent Swamp – An Evergreen Trail Building “Mockumentary”

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is serious about sustainable trail building but this Mockumentary they put together is hardly that. It’s about the new Silent Swamp / Preston to NW Timber connector trail and what it took to make it. It’s super entertaining and articulates what it means to be a sustainable Bike trail while giving a sneak peek at the new connector trail and some cool bike footage. Check out the Video here: Silent Swamp – An Evergreen Trail Building “Mockumentary”.

Moots Builds a Trail Building Bike

The Steamboat Springs based bike company Moots, has put together the “ultimate bike for trail building.”

Moots’ awesome titanium creation is first and foremost a go-anywhere, do-anything rig with enormous 50mm-wide Surly Rabbit Hole 29er rims wrapped with 3in-wide Surly Knard tires 

The as-yet-unnamed bike’s payload will certainly help forge one if necessary. The rear rack handily secures a full-sized chainsaw (complete with custom titanium blade cover, no less), the matching front rack anchors a wicked three-piece custom titanium McLeod, while a custom front triangle bag stores other essentials such as a folding saw, pruners, and rain gear. There’s even space in between the longtail’s rear wheel and seat tube for a 0.6L bottle of fuel.

All in – chainsaw included – the nearly 100 percent titanium machine weighs in at a surprisingly svelte 19kg (42lb).

Moots is not planning on putting the bike into mass production, but they instead built the beast to show that trails can be built without the aide of motorized vehicles. For more info and to see more pics visit the original Cycling News article here.

Boston Community Crew Makes Headlines

Boston’s crew at Buena Vista Park in the Roxbury neighborhood made headlines this week for their hard work and efforts to help change both the perception of the park  and its access.

The crew reclaimed the former drug haven and turned it into a: “place for kids to play, & people to sit.” says Henry (crew member)

The partner agency is ecstatic about the work completed. When speaking about the Buena Vista park project, Peter Sutton (the Urban Wild and Open Space Manager from the Boston Parks Department) said: “This is 100 percent better.”
“This work doesn’t happen overnight,” says Ne’kai, a member from Dorchester. “I’ve encountered positive [feedback] from neighbors. I think if they see us doing this, they should join, and start to see this as their responsibility.”

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“It’s a relief,” says Dimera, a youth worker from the area. “I used to walk by this every day and think ‘We should do something about this.’”

We’d like to give a huge thank you to the Leaders in Boston for making your projects so successful for the members, our partners, and the communities.

Link to Article on digboston.com

LNT Master Educators Course

In SCA’s ongoing effort to certify more staff as Leave No Trace Master Educators, SCA’s Safety & Training Department will be hosting multiple courses
this year that will be a three-day backpacking trip.

Days will be spent hiking and stopping along the way to discuss and learn the skills and techniques of Leave No Trace as well as teaching techniques for sharing it with others.  After  completing the course, it is possible to teach both the Awareness and Trainer level courses that LNT offers as well as assisting with Master courses.

Cost for the course will be at or below $300.  This is an absolute bargain with many Master Educator courses running in the $700-$830 range.  The price includes all instruction, food, and Leave No Trace materials.  This price is for SCA staff (full time and seasonal) only.  If any non-SCA people are interested in attending, please have them contact me directly.

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Safety and [email protected]

SCA’s Detroit CLC

SCA’s Detroit CLC gets a shout-out and a slide show from The Huffington Post this week. “I had a negative view of [Eliza Howell] park,” crew member Barri Tiggle says in the feature, “but it kind of changed over time and now everything is just open and colorful.” Crew leader Jhon Clark is also quoted in the story, saying the CLC is trying to make the park “more acceptable and friendly.”

 

This excerpt from the article sums up the crews hard work:

The Eliza Howell Park crew certainly had their hands full this summer. Their work included cutting grass from a parking lot to the woods; laying down a wood chip path; widening a trail that had become impassable; creating a new path to the existing  Eliza Howell Nature Trail; using downed logs to build “check steps” into a path to slow erosion and improve access; constructing a 24-foot wood bridge over a drainage ditch leading into the Rouge River; and building a sign to let others know about their project.

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“The work was pretty intense, but we got it done,” said Barri Tiggle, an 18-year crew member who will be attending Grand Valley State University this fall.

Great job Detroit leaders! your hard work has paid off!

Blue Ridge Parkway Crew Wins Outstanding Youth Award!

This summer the Blue Ridge Parkway SCA Highlands crew, led by Kara Conner and Jeffrey Stenzel,  won the yearly Blue Ridge Outstanding Youth Award. Mark Mallette, the agency contact, nominated them for outstanding service by a youth group.

The crew had a variety of projects to work on during their time at the Blue Ridge. They widened sections of the side hill tread along the Bluff Mountain Trail in the Doughton Park area along the Blue Ridge Parkway. In their twenty one working days they completed 1500 feet of tread work. In addition the crew accompanied NPS staff in the tearing down and rebuilding of 3 split rail fences along the parkway totaling 2050 feet of fence. They also had the unique opportunity of building a bridge from Locust along the Bluff Mountain Trail.

The SCA volunteer crew was highlighted in the FRIENDS of The Blue Ridge Parkway Newsletter. The article included a photo of the crew and another of a fence built. A warm thank you was included and each crew member was given a copy of the newsletter.

Although the crew members came from different backgrounds they formed a bond during their time in the Blue Ridge. They camped, cooked, and lived together for thirty days while always joking around and having fun. They came to appreciate one another for their differences and learned about themselves as well.

Congrats to the crew and particularly the leaders for doing such an incredible job in running an excellent crew and for being such stand up representatives of the SCA and its  mission. Job well done Kara and Jeff!