The 2015 Student Conservation Corps (SCoCo) season was a great success!
Removing Invasive Plants to Help our Native Plant Communities Thrive. The SCoCo crew was hard at work this spring and summer removing invasive weeds from BI Parks and Land Trust properties. The Spring Break Scotch Broom Brigade, focusing solely on the removal of Scotch Broom on Parks properties, ran March 30-April 3. The Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation District SCoCo program ran for three weeks during the summer, from June 22-July 8, and the Bainbridge Island Land Trust session ran for 5 days, July 13-17.
Three Sessions. Six students participated in the Spring Break Scotch Broom Brigade, visiting 5 parks to remove invasive Scotch Broom: Fay Bainbridge Park, Battle Point Park, Hilltop meadow, Gazzam Lake Nature Preserve, and Meig's Park.
Twenty-four students participated in the BIMPRD session, visiting 9 parks between June 22-July 8: Ted Olson Nature Preserve, Gazzam Lake Preserve, Blakely Harbor Park, Fort Ward Park, Fay Bainbridge Park, West Port Madison Park, Hilltop Meadow, East Grand Forest, and Hawley Cove.
Twenty-two students participated in the BILT session, visiting 3 Land Trust conserved properties, circled in red on the map below.
How much did they accomplish?
- 62.5 acres improved on BIMPRD Parks properties during the summer
- 4.8 acres improved on BILT conserved properties
- 35 previously treated acres were monitored for new growth
- 1,376 trees were cleared of ivy during the summer
- Approximately 21,500 square feet of ground ivy was removed
- Approximately 5,280 square feet of Scotch Broom was removed during the spring and summer sessions
- Approximately 400 square feet of invasive Tansy Ragwort was removed during the summer
Service-Learning. The SCoCo program also consists of an educational lunch hour dedicated to highlighting current environmental issues and careers related to the environment. Ten speakers provided educational speeches to the students.
Speakers from the region represented the following organizations and institutions: Suquamish Tribe Shellfish Department, Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Washington, AmeriCorps, West Sound Wildlife Shelter, IslandWood, EMI Consulting, and the United States Coast Guard. Thank you to our volunteer speakers!
If you have more questions and interested in knowing more about the 2016 SCoCo program, please contact Becca Nissley at (206) 842-1216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About the Student Conservation Corps:
The Student Conservation Corps or "SCoCo" is a field work and volunteer opportunity enhanced with conservation education for local high school students. SCoCo brings the energies and passions of youth to local environmental work through five program components: a spring series of volunteer application-work-parties, a spring break work program, a summer work program, a Bainbridge Island Land Trust work program, and a fall volunteer program. SCoCo provides jobs to youth in our community, simultaneously developing a new generation of environmental stewards while making progress in the battle against noxious weeds.
SCoCo is supported by the Bainbridge Island Land Trust by providing matching funds for projects on Land Trust conserved properties and managerial assistance through BILT's AmeriCorps Volunteer. In addition, a private conservation easement landowner may choose to hire SCoCo to assist with restoration work on their property.
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 2015, The Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District (BIMPRD) is once again offering 24 Student Conservation Corps positions as a part of ongoing stewardship efforts in our parks, in partnership with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and Sustainable Bainbridge. The Student Conservation Corps aims to foster a new generation of environmental stewards.
The Student Conservation Corps 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 five years, SCoCo has made a significant dent in noxious plant infestation at Blakely Harbor Park, Fort Ward Park, Fay Bainbridge, and Pritchard Park. We have cleared ivy from over 8,000 trees in over 200 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 encourage youth to make a difference while gaining a paycheck for their contributions and learning the science and methodology of protect our habitat. Lunch break presentations bring locally sourced, cutting-edge conservation education to Corps members.
If you are a private conservation easement land owner interested in having SCoCo on your property, please contact Becca Nissley, BILT's AmeriCorps volunteer at (206) 842-1216 or e-mail email@example.com.
Quotes from SCoCo Members:
"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."
SCoCo is a community sponsored program. Over the past four years, The Student Conservation Corps has been made possible with support from the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, 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 and AmeriCorps, as well as with contributions from generous community members.