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On the evening of Thursday August 4th, 70 friends, partners and National Park Service officials celebrated the return of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Founding President Liz Putnam and an SCA trail crew to the site this summer.
Between 1964 and 1970 the SCA's Headquarters were located at Sagamore Hill NHS where Ms. Putnam served as the President of the organization.The SCA was actually founded by her in 1957 and was based on the senior thesis she had written while at Vassar College in 1955 which called for a youth conservation corps based on the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s to work on and serve our public lands.
Today, the SCA is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. There are more than 64,000 SCA alumni around the world, the majority of who remain active in conservation.
Reflecting on her years at Sagamore Hill, Ms. Putnam said, "In 1964 Superintendent John Townsley believed strongly in the fledgling SCA, taking a personal interest in the program and making possible excellent office space, secretarial help, and office equipment in the Old Orchard building. He even initiated a high school program with area students working as SCA interns as a daily basis."The organization's formative years at Sagamore Hill and the assistance of John Townsley and the National Park Service helped spring board the association to what it is today."
During the speaking program portion of the evening, Ms. Putnam was recognized by Superintendent Tom Ross with a framed "birds-eye view" print of the Sagamore Hill farm circa 1918.Superintendent Ross honored Ms. Putnam on behalf of Sagamore Hill NHS and the National Park Service for her "vision and tireless work on behalf of youth and land conservation and stewardship in this country".
The evening's festivities included a barbeque and tours of the Roosevelt Home and the Theodore Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard as well as tours of the Nature Trail rehabilitation work which was conducted by a nine member SCA work crew which finished their project on August 8.