The Conservation Crews in San Mateo County Parks is a comprehensive program for low-income youth that combines workforce readiness, community service and environmental education with real-world experience maintaining park facilities and restoring special habitats.
Nurturing the Conservation Leaders of Tomorrow
“Working on the trail made me feel like I was doing something great because
we are giving the public the opportunity to hike.” ~ Paola
“After participating in the Student Conservation crews, I plan to go
into environmental engineering because I really enjoyed my experience.” ~ Juan
“The part where we, as a group, were taking out invasive species
was when I felt that we were making a difference.” ~ Anthony
At the same time the students are gaining valuable skills, rangers have the help they need to tackle long overdue projects such as trail repair.
- Volunteer support for park projects – After years of unfunded maintenance and capital improvement projects, there is a lot of work to do to ensure park visitors have an enjoyable time. The County Parks Department identifies high-priority repair, maintenance and restoration needs for youth to complete. Past projects include:
– Building split rail fences and repaired trails on San Bruno Mountain
– Completing over 100 fence posts at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
– Using GIS software to map fuel management priorities, locations and types of invasive plants and over 74 miles of trails
- Youth development – academic enrichment activities in field ecology and environmental science + weekly stipend for 5 summer weeks of service + real world experience that prepares them for life after high school.
Cost: $55,000/ year
Partners: San Mateo County Measure A, San Mateo County Parks Foundation, Student Conservation Association