2018 Legacy Achievement Award Winner: Reginald "Flip" Hagood - Student Conservation Association (SCA)

The Corps Network’s Corps Legacy Achievement Award recognizes leaders with approximately 20 or more years of contribution to the Corps movement, who have served in a senior leadership position (CEO, Executive Director, Board Member, Vice President) for a Corps or multiple corps, and who have made a significant contribution to the movement (e.g. founded a Corps, brought a Corps to scale, served for approximately 15+ years as Executive Director/CEO of a Corps, served a key role as a national board member, made a significant national contribution through developing a nationwide project, etc.). Learn more.


Reginald “Flip” Hagood has many years of service under his belt. From serving his country as a Marine in Vietnam, to being a champion of the outdoors and youth programs as Senior Vice President of The Student Conservation Association (SCA), Flip goes above and beyond in serving his community.

As a young man, Flip left military service to start a law enforcement career with the National Park Service (NPS) Park Police. He later served as a Park Ranger, then moved into designing and delivering training. In 1994, after serving over 25 years with the park service, Flip retired as the Chief of the Employee Development Division.

Before leaving the park service, Flip began serving with SCA as a council and board member. His retirement from NPS was designed so that he could transition to a position as Deputy Program Director of SCA's Conservation Career Development Program (CCDP). Flip soon became Program Director, then Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, and eventually had a long run in several program and partnership arenas as SCA’s Senior Vice President.

During his service with SCA, Flip not only led the organization’s commitment to diversify the conservation movement, but served as an industry leader as well, having served on the boards of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Institute of Conservation Leadership. He has also been a member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council since 2001 (where he chaired the Diversity Committee).

During his time at SCA, Flip impacted and supported thousands of high school students, college interns and staff seeking to serve the environment. He was at the forefront of developing urban-based programs for youth and young adults interested in conservation careers. Flip was essential in the creation of SCA’s Washington DC Urban Community program. This was a pioneer program focused on engaging local DC youth in conservation service. The program has grown from its inception almost 40 years ago to more than 15 urban centers that reach almost 1,000 youth each year.

Flip’s influence and impact has extended far beyond SCA into all aspects of the environmental movement, including nonprofits, government service and even the corporate world. He is a respected advisor in the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the conservation workforce. Since his retirement three years ago, he is still mentoring many students and professionals, guiding their careers and amplifying their impact. His voice has been highly influential in helping organizations like NOLS and The Wilderness Society better understand their obligation to be more inclusive as they deliver their missions.

SCA Receives Environmental Award

Story provided by SCA

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) was recently presented with the Walden Woods Project’s Environmental Challenge Award by Don Henley, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist and founder of the Walden Woods Project and Thoreau Institute.  The presentation took place on stage at a packed Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston moments before a concert by Henley’s band, the Eagles.

“Today, more than ever,” said Henley, “we need to foster the next generation of concerned and committed environmental stewards of our planet.”

Actor Robert Redford, who accepted the Walden Woods Project’s Global Environmental Leadership Award, also pointed to young people as a solution in his keynote address.  “Our youth are our future.  And that’s why I’m here tonight in celebration of these honorees.”

SCA received the Environmental Challenge Award for engaging youth in hands-on conservation service and serving as a model for those who seek effective, constructive and sustainable outcomes.  The award was accepted by SCA Vice President Kevin Hamilton and SCA intern Sophia Bass Werner, who just completed a summer program of mammal and habitat conservation at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

The award sponsors noted that SCA had recently reached the milestone of 75,000 members, and in addition to their immediate impact in preserving parks, forests and refuges in all 50 states, seven out of ten SCA alumni are employed in a conservation-related field.

The Walden Woods Project is a nonprofit organization committed to preserving the land, literature, and legacy of Henry David Thoreau through conservation, education, research and advocacy.  Founded 25 years ago, the Project uses the land it has protected in Walden Woods to foster an ethic of environmental stewardship and social responsibility, both cornerstones of Thoreau’s philosophy.

Boiler Plate: 
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) was recently presented with the Walden Woods Project’s Environmental Challenge Award by Don Henley, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist and founder of the Walden Woods Project and Thoreau Institute. The presentation took place on stage at a packed Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston moments before a concert by Henley’s band, the Eagles.

