Thousand Islands Region Trails and Conservation Steward @ The Student Conservation Association

Thousand Islands Region Trails and Conservation Steward


New York’s Thousand Islands Region is seeking enthusiastic Trails and Conservation Stewards for the 2023 season. Apply to be a SCA New York State Parks Corps member today!

About the NYS Parks Corps: Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration, wildlife management, and organizing volunteer events. All 21 Parks Corps members will gather regularly in Central NY for SCA trainings and other professional development opportunities as they arise. (**See Covid caveat above for potential exceptions to 2023 events) Members share housing in groups of 1-4 members per location. NYS Parks Corps members serve under the direction of regional Parks staff to assist in accomplishing the mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic, and cultural resources. This position is located in New York’s Thousand Islands Region, with housing in Henderson, NY within Westcott Beach State Park.

Purpose of the Position: The Thousand Islands is a favorite place of many visitors during warm months, and its State Parks have a need to construct/maintain sustainable trails, contain the spread of invasive species, and complete other conservation projects. Due to the rural and highly seasonal nature of the area, these parks struggle to fit these types of projects into a work schedule already filled with routine park operations. Members of this crew serve to fill that gap and ensure the 25+ public lands along Eastern Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, and Northern Lake Champlain can continue to be enjoyed for generations.

Community Needs that the Position Serves: Safety, Maintenance, and Public Outreach

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities: This team of four members live and work together, engaging in service consistent with the mission and guiding principles of NYS OPRHP. The focus areas are trail construction and maintenance, hazard tree removals, invasive plant species management, habitat restoration, and outdoor structure building. Examples of work and responsibilities include:

  • Spend 5-day (Monday-Friday) hitches working and camping at various parks throughout the region, returning to shared apartment for days off. Occasional 6-day work week or weekend work required for special events.
  • Learn and apply the principles of sustainable trail design, the skills to construct and maintain trails, and the importance of trail development as a resource management tool in sensitive areas.
  • Learn and apply chainsaw safety techniques for felling, bucking, and limbing of small-to-large trees.
  • Learn the harmful effects of invasive plant and insect species, proper local identification, and the challenges involved with removing them.
  • Learn GIS mapping techniques and collect data for trails and stewardship projects.
  • Learn navigation and safely operate an open bow outboard boat to and from remote island Parks.

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: This crew provides crucial support to not only NYS OPRHP, but to local non-profits and NYS DEC throughout the Thousand Islands – aiding in better, more safe use of the parks and public land by the public while minimizing our impact on the natural environment.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: To confidently lead a group of peers through field work in varying weather, project scopes, level of staff support, supervision, etc. on a rotating basis.
Goal 2: To gain arborist skills applicable to trails, recreation, and public hazards (within training level provided), through the proper use and maintenance of mid-size chainsaws.
Goal 3: To learn and apply principles and skills of sustainable trail design, construction, and maintenance.
Goal 4: To learn the negative effects of and the management challenges posed by invasive plant and insect species, applying knowledge to hands-on projects.

Benefits: Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,495
Amount of living allowance member will receive: $300/week living allowance
Healthcare coverage (if applicable): Eligible for free health insurance
Childcare coverage (if applicable): Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps
Student loan forbearance and interest payments, (if the member qualifies): Eligible for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.

Training Opportunities: All SCA NYS Parks Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Leave No Trace, Mental Health First Aid, and professional development. Environmental Education Stewards receive Certified Interpretive Guide training while Conservation Stewards receive Game of Logging 1 & 2. Optional trainings include NYSOEA, the American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe Training, and other opportunities that arise through the SCA and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Entry-level, Mid-level

Nonprofit- NGO

$300/ Week + Housing, Medical Insurance, and an AmeriCorps Education Award


Henderson, NY, USA




2023-01-13 00:00