Department of Environmental Conservation

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AmeriCorps Members in DEC

Teaching, Serving, Learning, and Earning

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DEC's long association with youth conservation programs began in the 1930s with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and continues today with several AmeriCorps programs managed by the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Through these partnerships, young men and women complete a wide range of conservation service projects, such as watershed protection, trail enhancement, wildlife habitat protection, and public education and outreach. Within DEC, the Bureau of Environmental Education in the Division of Operations, coordinates our partnerships with AmeriCorps programs.

Today's AmeriCorps programs receive federal grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service. At DEC, AmeriCorps members serve full-time for 3-month, 5-month, or 10-month periods, depending on the program they are in. AmeriCorps members receive a modest living stipend and health benefits. Upon successful completion of the program, participants are eligible for an AmeriCorps educational award, used for higher education tuition or to repay student loans.

Student Conservation Association AmeriCorps Programs

Benefits: All members receive a biweekly living allowance, housing (or housing allowance), and health insurance. Members are eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award after successful completion of service. Members will receive some or all of the following trainings/certifications (varies by program):

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  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid & CPR Certification
  • Leadership & Communication
  • Extensive Trail Construction & Maintenance Skills
  • Basic Disaster Response Training
  • Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
  • Projects Learning Tree, WILD, & WET curricula
  • Back Country Living Skills
  • Resume, Cover Letter, and Interview skills
  • Professional Networking Opportunities for future employment in conservation or related fields

Hudson Valley Corps

Program Dates: January - November (10-month)
Basic Requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must pass a background check
For More Information: Contact Hudson Valley Corps staff at hudsonvalley@thesca.org or visit SCA Hudson Valley Corps [Leaving DEC's website]

At a Glance: Twelve members serve at various DEC sites across the Hudson Valley region and expand the public's knowledge about the river and its resources. Internships span multiple conservation disciplines, including environmental education, trail stewardship, invasive species management, and outdoor recreation. They also participate in special events such as Earth Day and various festivals throughout the region. Additional AmeriCorps members serve other agencies at sites from Saratoga Springs to New York City including NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), land trusts, and nonprofit organizations.

Excelsior Conservation Corps

Program Dates: February- November (10-month)
Basic Requirements: Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 (Veteran applicants up to age 28), and must pass a background check
For More Information: Contact Roger Dunn at rdunn@thesca.org or visit SCA Excelsior Conservation Corps [Leaving DEC's website]

At a Glance: 50 members work with the Governor's Office, DEC, OPRHP and NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (SEFC) to complete environmental stewardship projects on public lands. Members serve in teams of 10 on projects such as open space management, natural resource stewardship, infrastructure and sustainability, and environmental education & outreach.

Adirondack Corps

Program Dates: May - October (5-month)
Basic Requirements: Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 and must pass a background check
For More Information: Contact Jeremy Burns at jburns@thesca.org or visit SCA Adirondack Corps [Leaving DEC's website]

At a Glance: 18 members share a residential community in the Adirondacks, and serve in teams of 6 in remote backcountry settings for up to 10 days at a time. Members work alongside DEC on projects such as trail construction, dry stone masonry, timber bridge construction, invasive plant removal, fire tower rehabilitation, and historic building restoration.

Backcountry Stewards

Program Dates: May - October (3- and 5-month)
Basic Requirements: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must pass a background check; must have First Aid/CPR or WFA certification to be considered
For More Information: Contact Cynthia Bevacqua at cbevacqua@thesca.org

At a Glance: With support from DEC and the Environmental Protection Fund, 25 members hike and paddle through the Adirondacks, the Catskills, the shores of Lake Ontario, and beyond to protect natural resources, monitor usage, and provide public education services about the appropriate use of state lands. Members provide a direct communication link with Emergency Dispatch.

Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy

Many of the state forests and parks that we enjoy today were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1933 to 1942. DEC's partnerships with AmeriCorps programs reflect the lasting legacy of the CCC. Young men and women in today's corps develop skills and talents, while providing lasting benefits to our state's natural resources and communities.