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The Sara Shallenberger Brown Garden Club of America National Parks Conservation Scholarship

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Category: Conservation & Ecological Restoration

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Application deadline: January 15


e purpose of this scholarship will be to encourage studies and careers in the conservation fields, with the opportunity to protect, enhance and gain knowledge and experience for the lasting benefit of the U.S. National Parks. The Sara Shallenberger Brown GCA National Parks Conservation scholarship will fund an annual SCA Apprentice Crew Leader (ACL) and/or Apprentice. ACLs will assist crew leaders to provide support, encouragement, and mentorship of high school crews engaged in hands-on conservation projects. Apprentices will work under the direct oversight of a land management agency or organization to address specific needs, which often include, but are not limited to, field data collection and management, visitor interpretation and education, and direct service work that maintains trails and improves habitats. The goal will be to provide a college student with the technical and personal skills and field experience to become a future leader in challenging and rewarding conservation service work.

Level of Education

Open to college undergraduates aged 19 - 20


Open to college undergraduates aged 19 to 20, with preference given to those with prior SCA experience. Eligibility is open to U.S. Citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in a U.S. - based institution.


Annually provides training, transportation and a $250/wk stipend for each student as an SCA apprentice crew leader working directly under two experienced leaders on a 3 or 4 week summer trail crew in one of America’s storied national parks. The scholarship’s founders hope that students will build on their enhanced technical and interpersonal skills and become full-fledged crew leaders or pursue related careers in environmental education or outdoor leadership training.


Selection is by the Student Conservation Association in conjunction with the Garden Club of America Scholarship Committee.


Established in 2010, the scholarship is a tribute to the late Sara “Sally” Shallenberger Brown. It was launched in 2011 to showcase Mrs. Brown's dedication to the environment and ensure that her legacy will continue in perpetuity. A member of the Glenview Garden Club of Louisville, Kentucky since 1939, Sally Brown gave many years of active and influential service to environmental issues and conservation organizations on a local, national, and global level. The establishment of the scholarship both commemorated Sally’s 100th birthday and honored the centennial of the National Park Service. The Brown scholarship was established in partnership with the Student Conservation Association, which was itself founded by Elizabeth “Liz” Putnam, a member of the Bennington Garden Club of Bennington, Vermont. For more about the Student Conservation Association, click here.

To Apply

Please see the posting on the SCA website. The application deadline is February 2nd. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY ONE GCA SCHOLARSHIP, FELLOWSHIP OR AWARD MAY BE APPLIED FOR ANNUALLY.


The Sara Shallenberger Brown GCA National Parks Conservation Scholarship is managed by the Garden Club of America and administered by the Student Conservation Association. 


Lauren Harnishfeger, Student Conservation Association,

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