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Southeast Conservation Corps

Individual Placement working with horses


The Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC) provides young adults, youth and veterans with structured, safe and challenging service and educational opportunities through projects that promote personal development and stewardship.

Our Programs

Southeast Conservation Corps offers a unique set of conservation programs that engage young people in meaningful education and service to their communities and natural landscapes. 

SECC operates programs year-round with peak season being March-November. Since each program is purposeful in design, positions may vary in length, location, focus, and populations served. Our internship program is the only one that has start dates year-round. Our youth and adult programs run seasonally starting in the spring, summer, and fall.  All SECC programs are implemented through a diverse range of partnerships including public land agencies, non-profits, land trusts, schools, and municipalities. 

Youth and Adult Conservation Corps

SECC’s conservation crews are designed around the population they engage. These programs are specific to youth (15-18), adults (18-26) and military veterans (18-38). The work varies by the crew, season, and year but projects in the past have included: trail design, maintenance and construction, watershed restoration, habitat enhancement, fencing, tree planting, invasive plant removal, and much, much more. We run both local and camping crews depending on the project work and location. Corpsmembers that serve a season with SECC re-enter their communities as individuals with elevated employment skills and a stronger presence of leadership, resiliency, and dedication to natural resources. 

Veterans Fire Corps 

The Veterans Fire Corps program provides training and on-the-job experience for recent-era (post 9/11) veterans interested in entering into careers and gaining experience in natural resource management. Participants will get chainsaw certifications (S-212), wildland fire certifications (S130-190), first aid, CPR, and fire/thinning/burn experience. All of our certifications are through the U.S. Forest Service or the National Park Service. 

Individual Placements (Internships)

Our internship program engages young adults (18-35) with opportunities to work on conservation-based projects in partnership with both public and private resource managers, including federal agencies and local non-profit organizations. Each internship offers a unique opportunity for immersive training, career development, mentorship, and positive impact--for both the intern, the agency and the communities where we serve.

Trips for Kids®

SECC’s Trips for Kids® program provides a unique recreational and conservation service experience to youth who may not otherwise have access to Chattanooga’s natural resources. Through the joy of riding a mountain bike, youth cultivate a connection to the natural environment and are provided with a fun yet demanding physical activity that encourages personal growth and environmental stewardship. Trips for Kids® programs are led by SECC staff and trained mentors from within the local mountain bike community. SECC’s Trips for Kids® bike rides and service projects take place on local trails and open spaces.