2014 Corps Legacy Achievement Award Winner, Scott Weaver

Scott Weaver
SCA - the Student Conservation Association

 

Click here to read an Interview with
Scott Weaver

Scott Weaver, Senior Vice President for Government and Agency Affairs for the Student Conservation Association (SCA), has been a longtime advocate for Corps. He helped develop and pass the Public Lands Corps Act in the early 1990s and has been an ardent supporter of Corps in recent years in his work for the Public Lands Service Coalition.

Scott has spent the last 30 years serving SCA. Prior to his current position, he worked as Vice President of Programs, Director of SCA’s High School and Resource Assistant Programs, and he worked in the field as an SCA Conservation Work Crew Leader. Before joining SCA, Scott worked for the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park for nine years.

Scott serves on the Advisory Board of American Trails and is a member of the Association of National Park Rangers, the National Parks and Conservation Association, the Yosemite Fund, and the Public Lands Service Coalition.

Boiler Plate: 
Scott Weaver, Senior Vice President for Government and Agency Affairs for the Student Conservation Association (SCA), has been a longtime advocate for Corps. He helped develop and pass the Public Lands Corps Act in the early 1990s and has been an ardent supporter of Corps in recent years in his work for the Public Lands Service Coalition.

SCA's Veterans Fire Corps Receives National and Local Press Attention


 

Thank you to Kevin Hamilton, SCA, Vice President of Communications, for sharing these articles

The Student Conservation Association's Veterans Fire Corps recently received press coverage in Stars and Stripes, The Buffalo Bulletin (Wyoming), and The Craig Daily Press (Colorado). Click the links below to read the articles in their entirety and find out how the Corps helps veterans transition back to civilian life.


 

Stars and Stripes

By Michael A. Madalena 

The men and women I’m training know we’re about to confront a merciless enemy. We are all military veterans, and in the field we have an objective, a plan, and the flexibility to change tactics midstream — just as in the armed forces.

In this case our adversary isn’t al-Qaida or any of the other combatants I faced with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq; it’s not even human but it eats, breathes and grows.

It’s the nearly 32,000 wildfires that the U.S. Department of the Interior says have burned more than 3.4 million acres nationwide this year. These are not low-intensity ground fires, but “mega fires” created from lack of mitigation and irregular historic fire regimes.

I’m a crew leader for the nonprofit Student Conservation Association’s Veterans Fire Corps...keep reading.

 

The Buffalo Bulletin

By Holly Kays

When Joe Svidron’s days as an active member of the U.S. Marine Corps ended and his time as a park management major began, the transition was anything but smooth. After four years in the military, college was like a foreign land, full of younger students whose world of fashion and fads was nothing like the one Svidron left when he enlisted, and military discipline had nothing in common with college life.
 
“Going back to school wasn’t so great, and it was hard to acclimate because everybody’s five, six, seven years younger than you,” Svidron said. “The things they’re doing now you had no clue were going on when you were in the military, so it’s kind of foreign to you. You’re looking for that camaraderie and that sense of purpose and accomplishment again, and it’s not really there in the civilian sector.”
 
All that changed when Svidron stumbled across an advertisement for the Student Conservation Association Veterans Fire Corps...keep reading.

 

The Craig Daily Press

By Matt Stensland

After spending a year deployed with the Army in Iraq, Elder Pyatt had to adjust to civilian life when he finished his service in 2008.

Life in the military moves much faster, said Pyatt, who served to earn money for college.

“There is an adjustment period,” he said.

In the Army, Pyatt used mechanic’s tools to work on large military vehicles. This summer, he is removing limbs from beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees near Stagecoach with a chain saw, which he never really had used before.

“Not in this capacity,” Pyatt said. “Like yard work kind of stuff.”

Pyatt, whose goal is to earn a master's degree, is joined by three other veterans and a crew leader...keep reading

200 Jobs to be Created Through the "National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps"


Secretary Jewell Announces Youth Corps to Help Restore New York, New Jersey Parks After Hurricane Sandy 

Taken from a Department of the Interior press release - May 30, 2013 (click here, or scroll down for full press release) 
 

On Thursday, May 30, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the launch of the “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps.” This program, created through a partnership between the City of New York and the Student Conservation Association (SCA), will create about 200 jobs for young people to participate in Hurricane Sandy clean-up and restoration efforts. The Corps will initially focus on Gateway National Recreation Area and neighboring city parklands in Jamaica Bay, Queens. Their goal is to assist in recovery and damage mitigation throughout national park sites in New York City and New Jersey. These Corpsmembers will serve as role models for President Obama’s ongoing efforts to build a 21st Century Service Conservation Corps (21 CSC), based off President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s.

