PA Outdoor Corps Seeks 2025 Projects

We are happy to share the following announcement from our Partners at the PA Outdoors Corps.

The PA Outdoor Corps is a youth conservation work skills program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA).  Community partners can nominate projects, which the Corps can help accomplish on a cost share basis.

It’s time to nominate projects for the 2025 Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps season!  We have shifted our annual call for projects to this earlier time of year to allow more time for project planning, review and coordination, as well as, to improve program implementation.

Project Nominations:  submit project nominations by Friday, August 2, 2024. 

We encourage you to nominate all potential projects for 2025.  Also, don’t let current crew location dictate your project nominations.  Getting a clear picture of your needs will help us with program planning.  We may have additional crew locations in 2025.

Please find the 2025 project nomination template attached, which you and your organization can use to identify projects for the next calendar year.  Once all project nominations are collected, we will work to develop the 2025 crew/project schedules over the summer.  All projects will be confirmed with your organization’s local project coordinator before the schedules are finalized. 

Also attached is the Public Partnerships Program Overview.  This document lays out how we work with partners on public lands outside of DCNR and provides additional details to consider if planning to submit project requests.  This document reflects the current 2024 year cost share amounts.  We are working to revise the cost share amounts for 2025.  Any changes will be confirmed with your organization’s local project coordinator before schedules are finalized.

2024 Crew Structure:

Adult Program:

                            Field Season: Early April – Late November

                            Crew Locations (subject to change):  Altoona, DuBois, Harrisburg, Somerset, Pittsburgh, Meadville, Norristown, Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre

                            Crew Make-Up:  1 Leader : 5 Members

              Youth Program:

                            Field Season:  Early July – Mid August

Crew Locations (subject to change):  Allentown, Altoona, Chambersburg, Erie, Greensburg, Hazelton, Harrisburg, Norristown, American Sign Language Inclusion, Pittsburgh, Ridgeway, Reading, Renovo, Wellsboro, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, York

Crew Make-Up:  2 Leaders : 6 Members

Using the Project Nomination Template:

  • Please do not reformat the spreadsheet.
  • Please rename the spreadsheet according it to your park, forest, organization, or municipality (i.e. “Organization Name”_2024.xls). 
  • Each project should be entered using only one row.  Expand the cell if your typing exceeds its size, as opposed to using a new cell on a subsequent row. 
  • Please discuss and vet potential projects with any of your staff who may be involved with the project(s) and who may be supporting the crew during the project(s).
  • When nominating multiple projects for the same site, please indicate the “project priority,” (use 1, 2, 3, etc.). 
  • Use the notes field to communicate any special instructions (i.e. best time of year for the project to occur, etc.)

What Makes a Good Project for PAOC Crews:

  • Project is conducive to a 6-person (Young Adult) or 8-person (Youth) Crew (i.e. there is enough work for everyone to do)
  • Project has a clear goal and that goal can be articulated to the crew
  • To the best of your knowledge, the project is scheduled for the appropriate amount of time
  • Staff capacity to support the crew is taken into consideration (i.e. does the project require heavy staff support or light staff support; what times in the season are staff available for heavy vs. light support)

Trail rehabilitation and construction projects have been cited as being the most beneficial projects completed.  Additionally, trail projects help build the crew dynamic and are great projects, especially for the beginning of the season.  Trail projects also align with the DCNR’s outdoor recreation economy work.  So, we would like to prioritize trail projects (and other similar projects – i.e. tree planting) for the first 2- 3 weeks of the crew season.  Consider these points as you are compiling your project nominations.

Feel free to reach out with any questions and please share this email with others inside and outside your organization who may be interested in assistance with conservation projects.

Emily M. Borcz | Program Assistant

Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps
Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
Phone: 717-614-7032 | Email: