The Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC), founded as a non-profit agency in 1998, provides young women and men with structured, safe and challenging service and educational opportunities through projects that promote personal growth, the development of social skills, and an ethic of natural resource stewardship. The SCC program model, built upon the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, incorporates guiding principles of experiential learning, respect, openness and willingness, commitment, responsibility, pride, excellence, health and safety, and fun.
SCC offers programs year-round throughout the Southwest from offices in Durango, CO, Salida, CO, Acoma, NM and Tucson, AZ. Most of SCC’s Colorado and New Mexico-based programs operate from March – October while most of the Arizona-based programs operate from September through April. SCC operates a continuum of programs from community-based initiatives for younger teens to residential camping crews for high school and college aged individuals to leadership programs for college graduates.
SCC service projects take place throughout a three state region: Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. On many projects Corpsmembers work, learn and commonly camp in teams with up to six crewmembers and 2 crew leaders. Projects include fuels reduction, erosion control, tree planting, trail building, fencing and exotic plant removal.
Corpsmembers earn a living allowance while learning valuable work and life skills. Innately, through the program structure, SCC places a strong focus on leadership development and environmental stewardship. SCC’s strengths lie not only in its service project accomplishments, but also in its ability to provide a viable work force to the region while offering exceptional educational and engaging opportunities to participants.
The youth conservation corps programs engage local youth ages 14-18 on conservation projects in local communities. Programs combine education and training with impactful conservation and service projects throughout Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Projects may include trail construction & maintenance, habitat improvement, re-vegetation, and local environmental service projects. This program focuses on engaging local youth in meaningful learning and service opportunities in their communities; most programs are day programs however there are some that involve camping.
AmeriCorps Conservation Camping Crews
Conservation crew program engaged young people ages 18 -25, to complete challenging and impactful conservation and service projects throughout Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Projects may include, trail construction & maintenance, habitat improvement, hazardous fuels reduction, re-vegetation and local environmental service projects. Crews may also complete technical and/or specialized projects depending on project partner needs, including disaster relief if the opportunity arises.
AmeriCorps Dolores River Restoration Program
Young men and women age 18-25 complete noxious tree removal and riparian restoration activities on public and private lands along the Dolores River corridor in Southwest Colorado. The AmeriCorps DRRC is part of a large collaborative restoration initiative: the Dolores River Restoration Partnership. Projects will include: Tamarisk removal, habitat enhancement thinning projects, the potential for riparian planting, fencing and related activities. The collaborative nature of the program will find SCC crews training and working with partner corps programs (Canyon Country Youth Corps, Western Colorado Conservation Corps) on projects throughout the watershed.
AmeriCorps Veterans Fire Corps
Veterans Fire Corps program provides training and on-the-job experience for post 9-11 era veterans interested in entering into careers and gaining experience in natural resource management. The program engages participants in a cohort environment in which a team of recent era veterans works together to train and complete natural resource management projects, specifically related to fire fuels management and fuels reduction.
AmeriCorps Individual Placements
SCC engages individuals in positions with federal, state and local management agencies and environmentally focused non-profits. Members complete one or more projects focused on natural resource management, inventory, assessment, restoration, and/or protection. Members may also help with outreach and education activities focused on environmental education and environmental stewardship. SCC and partner sites provide opportunities for professional development and training as related to the specific position the member is engaged in.
Western Hardrock Watershed OSM/VISTA Team
Western Hardrock Watershed Team OSM/VISTA Volunteers enjoy a unique opportunity to work with grassroots environmental leaders, partner with government officials, collaborate with environmental businesses, experience the west and explore a wide range of future career paths and opportunities in the process. OSM/VISTA Volunteers live and work in communities that are confronting the environmental & economic challenges that remain from historic mining in the West.
Southwest Conservation Corps – Overview Video