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Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps offers work experience, job training, and environmental educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.

In addition to hands-on job skills, the program provides learning opportunities weekly in resource management, environmental issues and topics, and recreation skills.

Corps members also will be provided with workforce development training and materials during their period of employment.

Who’s Eligible?

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps consists of two components:

  • A 10-month program for young adults ages 18 - 25
  • A six-week, summer program for youth ages of 15 - 18

10-Month Young Adult Crews

Crews will work Monday, March 1, through Friday, December 3, 2021, in the following areas:

  • Altoona
  • Harrisburg -- local
  • Harrisburg -- roving resource management
  • Meadville
  • Philadelphia -- roving trail crew
  • Pittsburgh
  • Saint Marys
  • Wilkes-Barre
  • Williamsport

Young adult Outdoor Corps members will work a 37.5-hour week and receive competitive compensation and health insurance. Daily transportation to and from the work site and staple food items also will be provided.

Learn more:

Six-Week Summer Youth Crews

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the structure of the Summer Youth Program has been changed to ensure a safe experience for youth members and crew leaders. 

The following changes have been made to the program for 2021:

  • The program will only field crews in the following cities and/or towns:

      • Altoona
      • Erie
      • Greensburg
      • Harrisburg
      • McConnellsburg
      • Philadelphia
      • Pittsburgh (planned to be an all American Sign Language crew through a partnership with an organization that works with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
      • St. Mary’s
      • Wellsboro
      • Wilkes-Barre
      • Williamsport
      • York

  • The sizes of each summer youth crew has changed from two leaders and 10 members to one leader and five members. This will limit the amount of youth that can be accepted into the 2021 program.

Because the program was cancelled in 2020 and had already accepted applications, the Pa. Outdoor Corps is no longer accepting applications for 2021 except in the following cities and/or towns:

  • Erie
  • Greensburg
  • McConnellsburg
  • St. Mary's

​If you are a new applicant, please do not apply unless you can serve in these locations.

Program staff will soon be reaching out to 2020 applicants with information regarding the 2021 summer program.

For 2021 Summer Youth Crew inquiries, please contact Program Coordinator Vickery Lauro.

Types of Projects

Outdoor Corps members will tackle hands-on projects in state and local parks, state forests, and other public lands, such as:

  • Trail restoration
  • Habitat enhancement
  • Tree planting
  • Light construction
  • Shoreline restorations
  • Invasive species management
  • Specialty projects in relation to recreation and conservation, which may include public outreach, research, and assessments

Availability for Local Park Work

While the majority of the project work will be performed on state park and forest lands, the Corps will be available on a cost-share basis to local land managers such as municipal and county parks and recreation departments during 2019.

Contact the Outdoor Corps program manager for more information.

Goals and Background of the PA Outdoor Corps

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps will help to protect and restore public lands and waters, while providing young people with the knowledge and expertise to be good stewards of our natural resources.

The program will connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment and provide training in work skills necessary for future successful employment.

The youth employment and enrichment program is managed by the DCNR in cooperation with the Student Conservation Association, a national conservation jobs organization that has engaged thousands of young people nationwide in hands-on service to the land to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities.

Program Funding 

The 2021 Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is financially supported by DCNR and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Reemployment Program, along with private contributions made through the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.