2013 will serve as a pilot year of what is expected to be a multi-year program. The Corps was created through a public-private partnership, with funding from Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Recovery funds and matching SCA funds. American Eagle Outfitters is sponsoring 25 of the 200 corps members.

“President Obama has made Hurricane Sandy response efforts a top priority for his Administration,” said Jewell. “This youth corps will not only strengthen recovery and mitigation efforts in our National Parks throughout the region, but it will also serve as a model for the power of public-private partnerships to boost youth employment and connect young people to the great outdoors.”

 


The “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation & Resiliency Corps” expected to create 200 jobs for youth in the region

QUEENS, NY — As part of President Obama’s commitment to expand employment opportunities for youth, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today launched the “National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps,” a partnership with the City of New York and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) that will provide approximately 200 jobs for young people in 2013 to participate in Hurricane Sandy recovery and clean-up efforts.

2013 will serve as a pilot year for what is expected to be a multi-year program for youth and young adults from around the region to assist in the response, recovery and mitigation of Hurricane Sandy damage within the national park units and their partner sites in New York City and New Jersey. The Corps will initially focus on Gateway National Recreation Area and adjoining city parklands at Jamaica Bay. Secretary Jewell’s announcement followed a Tuesday visit by President Obama to the New Jersey Shore, where he viewed rebuilding and recovery efforts underway.

“President Obama has made Hurricane Sandy response efforts a top priority for his Administration,” said Jewell. “This youth corps will not only strengthen recovery and mitigation efforts in our National Parks throughout the region, but it will also serve as a model for the power of public-private partnerships to boost youth employment and connect young people to the great outdoors.”

“America’s national parks are unrivaled inspirational assets and the passion of America’s youth is our most powerful resource,” stated Dale Penny, President & CEO of SCA, which is managing the resiliency corps. “Local students are telling us they are ready to do whatever it takes to help heal their community, and that pride and resiliency will prove stronger than any hurricane.” Youth interested in applying to the program can do so here.

The program is a public-private partnership, with funding from Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Recovery funds and matching SCA funds. American Eagle Outfitters is sponsoring 25 of the 200 corps members.

These 200 members of the new parks resiliency corps are in addition to the approximately 200 workers that New York City Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White announced on May 13 as part of the “Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps,” which was funded by an emergency grant from the U.S. and New York departments of labor.

“We are proud to partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to ensure our region’s recovery from the damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy,” said White. “The creation of this new National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy and Resiliency Corps, combined with our Jamaica Bay/Rockaway Parks Restoration Corps, is putting hundreds of New Yorkers to work while preserving some of our city’s richest ecological open spaces.”

“In addition to cleaning up damage from the hurricane, the National Parks of New York Harbor Conservation and Resiliency Corps will be restoring habitat, rebuilding trails and other projects,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “These efforts not only help the parks recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, but also begin to mitigate the effects of future storms and sea level rise.”

In July 2012, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an agreement between the city and the National Park Service for cooperative management of parklands. The partnership enables New York City parks and the National Park Service to work on each other’s lands, co-mingle resources and undertake joint planning efforts.

When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast on October 29, 2012, the storm affected nearly 70 national park sites. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the country's various conservation corps have played a vital role in efforts on-the-ground in the disaster-affected communities.

The newest corps members will serve as role models for the Obama Administration’s ongoing efforts to build a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, called 21 CSC. Building on the legacy of President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the 21 CSC aims to help young people – including diverse low-income, underserved and at-risk youth, as well as returning veterans – gain valuable training and work experience while accomplishing needed conservation and restoration service on public lands and waters.

Since 2009, when Interior established its Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors, the department and its agencies have built one of the largest and most visible youth programs at the national level, employing more than 84,000 youth through direct hires and partnerships.

Last week, Secretary Jewell announced that the Interior Department expects to hire approximately 17,000 young people to work on public lands this year.

Providing Relief – What Corps Have Done to Assist in Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

 

Washington Conservation Corps members remove damaged household items from a flooded home

Hurricane Sandy took lives, destroyed homes and businesses, and left millions of people without power. As the storm bore down on the Northeast coast during the last days of October, Corps across the country were already mobilizing to help with the relief effort. Corpsmembers have played a significant role in helping communities in New York, New Jersey and 5 other states recover and rebuild.

Some Corps worked through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and FEMA, while others organized independent of the federal response. Some Corps worked in shelters, while others cleared debris. Some Corps travelled thousands of miles to assist in the relief efforts, while other Corps worked in their own backyards.

