Service Learning

Hawk Mountain Conservation Corps

From the corps and their latest adventure, PACKRAFTING! (Dec 2012)


The Hawk Mountain Conservation Corps is a special program spearheaded by the Land and Facilities Department in conjunction with our world-class environmental educators. Here's how it works:

  • High-school-aged members MUST commit to one year of service.
  • Corps members receiving training in safety, land management and many other aspects of operating the Sanctuary. 
  • Corps members interact and learn from Sanctuary scientists, interns and educators during exclusive opportunities
  • Parents/Guardians are an important component, and corps members, staff and parents/guardians enjoy a group gathering at least twice per year
  • Corps members also receive chance to participate in fun but challenging outdoor activities. For example, in 2011, the group paddled around the Everglades using funds raised exclusively for this purpose. In 2012 the group will complete a packrafting trip. 

Learn more:
Todd Bauman, Director of Land and Facilities
610-756-6961 or bauman@hawkmountain.org

What is Service Learning?

Service learning combines experiential education with meaningful community service. At Hawk Mountain, all activities include instruction, action and reflection. The combination is used to:

  • Enrich the learning experience
  • Teach civic responsibility
  • Encourage life-long civic engagement
  • Strengthen communities for the common good

What do corps members learn at Hawk Mountain?

  • Land management and stewardship
  • Proper use of trail building tools and equipment
  • Radio telemetry techniques
  • Raptor identification
  • Wilderness survival
  • Wilderness first aid
  • Navigation and GPS mapping
  • Scientific monitoring techniques
  • And more!

See the corps in action:
Video of the corps moving boulders on backcountry trails

Video 2 of the corps - they're making it happen!

Helping in all aspects

  • Showing how telemetry receivers work
    Showing how telemetry receivers work
  • Mentoring younger learners
    Mentoring younger learners
  • Greeting and directing visitors
    Greeting and directing visitors

Conservation Corps members are infused into all aspects of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. They help carry out education programs for younger students and assist in all aspects of visitor services. Some special projects include:

  • Complete trail work on the Golden Eagle Trail
  • Build a new trail at the Common Room
  • Assist in creating a native stone retention wall at the Common Room
  • Implementing features to address stormwater runoff

Wildland and Wilderness Travel Skills

  • Practicing paddling skills
    Practicing paddling skills
  • Trekking the Kitatinny Ridge
    Trekking the Kitatinny Ridge
  • Exploring the tow path
    Exploring the tow path

A strong focus of the Conservation Corps is to learn wildland and wilderness travel skills.  These skills are essential for the conservation professional to work in remote, adverse conditions that can be a part of the natural world. The corps will test the skills they've learned during their culmination trip to Everglades National Park.

Everglades Expedition Service Trek

Conservation Corps Everglades Blog
On December 26, 2011, the Hawk Mountain Conservation Corps joined forces with the “Swamp Apes” of the Everglades Exploration Network. This trip culminated the first year of service to Hawk Mountain, as well as the first year of the Conservation Corps program. After completing a service project for the National Park, the group headed out on their own trek to explore this unique national treasure and shared their discoveries on their service learning blog.

During the trip, the group paddled around Cape Sable Island heading first northward up Whitewater Bay, navigating through Oyster Bay and out to Ponce de Leon Bay, then following the coast back to Flamingo. 

We thank our generous sponsors

Conservation Corps Sponsors:
Lead Corporate Sponsorship from Baldrige Asset Managment
Grant from the Sandy Hollow Arts and Recreation for the Environment (S.H.A.R.E.)
Grant from Infinera Corp.
Logistic and financial support from Tony Zawada
Numerous gifts from individual donors
In-kind contributions of time and expertise to share skills and knowledge

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