Student Conservation Corps

//Student Conservation Corps
Student Conservation Corps 2017-09-25T14:41:59+00:00

Project Description

Student Conservation Corps provides high school youth with summer employment opportunities.

The Student Conservation Corps (SCoCo) is a paid fieldwork and volunteer opportunity enhanced with conservation education for local high school students.  The program is provided through a partnership between Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District (BIMPRD), Sustainable Bainbridge and the Parks Foundation.  The Parks Foundation was the first organization to fund SCoCo and has helped to support the program for seven continuous summers.

SCoCo brings the energies and passions of youth to local environmental work through four program components: a series of spring volunteer application work parties, a paid spring break work program, a paid summer work program, and a fall volunteer planting program.

The employment SCoCo provides to youth in our community simultaneously develops a new generation of environmental stewards while making progress in the battle against noxious weeds on Bainbridge Island. SCoCo members work to control invasive weeds in our island’s parks and protected open spaces, methodically achieving goals outlined in the Park District’s Invasive Plant Management Plans. In the past 5 years SCoCo has made a significant dent in noxious plant infestation at Blakely Harbor Park, Fort Ward Park, Pritchard Park and Waypoint Woods. We have cleared ivy from over 11,000 trees in over 400 acres. Corps members have worked enthusiastically to make SCoCo the most effective local weed control effort to date. During the Summer Session, local educational speakers present cutting-edge conservation education and career advice to Corps members during their lunch hour.

The 2017 Student Conservation Corps Program:

Eligibility:  Open to individuals, age 15-18, who want to work hard to make a difference in our local environment. Between 18-20 students will be accepted for the 2017 SCoCo sessions. The SCoCo members commit to a full paid Summer Session and two additional Fall Volunteer Work Parties in order to replant restored sites. Up to 12 interested students from these 20 students may also choose to participate in the paid Spring Break program.

Salary Information: All SCoCo members will be paid $11/hour during the Spring Break and Summer sessions. One hour of unpaid break/lunch time is dedicated to conservation education during the summer session and Corps members are expected to stay on site to participate.

Application Process: The Application process will take place in two waves, with those applying in the first wave receiving priority as well as the potential to participate in the paid Spring Break work program through Let’s Pull Together.

Interested students are REQUIRED to volunteer at at least one Application Work Party in order to apply for a position with SCoCo. Applicants should come dressed to work in loose-fitting pants and work shoes, with gloves and appropriate layers for warmth. After attending a work party, interested applicants will receive a 2017 SCoCo application via email from Emily Helgeson at the Park District.

First Wave Application:

Sunday, March 5: Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12-2pm
Friday, March 10: Deadline for first wave applications to be emailed to
Wednesday, March 15 Accepted applicants will receive invitation to join 2017 SCoCo Summer Session. Up to 12 applicants will receive invitation to join paid Spring Break session.
Monday, May 15 Must confirm summer positions by this date by emailing

Second Wave Application:

Sunday, April 16 Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12-2pm
Sunday, April 30 Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12-2pm
Sunday, May 7 Deadline for applications to be mailed to
Friday, May 12 Accepted applicants will receive invitation to join 2017 SCoCo Summer Session.
Monday, May 15 Must confirm summer positions by this date by emailing

2017 Session Details:

Spring Break Session
Monday, April 3-Thursday, April 6
Up to 12 students selected from those hired for the Summer Session will work a paid, 4-day Spring Break session in three 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.

Summer Session
Monday, June 26-
Friday, July 13, 9:30am – 2:30pm
The paid Summer Session will run for 12 days with fieldwork taking place at two or more parks. (No work Monday, July 3 or Tuesday July 4)

Fall Volunteer Work Parties:
Corps members who have not graduated must attend 2 out of 3 late Fall Volunteer Work Party sessions (dates TBD) for restoration work and planting native vegetation before the winter rains. This is a volunteer commitment made when accepting summer employment with SCoCo. Corps members are also asked to assist in outreach efforts to promote the following year’s SCoCo Session.

Program Coordinator:
Emily Helgeson, BIMPRD Volunteer Coordinator

Emily took over as SCoCo Program Coordinator in August 2015. She is also the Coordinator of Let’s Pull Together, a Sustainable Bainbridge innitiative focused on Scotch broom management.  Her interest in land conservation and stewardship on Bainbridge Island was sparked during her attendance of the 2013 Graduate Program at IslandWood. Emily holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, a B.A. in political science, and a minor in environmental studies, all from the University of Washington.

Emily Helgeson, BIMPRD Student Conservation Corps Program Coordinator.
Email:          Phone: 206-842-2306

What SCoCo participants say about the experience:

“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.”

A Community-Sponsored Program

The Student Conservation Corps is a community-sponsored program. Over the past seven years SCoCo has been made possible with support from the following partners:

Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation • Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District • Bainbridge Island Land Trust • Sustatinable Bainbridge  • 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 • AmeriCorps • The generosity of many individual donors

Donate to SCoCo

Project Details


SCoCo provides critical stewardship for parks while offering meaningful employment for Island youth


Attend a spring application party to apply for summer 2017.


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