Find out which Corps have been involved in Sandy recovery, read about what they’ve done to help, and see pictures from the field:

Corps Involved in recovery efforts 

Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa Corpsmembers “mucking out” a home damaged by flood water

What are some of the things Corps have done?

  • Operated emergency shelters throughout New York City: managed volunteers, monitored and assisted residents, cared for children and pets, maintained the facilities
  • Cleared debris
  • Cut down damaged trees and limbs
  • “Mucking out” - removing water and water damaged items and building materials from homes and businesses affected by flooding
  • Solicited donations of food and emergency supplies from individuals and businesses not hit as hard by the storm
  • Operated distribution centers and packaged emergency supplies for Sandy victims in need of food, water, blankets, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities
  • Canvassed neighborhoods to find people in need and spread information about repair work
  • Restored parks damaged by high winds 

NYRP clearing a downed tree in New York City 


AmeriCorps NCCC/FEMA Corps members assisting with water distribution in Far Rockaway, NY.
 

Get more pictures and more information on the recovery efforts and Corpsmember experiences

Student Conservation Association (SCA) Corpsmember in New Jersey


Southwest Conservation Corps members working with FDNY


Utah Conservation Corps members surrounded by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy 


Green City Force Corpsmembers and staff serving food 


Montana Conservation Corps members organize supplies at a distribution center


New Jersey Youth Corps clearing a downed tree


 


 

 

 

 

 

Our Google Hangout with the Student Conservation Association and the Peace Corps was a Success!

Yesterday we were thrilled to participate in our first Google Hangout with our partners at SCA and the Peace Corps.

If you weren't able to join us live, you are in luck! You can watch the recorded program via Youtube.

Mary Ellen Ardouny, our Interim CEO, joined Bob Coates, Senior Vice President for Programs at SCA, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Acting Director for the Peace Corps,  along with several other guests to discuss service opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. It's highly recommended to watch the segments toward the end with Kaylee Poleschook of Mile High Youth Corps and Louise Liller, an alumnae of many Corps programs and SCA. They are also both Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and speak eloquently about service and the role it can play in your life.

Among many memorable things said, Louise Liller said that "I can trace back almost every major career move that I've made in my life, I can trace back to that one year that I spent working in an AmeriCorps program, and AmeriCorps program that's part of The Corps Network... It was an important step in my life and my future."

Legacy Achievement Award Winner: Elizabeth Putnam

 

Early in her life, Elizabeth Cushman Titus Putnam felt the need to respond to the threats facing America’s national parks. Her senior thesis at Vassar College in 1953 proposed the development of a volunteer student conservation corps to perform essential service for these endangered natural resources. This led to the creation of The Student Conservation Association (SCA), which has become one of the largest providers of youth development and conservation service opportunities in the US.

Ms. Putnam dedicates her life to ensuring that America’s treasured but fragile public lands are preserved for future generations and that those generations become future stewards of the land. Ms. Putnam has volunteered with SCA’s leadership and staff to commit SCA to a strategic vision, emphasizing national leadership in programs that both engage young people in conservation service; i.e., hands-on work that benefits national or community interests; and highlights the capacity of conservation service to build future leaders.

Ms. Putnam remains SCA’s premier ambassador.  She is actively involved with SCA and in the environmental arena. She meets with young people, participates in community service events, and tells the inspiring story of SCA’s volunteers across the country. She has been recognized by the Department of the Interior, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Park Service, and the Garden Club of America for her achievements and her ongoing commitment to the natural world.  Her enthusiastic call to action and hard work on behalf of the nation’s public lands encouraged more than 60,000 SCA volunteers over the past 53 years. 

Ms. Putnam’s commitment to ensuring SCA volunteers and the conservation arena reflect the multiculturalism of American society led SCA to establish its Urban and Diversity Outreach, which connects youth from diverse backgrounds to nature and provides positive experiences in the outdoors. 

Each SCA member has provided valued and essential service to national and state parks, forests, refuges and urban green spaces. The results are felt on a national and at the “grassroots” community level. It is reported that more than 55% of these young people continue their engagement in conservation through career, education or volunteerism. In 1971, she presented testimony before the U.S. Congress that led to legislative approval of the Youth Conservation Corps.

In 2010, Ms. Putnam received the Presidents Citizens Medal from President Obama recognizing her for her service to the conservation and Youth Service movement. Today the fruits of her labor continue to pay off, as SCA provides an opportunity for thousands of volunteers to restore and protect the environment and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment.