Student Conservation Corps
2015 Season Kick off with Application Work Parties!
March 1 Blakely Harbor Park 1-330pm
March 7 Ted Olsen Nature Preserve 1-330pm
April 11 Fay Bainbridge 1-330pm
April 25 Pritchard Park 1-330pm
2015 Student Conservation Corps Program:
The Student Conservation Corps or "SCoCo” is a field work and volunteer opportunity enhanced with conservation education for local High School students. SCoCo brings the energies and passions of youth to local environmental work through five program components: a spring series of volunteer application-work-parties, a spring-break work program, a summer work program, a Land Trust work program and a fall volunteer program.
SCoCo provides jobs to youth in our community, simultaneously developing new generation of environmental stewards while making progress in the battle against noxious weeds. SCoCo members work to control invasive weeds in our lsland’s Parks and protected open spaces, methodically achieving goals outlined in the Park District’s Invasive Plant Management Plans. In 2015, The Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District (BIMPRD) is once again offering 20-24 Student Conservation Corps positions as a part of ongoing stewardship efforts in our parks, in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and Sustainable Bainbridge. The Student Conservation Corps aims to foster a new generation of environmental stewards.
The Student Conservation Corps is a successful part of a multi-pronged effort involving hundreds of volunteers, to manage the English ivy, Scotch Broom, and other invasive weeds which threaten the vitality and beauty of Bainbridge Island parks. In the past four years SCoCo has made a significant dent in noxious plant infestation at Blakely Harbor Park, Fort Ward Park and Pritchard Park. We have cleared ivy from over 10,000 trees in over 400 acres. Corps members have worked enthusiastically to make SCoCo the most effective local weed control effort to date. The Park District has adopted this program to encourage youth to make a difference while gaining a paycheck for their contributions and learning the science and methodologies of protecting our habitat. Lunch break presentations bring locally sourced, cutting-edge conservation education to Corps members.
SCoCo is a community sponsored program. Over the past four years The Student Conservation Corps has been made possible with support from the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, The Bainbridge Community Foundation, The Associated Bainbridge Communities (ABC) Conservation/Education Foundation, The Washington Foundation for the Environment, Bainbridge Ace Hardware, Bay Hay and Feed and the AmeriCorps, as well as with contributions from generous community members.
Eligibility: Open to individuals, age 15-18, who want to work hard to make a difference in our local environment.
Application process: Interested individuals must attend a spring workparty and submit an application. Between twenty and twenty-four students will be accepted for the 2014 SCoCo sessions. The SCoCo members commit to a full BIMPRD and BILT summer session and two additional fall volunteer work parties. Up to 12 interested students from these 24 may participate in the spring break program.
There will be two waves of the application process in order to fill out the spring break program while allowing for others to apply later for the summer session. Interested students must attend one training work party in order to apply. This counts as a volunteer activity and students may get community service credit for their hours. Interviews will occur during these sessions, and applications will be issued to students after these work parties. Applicants should come dressed to work in loose-fitting pants and work shoes, with gloves and appropriate layers for warmth. We will meet and accomplish some great work, rain or shine!
1st Wave SCoCo Application(up to 80% of program will be accepted in 1st wave):
March 1st: Application work party Blakely Harbor Park 1-330pm
March 7th: Application Work Party Ted Olsen Nature Preserve 1-330pm
March 11th: deadline for first wave of applications to be emailed to program director.
March 16th: accepted applicants from 1st wave will receive invitation to join the 2015 SCoCo
Second Wave SCoCo Application
April 11th: Fay Bainbridge 1-330pm
April 25th: Pritchard Park 1-330pm
April 29: deadline for application to be emailed to program director.
April 30th: accepted applicants will receive invitation to join the 2015 SCoCo. A wait-list will be maintained.
May10th: All accepted SCoCo members must confirm that they will take summer positions.
SPRING BREAK Scotch Broom Brigade March 30th –April 2nd. 12:30-4:30 pm:
Up to twelve students selected from those hired for the Summer Session will work in 3 or more Parks to clear Scotch Broom. This work is best achieved before the spring bloom and while the ground is still soft from winter rains. The goal: remove all Scotch Broom from our Bainbridge Island Parks.
SUMMER 2015 BIMPRD Student Conservation Corps:June 22nd to July 8th. 9:30 am-2:30 pm:
The Program will run for 12 work days with holidays on weekends and July 4th. Field work will take place at two or more parks.
Bainbridge Island Land Trust SCoCo Session:July 13th to 17th. 9:30am-2:30pm:
This program is open to Summer Session SCoCo members as an optional extended work opportunity. Field work will take place at 2 or more sites that may include private Conservation easements in addition to Land Trust owned open space.
Salary information: All SCoCo members will be paid $9.49, for four hours a day in each session. One hour of unpaid break time is dedicated to conservation education during the summer session and Corps members are expected to stay on site to participate.
Fall restoration work parties: Corps members who have not graduated must attend 2 out of 3 late fall sessions, dates TBD, for more restoration work and planting native vegetation before the winter rains. This is a volunteer commitment. Corps members assist in outreach efforts and field work.
Director: Clarice Cutler worked as an Assistant Director with SCoCo in 2013 and 2014 and is currently the Coordinator of Let’s Pull Together. Her interest in land conservation and stewardship was sparked as she witnessed the rapid turnover of small dairy farms in Vermont. This interest continued as she worked on trail crews on the Appalachian Trail and with her studies at Reed College where her thesis explored the relationship between conserved land, socioeconomic status of nearby townships, and the conserved land’s biological integrity and risk of development. When not pulling or planning to pull weeds she runs, brews beer, and eats good food.
Assistant Director: Becca Nissley relocated from Reading, Pennsylvania to western Washington in 2013, where she served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and full-time staff coordinating and leading environmental programs at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim. She holds a B.S.E in Biology Education from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and is continually interested in environmental education and stewardship. On weekends she can usually be found hiking, biking, and birding the forests and shorelines of the West Sound and Olympic Peninsula. She is very pleased to have the privilege of residing on Bainbridge Island, which offers plenty of places to enjoy the incredible cultural and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest.
Questions: please email Clarice at
Quotes from SCoCo members:
"This program definitely tested my physical endurance/stamina, but also was immensely satisfying. I enjoyed getting to know people I'd never met before and working hard with the knowledge that what I was doing did make a difference…Thanks again for giving me this amazing experience!”
"Thanks for another great year of SCoCo! I think we had an awesome group this year . . . I enjoyed all of our speakers and I also enjoyed being able to work at different parks this year - it made the program more interesting and allowed us to tackle a greater variety of projects.”
"The Student Conservation Corps is AWESOME! Also, we’re saving the earth and all that, rather than flipping burgers.”
The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island recently awarded a Community Grant to our organization for the purchase of a full new set of tools and a program canopy using money raised at the 2013 Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale. Click on this link for information about the 2014 event: www.BainbridgeRotaryAuction.org.
Many thanks to our Community Sponsors:
The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation
The Bainbridge Community Foundation
Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island
The Association of Bainbridge Communities Education/Conservation Foundation
and numerous generous individual donors, like You!