The Youth Conservation Stewards Program provides an opportunity for youths to build their skills in community service and conservation. Youths learn new skills while contributing to the improvement and maintenance of our reservations or providing environmental education to the public. Initially, the program focused on boy and girl scouts in the communities of Framingham, Sudbury, Wayland and Westborough; however, the program is open to all youths in any of our 36 communities and from any affiliation.
Past projects have included environmental education, designing and posting signage, controlling exotic-invasive plant species, trail improvements and bridge work. Youths are encouraged to visit our properties and suggest projects of their own.
Our projects generally fall into two categories: leadership projects and general community service projects. Leadership projects require the youth to do project design, planning and coordination as well as implementation. Leadership projects are appropriate for Boy Scouts seeking their Eagle rank, Girl Scouts seeking a Silver or Gold Award, and school students doing an honor project. The general community service projects are usually group projects, although some can be done by individuals. They usually entail tasks that can be implemented during one or two work sessions.
How does the program work?
A youth group leader or individual youth should first review the information contained on this web page and then contact an SVT staff member, Laura Mattei or Dan Stimson, about their interest. We will discuss potential projects, suitability and timing and choose an appropriate project. Project selection may include site visits. SVT staff provides guidance and technical support throughout the project. In the towns of Framingham, Sudbury, Wayland and Westborough, we have an SVT volunteer adult liaison who works with the youth or youths through their project.
- Baiting Brook Welch - Create Interpretive material and relocate existing kiosk.
- Cowassock Woods - Help to evaluate trails and possibly close and revegetate an unnecessary trail.
- Cowassock Woods - Invasive plant control.
- Harrington Field - Clear a stone wall of exotic-invasive plants.
- Lyons-Cutler Reservation - Replace or renovate hiking bridge
- Lyons-Cutler Reservation - Replace broken and aging boardwalks
- Memorial Forest - Renovate bridge to accomodate horseback riders
- Wolbach Farm - Create an updated interpretive trail guide
- Turenne Reservation - Invasive shrub removal.
- Turenne Reservation - Bird garden maintenance
- Cedar Hill - Build bench at hill-top kiosk.
- Greenways - Supplement and repair boardwalks.
- Upper Mill Brook - Improve trail from Claypit Hill Road.
- Walkup and Robinson - Create an updated interpretive trail guide
- O'Brien Farm CR - Build Kiosks at trail heads
Possibilities for multiple reservations
- Create deer exclosures for vegetation monitoring on an SVT reservation.
- Pursue the idea of installing an orienteering course on an SVT reservation.
- Nature study and education.
- Design interpretive trails to be posted on the website.
- Meet and greet day at local reservations, design and conduct visitor surveys.
- Events or programs to bring more visitors to SVT reservations.
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