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About SCC

Salida Trail CrewSouthwest Conservation Corps (SCC) 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 Southwest Conservation Corps program model incorporates guiding principles of experiential learning, respect, openness and willingness, commitment, responsibility, pride, excellence, health, safety, and fun. SCC is a program of Conservation Legacy (formerly Southwest Conservation Corps) that was founded in 1998 to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. Conservation Legacy also supports other nationwide conservation programs including: Arizona Conservation Corps, Environmental Stewards and Southeast Youth Corps.(these will be linked)

Building water barsSouthwest Conservation Corps offers programs year-round based in regional offices located in Durango, CO, Salida, CO and the Acoma Pueblo in NM. SCC operates a continuum of programs from community-based initiatives for teens to backcountry camping crews for high school and college aged individuals along with leadership programs for college graduates and job training programs specifically for current era veterans. Programs are completed in partnership with public land agency managers and most are AmeriCorps programs.

SCC service projects take place throughout Southwest Colorado and Northern New Mexico. On a typical project, Corps members work, learn and camp in teams with up to six crewmembers and 2 crew leaders. Projects include trail building, fuels reduction, riparian restoration, erosion control, tree planting, fencing, and exotic plant removal.

Corps members earn a living allowance while learning valuable work and life skills. Through the program structure, SCC places a strong focus on leadership development and environmental stewardship. SCC’s strengths lie not only in its ability to assist public agencies meet their conservation project goals, but also in its ability to provide a viable work force to the region while offering exceptional educational and engaging opportunities to participants.

Alpine Trail CrewClearing Downed Tree - Rito Alto TrailField Maintenance of Saws

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“You may be wondering by now are these guys Navy Seals? Olympic athletes? Astronauts in training? No. We are a trail crew and we’re here to dig.”