In 1983, Mayor Dianne Feinstein and Honorable Justice J. Anthony Kline founded the San Francisco Conservation Corps, creating the first urban municipal youth corps in the nation.
In that first year, 24 young adults joined the Corps. They received basic job training and worked on projects to conserve and improve San Francisco's environment.
The new Corps drew on the legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. Roosevelt founded the Corps in 1933 to create paid work for thousands of people struggling with unemployment during the depression. The Corps worked on projects to enhance the country's natural resources at a time when land was being ravaged in the dust bowl. Over the nine years of its existence, Roosevelt's CCC planted almost 3 billion trees and provided work experience for almost 3 million men.
The San Francisco Corps also grew out of the model of the California Conservation Corps, a statewide Corps founded in 1976 with goals similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps. The California Corps is still going strong.
1983 - 2010. Our First 27 Years
SFCC has grown from a basic education and training program into a robust academic, job training, work readiness and life skills experience for over 100 very low-income young adults each year.
Since 1983, over 4,800 young people have taken the challenge to become Corpsmembers, working 4.1 million hours on hundreds of landscaping, conservation, recycling and playground renovation projects to enhance the environment and communities of San Francisco. Throughout this work, thousands of Corpsmembers have gained academic, environmental and work skills.
Today, SFCC is joined by 11 other local Corps throughout California, through the California Association of Local Conservation Corps. All of these Corps work with young men and women to enhance the environment through recycling, conservation, parkland improvements and more. Corpsmembers also attend academic classes, learn about conservation, and develop job skills through their public service work. Additionally, SFCC is an active member of the national Corps movement, The Corps Network, representing over 100 Corps and more than 21,000 Corpsmembers, providing a wealth of conservation, infrastructure improvement, and human service hours to communities around the country.
SFCC Enhances the City of San Francisco
- Public space conservation & beautification
SFCC is a key partner in the restoration of dozens of San Francisco's open spaces, including Crissy Field and Glen Canyon. At Crissy Field, Corpsmembers created a lush wetland estuary and park now enjoyed by thousands of people. In collaboration with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Park Association, the Corps recruited and trained over 5000 volunteers, planting 157,278 native plants and educating over 5,000 middle and high school students about the environment and native habitats.
- Recycling force
Just in the past year, SFCC has diverted over 221 tons of recyclables from landfills, helping San Francisco work towards Mayor Gavin Newsom's goal to be the greenest city in the nation.
- Playground renovation
Corpsmembers renovate playgrounds in low-income communities building inviting play areas for children.
- Empower Corpsmembers to become economically self-sufficient and productive
- Inspire Corpsmembers to attain the highest level of education
- Restore and improve parks, public spaces and community centers for the benefit of San Francisco residents and visitors
- Promote conservation awareness and civic engagement through meaningful community service work and environmental education