Student Conservation Crews

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.

Student Conservation Crews

This student conservation crew spent time mapping invasive plants at Wunderlich County Park.

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.

Program Elements

  • 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

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