Students Spend Summer Beautifying the Outdoors

Rather than spend their summer watching TV and keeping cool, nearly two dozen students from Austin, Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, Challenge Early College, DeBakey, Lamar, Lee, Milby and Westbury high schools are helping create trails in area parks as part of the six-week Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) summer program.

Many of the students are working on a 3-mile equestrian trail at Spring Creek Greenway in north Harris County. The work is tough and causes some aches and pains, but the students said creating something special outweighs everything.

“At the end of the day, what I’m doing, it matters most,” said Nigel Rayford, a Lamar junior who is participating in the program for a second year. “We’re cutting down trees, we’re using loppers to clear branches. It involves sweat, of course. It may be hot, but at the end of the day it’s worth it.”

Ananna Anu, a recent Bellaire HS graduate who plans to study at the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering, has participated in the program for three years.

“I really enjoy getting out here, getting to work with the nature and several crew members,” Anu said. “I feel really good spending my summers helping the environment.”

In addition to creating the equestrian trail, students are also working on trail and camping pad projects at Sheldon Lake State Park and Cullinan Park. They’ll begin working on projects at the Houston Arboretum in early August.

The SCA, which has been working throughout the Houston area for about 10 years, is taking applications for next summer’s programs and programs that run throughout the school year. Applicants should be 15 years old at the time of service. To apply, visit the SCA’s website or call 713-520-1835.