Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps

Program Year: 2021

Project Partners: Student Conservation Association and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Program Dates: 7/6 – 8/13

Leader(s): Sam Bragg

Ages of Corps Member: 15 – 20


This year CorpsTHAT partnered with the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps which is made up of parternes with the Student Conservation Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  Working with PAOC, CorpsTHAT connected with Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and 5 Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth were hired to work in the Pittsburgh area.  This program lasted 6 week and while most of it was a day program where participants returned home every evening after work and had their weekends off they did have an opportunity to camp. The week they spent camping at Raccoon Creek State park was for some participant their first time camping ever. Youth members worked hard and gained new skills and everyone left with a new appreciation of Pennsylvania’s outdoor spaces.

Project Accomplishments

  • 5 first time corps members
  • .5 acres of land improved
  • 4,065   feet of trail improved 
  •  18 square feet of waterways improved
  • 2 structures improved
  • 1 Bioswale installed
  • 1 bridge installed
  • 2 woven willow structures built

CorpsTHAT Provided:


Crew Leader Training

Supported the training of crew leaders, providing direct communication, leadership and educational training tailored to fit the needs of Deaf leaders and members as well as technical field training. 


Providing Qualified Outdoor Interpreters

Working with Trailblazing Interpreters to provide interpreters for Project Contact meetings, training and debriefs on site and at the office.



Hosting presentations at area schools virtual and hosting job opportunity webinars.  Sitting in on interviews to provide direct communication as well as feedback in hiring. 


Programmatic Support 

Training staff and project contacts, debrief with staff, and available to answer any questions or concerns. provided ongoing education and knowledge share of the Deaf community and working with Deaf individuals. 


Crew Leader

Maryland | Maine

Wade was a member that was familiar with what hard work was all about. Returning from working with the CorpsTHAT a few weeks prior with their young adult conservation crew. He lent his knowledge and leadership skills from the previous conservation crew to help guide our work smoothly. With Wade’s prior experience with CorpsTHAT conservation crew, he was willing to take on additional leadership responsibilities and serve as a role model for his fellow crew members. Wade aspires to work as a park ranger within the National Park System or DCNR someday

“Nature provides everything that we humans need. If we want nature to keep existing, we need to work with/for nature to sustain it.” Whether snapping pictures of plants and insects to identify or immersing himself in environmental education activities, Zaid often was found mesmerized by salamanders. I think we ended up calling him a salamander-whisperer. Zaid really has the eye and patience when it comes to observing nature.

Contact us to learn more:

    The 2021 Pittsburgh PA Outdoor Corps Crew would like to thank SCA, PAOC, DCNR, CorpsTHAT, Trail Blazing Interpreters. We would also like to express our gratitude to those at Jennings Environmental Education Center, Ohiopyle State Park, Raccoon Creek State Park, Ross Township, and Allegheny Land Trust.

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