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Student Conservation Corps

scoco

The Student Conservation Corps (SCoCo) is an employment opportunity for High School students with the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, aimed at limiting the spread of invasive species in our parks.

SCoCo 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 six 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 11,000 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 provide youth with an employment opportunity encouraging stewardship through the science and methodology of protecting our habitat.

In 2017, the Park District is once again offering 18-20 SCoCo positions as a part of ongoing stewardship efforts in our parks, in partnership with and the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation.

To learn more about the history of SCoCo, see “What is the Student Conservation Corps?”

For more program information, please contact SCoCo leader Emily Helgeson at emilyh@biparks.org.

SCoCo is HIRING!

To apply, attend one of our Spring Application Work Parties located at Pritchard Park on one of the following dates:

Sunday, March 5 from 12:00-2:00pm
Sunday, April 16 from 12:00-2:00pm
Sunday, April 30 from 12:00-2:00pm

After attending an Application Work Party, interested applicants will receive a 2017 SCoCo application via email from SCoCo leader Emily Helgeson.

What is the Student Conservation Corps?

The Student Conservation Corps (SCoCo) is a paid Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District employment opportunity enhanced with conservation education for local High School students. SCoCo brings the energies and passions of youth to local environmental work through four program components: (1) a spring series of volunteer Application Work Parties, (2) a paid Spring Break session sponsored by Sustainable Bainbridge’s initiative Let’s Pull Together, (3) a paid Summer Session, and (4) fall volunteer Restoration Work Party sessions.

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 in Bainbridge Island parks. 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. During the Park District’s Summer Session, local educational speakers present cutting-edge conservation education and career advice to SCoCo members during their lunch hour.

In 2017, the Park District is once again offering 18-20 SCoCo positions as a part of ongoing stewardship efforts in our parks, in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation.

The SCoCo is a community-sponsored program. Over the past six years SCoCo has been made possible with support from the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, 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, Town & Country Markets, AmeriCorps, as well as with contributions from generous community members.

How do I apply?

Open to individuals, age 15-18, who want to work hard in a group setting to make a difference in our local environment.

Interested individuals must attend an Application Work Party, after which they will receive an application to be completed and submitted to Emily Helgeson at emilyh@biparks.org.

Between 18-20 students will be accepted for the 2017 SCoCo sessions. SCoCo members are also committing to participating in two fall volunteer Restoration Work Parties in order to replant sites. Up to 12 interested students may also choose to participate in the paid Spring Break session.

There will be two waves of the application process in order to fill the Spring Break program while allowing for others to apply later for the Summer Session. Interested applicants are REQUIRED to attend at least one Application Work Party in order to apply. This counts as a volunteer activity and students may receive school 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!

2017 Application Timeline - Important Dates

First Wave Application

Sunday, March 5: Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12:00-2:00pm
Friday, March 10: Deadline for applications to be emailed to emilyh@biparks.org
Wednesday, March 15: Accepted applicants will receive an invitation to join the paid Spring Break session (Let’s Pull Together)

Second Wave Application

Sunday, April 16: Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12:00-2:00pm
Sunday, April 30: Application Work Party at Pritchard Park from 12:00-2:00pm
Sunday, May 7: Deadline for applications to be emailed to emilyh@biparks.org
Friday, May 12: Accepted applicants will receive an invitation to join the paid 2017 SCoCo Summer Session (wait-list will be maintained)
Monday, May 15: All accepted 2017 SCoCo applicants must confirm that they will take summer positions

2017 Session Details

SPRING BREAK Session

Monday, April 3-Thursday, April 6 from 9:00am-2:30pm

Up to 12 participants will work a paid 4-day Spring Break session in three or more parks to clear Scotch Broom.

SUMMER Session

Monday, June 26-Thursday, July 13 from 9:30am-2:30pm

The Summer Session will run for 12 days with paid fieldwork taking place at multiple parks (no work: Monday, July 3 or Tuesday, July 4).

Salary Information

All SCoCo members will be paid $11.00/hour in each session. One hour of unpaid break/lunch time is dedicated to conservation education during the Park District Summer Session. SCoCo members are expected to stay on site to participate.

Fall Volunteer Work Parties

SCoCo members who have not graduated must attend 2 out of 3 late fall volunteer Restoration 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. SCoCo members are also asked to assist in outreach efforts in promotion of the following year’s SCoCo sessions.

Program Leadership

Emily Helgeson, Park Services Volunteer Specialist

In her role as Volunteer Specialist, Emily took over leading SCoCo in August 2015. In another role with the Park District she also leads the Trails Crew. 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.

For more information please contact Emily Helgeson, at emilyh@biparks.org.