Student Conservation Association (SCA) help restore Grouse Ridge

SCA Students 4


Every summer, hundreds of young people age 15 and over are placed in crews of 6 or 8 throughout the United States to help with our public lands. They assist the U.S. Forest Service, the Park Service and other federal lands working for a group called the Student Conservation Association, or the SCA.

This year, Cecilia Reed, Recreation Assistant for the Tahoe National Forest, had the privilege of working with a crew of six energetic young students and two crew leads. The students traveled from the Vallejo area to help with the Grouse Ridge non-motorized area restoring campsites by eliminating fire-rings and hauling out trash visitors left behind. They also helped with the maintenance and painting of signs and tables in the Milk Lake, Stanford Lake and Round Lake areas. The students also assisted Reed at the Grouse Ridge Campground area

Cecilia wants to remind campers of the Leave-No-Trace ethics which educates people on how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Leave No Trace ethics builds awareness, appreciation and respect for wildlands. Cecilia reminds campers to “please leave the campsites the way you found them.” Leave No Trace was developed to educate and guide recreationists in sustainable minimum impact practices that mitigate or avoid recreation-related impacts.  For more information, visit the Leave-No-Trace website.


SCA Students 3

This year, SCA volunteers help restore Grouse Ridge Lookout Campground by assisting with overdue maintenance of the facility. They also helped cleanup campsites in the Grouse Ridge non-motorized area by eliminating fire-rings and hauling out trash visitors left behind. (Photo credit: Cecilia Reed)


Experience has taught Cecilia that these youthful, energetic young people are the single largest asset for getting work completed on our public lands. “We believe improving the community, as well as the environment, go hand in hand,” Reed says. “We are so grateful to have the assistance of the SCA students, they do a very good job.”

The projects performed by these crews typically vary. The Conservation Crews usually do trail work on public lands. But, sometimes they help with construction or erosion control, depending on the needs of the public lands of which they are assisting. Other projects may also include restoration of tourist-impacted areas and invasive species removal. This year the restoration project lasted about 5 days.

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a non-profit group whose mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land through service opportunities, outdoor skills, and leadership training.

SCA is a supported by the federal government, foundations, corporations, and other donors engaging young people in public service work with a goal of helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. Participants commit to full-time or part-time positions offered by a network of nonprofit community organizations to fulfill assignments in the field.

In exchange for serving as SCA members, they receive a basic stipend after completing their program. An intangible benefit that includes the opportunity to be a part of a community where folks are passionate and collaborative. Tahoe National Forest recreation opportunities would not be the same if not for this public service minded group. Our hats are off to the young people who work so hard each summer, and to Cecilia Reed who is always there when we need her.

On days off, the SCA crew may undertake an ambitious hike or just relax around camp. At the end of their conservation project, all crews take a short recreation trip to enjoy the area, often a backpacking trip.

For more information on SCA or to apply for summer jobs, visit Student Conservation Association.