Have you ever wondered how to start a career in the conservation, environmental or park management field? Are you curious about how a Virginia State Park operates? Do you have a general interest in public service and gaining leadership skills? The Virginia Service and Conservation Corps (VSCC) might be the answer for you!
An AmeriCorps program operating in Virginia State Parks, the VSCC places members in parks throughout the commonwealth to serve on resource management crews, develop interpretive programs and build and maintain trails. Those who serve in the program gain hands-on experience and leadership skills by coordinating volunteers, assisting in the management of programs and leading interpretive programs. Members have the option to serve for 1200, 675 or 450 hours depending on your availability.
Benefits of serving in the VSCC include First Aid/CPR/AED training, Interpretive Training (depending on program), Canoe/Kayak Guide Training (depending on park), pesticide application certification (depending on program), wildland firefighter training (depending on program) and trails maintenance training and professional mentorship from park staff. Members receive a bi-weekly living stipend and an education award of up to $4,546.50 upon successful completion of service. Members who are not provided with park housing receive a housing stipend to assist with the cost of living expenses.
“This program is ideal for those who like to use their hands to get work done and want to learn more about invasive species, trail maintenance and prescribed burns,” said AmeriCorps Program Director Kellie Mattingly. “After completing their service, alumni of the program were able to start careers in the conservation field including jobs with Virginia State Parks, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service and many more. There has also been an increase in older adults applying to the program to add new skills to their resume after changing careers due to the pandemic.”
The VSCC engages participants with both the local community and the nature within the state parks. During their service, members learn from the experts in their fields and are empowered to take ownership of their own programs. Applications for the 450, 675, and 1200 hour programs are open now.
Be sure to apply now for your chance to serve, build your skillset and become a leader.