Arts & Events

Oakland’s Shoreline Benefits from The Student Conservation Association’s Youth Programs

By Matthew Greenfield
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 10:55:00 AM
Matthew Greenfield
Matthew Greenfield

More than 50 high school students from the environmental studies class at Skyline High School in Oakland will join the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and Pick Up America on October 19 from 2p.m. for a “Youth Day of Service” cleanup and restoration event to benefit the Oakland shoreline of Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park. SCA is a nationwide conservation workforce of college and high school volunteers who protect and restore America’s parks, forests, refuges, seashores and communities. Pick Up America is the nation's first coast-to-coast roadside litter pick-up and was started by SCA alumnus Jeff Chen. 

Through school-year and summer programs, SCA works with Bay Area youth ages 16-19 to provide green job skills, leadership training and a variety of outdoor experiences with the goal of building the next generation of conservation leaders. Jeff Chen, who, out of his experiences with SCA, created Pick-Up America, set out across America one year ago with a crew to pick up trash from the roadside. To date Jeff's team has collected 186,524 pounds of litter. 

The October 19 event is one of the stops on Jeff's journey. Participants of the event will remove trash from more than one mile of shoreline and remove more than a quarter mile of ice plant and non-native grasses. Students will also prepare the land for mulching and planting along the bank. 

For more information or to participate, register at 

SCA’s “Youth Day of Service” kicks off a two-day Youth Summit at San Francisco’s Crissy Field, in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, October 20 and 21. The summit is hosted by SCA partner Outdoor Nation, a group dedicated to reconnecting so-called “millennials” (Generation Y) with the outdoors. Outdoor Nation hosts summits around the country, award grants for outstanding project ideas, leads outdoor outings, works with youth and connects with youth– all in an effort to mobilize a movement to get younger generations outside.  

In each location, delegates brainstorm project ideas that address regional issues and ultimately engage more young people in the outdoors by removing barriers to participation. Participants vote on the top ideas in each region, and receive funding and training from the Outdoor Foundation to carry out these projects.