The Student Conservation Association's Online Community
Greg Jackson has not received any gifts yet
I have been involved with the SCA since 2008 and have no plans to end my involvement. I started out as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the New Hampshire Conservation Corps and spent 10 months living and working with 30 fellow corpsmembers on a variety of projects around the state. From January through April we taught environmental education to local 4th grade classes and spent our evenings mentoring middle and high school youth at the Salvation Army's afternoon homework center and evening meal program. During this time we lived in rustic wood cabins built by the CCC and heated with wood-burning stoves. May was our training month where we became certified Wilderness First Responders through Aerie Backcountry Medicine, became certified sawyers through the Soren Erickson Game of Logging chainsaw training, and learned the ropes of trail design, construction and maintenance. I spent June through October working on five "hitches" where we spent 2-4 weeks working on projects ranging from beachfront parks beautification to constructing yurts and building rock staircases in NH state parks.
After a few months back home in Minnesota, I felt the itch to get back out on the trail so I joined an SCA leader crew at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. We spent two months living right next to the Appalachian Trail and built a new multi-use trail through the park.
During the summer of 2009 I led my first two National Crews and had an incredible experience. I co-led two groups of six high school students on 30-day crews. The first was on the Appalachian Trail in northwest Connecticut and southwest Massachusetts. We built two rock staircases, a timber bridge, and dozens of water bars and also took a recreation trip to Cape Cod. In July-August, I co-led a crew in the Grand Tetons and couldn't believe that I was actually getting paid for this!
After a long year of graduate school, I once again felt the urge to get back on the trail, so I signed up to lead two more National Crews, one in Denali National Park and another on the Pacific Crest Trail in southern Oregon. both locations were amazing and we got a ton of work done. I still think of Denali as the most beautiful place I've ever been and can't wait to go back for more wilderness backpacking!
After a hiatus to finish graduate school, I jumped on another leader crew in the spring of 2012, this time on the PCT in southern California. We spent 6 weeks maintaining the trail by removing brush and clearing away trees and bushed that were crowding the trail and leading to some pretty bad erosion issues.
I've also been a member of the Alumni Council since April 2010. It has been a great way to stay involved with SCA and help organize SCA alums around conservation service projects. I now live in Seattle where I'm involved with the SCA Community Crew and Conservation Leadership Corps which works to engage high school youth from the Seattle area in conservation work.