Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) - What a Crew Member Does

WESTERN MARYLAND: Appalachian region

Deep Creek Lake State Park

The Deep Creek Lake State Park MCC Crew is located in Garrett County, in far Western Maryland. This area features Appalachian mountain terrain, rocky rivers and waterfalls, hemlock forests, and the largest lake in Maryland. The crew will work throughout Deep Creek Lake State Park Complex, including Sang Run State Park and the Youghiogheny Natural Environment Area. Conservation work includes: trail construction; various park improvement and construction projects; interpretation; environmental education; forest management; and tree plantings. Additionally, the crew will assist with facility improvement projects at nearby New Germany State Park, Rocky Gap State Park, Herrington Manor State Park and with other State Parks throughout the state. Some weekend work is required. Low-cost State Park​ housing is available nearby at Swallow Falls State Park.

Focus Areas: trail construction and maintenance, chainsaw use, forest management

South Mountain Recreational Area

The South Mountain MCC Crew is located between Frederick and Hagerstown, in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland. The region is known for both its scenic beauty and rich cultural history. Crew members work throughout the complex at Greenbrier, Washington Monument, and Gathland State Parks. Crew members also spend a lot of time working at campgrounds/shelters off of the Appalachian Trail where they have helped build new campsites, maintain trails, remove graffiti, and assist rangers with hazardous tree removal. Crew members will engage in a wide variety of projects including trail work, boundary painting, invasive species removal, chainsawing, carpentry, and interpretive programming, including as members of the South Mountain Canon Detachment. Occasional weekend work is required. Low-cost State Park housing is available within South Mountain State Battlefield.

Focus Areas: park improvement projects, trail work, chainsaw use, interpretive programming

CENTRAL MARYLAND: Piedmont r​egion

Patapsco Valley State Park

The Patapsco Valley State Park​ MCC Crew is based in the 32-mile long scenic river valley, along the Patapsco River in Central Maryland. Stretching between Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, and Carroll Counties, and located near Baltimore City. Patapsco Valley was Maryland’s first State Park, established in 1907. Patapsco is well known for its beautiful scenery and over 200 miles of trails. The Crew can expect to complete a variety of different conservation projects. Work includes extensive trail maintenance, construction, and reclamation of trail; reforestation projects, and environmental education programs. The Crew is also involved in cooperative projects and trainings with other groups, including local conservation groups and our large volunteer base. The Crew works closely with the Conservation Job Corps program during the summer, leading projects in the park and mentoring youth. The Crew also has the opportunity to assist with animal care at Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area. Low-cost housing is available within Patapsco Valley State Park.

Focus Areas: trail construction and maintenance, park improvement projects, environmental education and outreach, animal care

Susquehanna State Park

The Susquehanna State Park MCC Crew is based along the Susquehanna River near the town of Havre de Grace, in Harford County, approximately 45 minutes northeast of Baltimore. The park is well known for its many recreational opportunities along the river, as well as its historic significance, including its 200-year-old grist mill, which the crew helps maintain. The crew also works on diverse projects alongside the rangers in the park. Crew projects include: maintaining and constructing trails, chain sawing and wood chipping, planning and leading environmental education programs, helping with volunteer work days, removing invasive species, stocking trout, conducting bird nest box surveys, caring for Scales & Tales animals, and collaborating with other MCC crews. The crew also works on projects at nearby Palmer State Park, Bush Declaration NRMA, and Rocks State Park, known for its unique 190’ high rock outcropping. Low-cost State Park housing is available within Susquehanna State Park.

Focus Areas: trail maintenance and construction, chain sawing, invasive species removal, park improvement projects

Gunpowder Falls State Park

The Gunpowder Falls State Park MCC Crew is located in Maryland’s largest and most geographically diverse State Park. With over 18,000 acres in both Harford and Baltimore Counties, Gunpowder Falls extends from the rocky Piedmont of the Hereford Area adjacent to the Pennsylvania state line, to the Chesapeake Bay coastal marshes of North Point State Park and Hart-Miller Island. The crew is based in the Hammerman Area, located near White Marsh, MD (approximately 30 minutes from Baltimore City). The park features more than 120 miles of multi-use trails, historic sites, fishing, kayaking/canoeing opportunities, youth group camping areas, a swimming beach, and a marina. This crew is known for working closely with park staff to complete trail and facility improvement projects, as well as extensively using chainsaws to remove downed and hazardous trees from remote, scenic trails and in busy day-use areas. Potential conservation work includes tree and native garden plantings; invasive and non-native species removal; wildlife management; stream clean-ups and restoration; sustainable trail design and maintenance; and environmental education programming in conjunction with Baltimore County Public Schools and park naturalists. This crew works closely with the Conservation Jobs Corps program during the summer, leading conservation and construction projects in Gunpowder Falls and four other State Parks within its complex: the Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail, North Point State Park/North Point State Battlefield, and Hart-Miller Island. Occasional weekend work is required. Low-cost State Park housing is available within the Central Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park.

Focus Areas: chainsaw use, trail maintenance and construction, carpentry and construction projects


Merkle Natural Resources Management Area

Merkle Natural Resources Management Area is located outside of the greater Washington, D.C. area in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Merkle offers a unique wildlife experience, hosting the largest concentration of Canada geese on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The park’s visitor center is open year-round, which offers a wide variety of MCC member responsibility, including animal care for several reptiles used for Scales & Tales programming, interpretive ex​hibit development, interpretive programming, and special events. Each member is responsible for developing and leading a park improvement project during their service year. Crew members also assist with projects at sister parks within the Southern Maryland Recreational Complex including Cedarville State Forest and Calvert Cliffs State Park. The Merkle crew is often called the “travel crew” due to the time they spend working on projects at other parks across the state. Some weekend work is required. Low-cost state park housing is available to Merkle members near the Visitor Center where the crew meets daily.

Focus Areas: animal care, park improvement projects, chainsaw work, environmental education.

Tuckahoe State Park

The Tuckahoe State Park MCC Crew is located on Maryland's Eastern Shore, approximately 30 minutes east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Caroline County. It is recognized as an important habitat for birds and has connections with the unique history of the Eastern Shore. The Tuckahoe State Park Complex includes Tuckahoe State Park, Martinak State Park, Wye Island NRMA, Sassafras NRMA, and others. Throughout the year, the crew works on a variety of park improvement projects in the Tuckahoe State Park Complex including trail maintenance, chain sawing and chipping, tree planting, and environmental displays. In the spring and summer, the crew focuses primarily on providing environmental education to school groups and environmental interpretation programs to park visitors. MCC also works extensively at Martinak State Park, helping with events such as the Turkey Trot and Santa Chase fun runs. Tuckahoe has a large collection of raptors and reptiles as part of the Scales & Tales program. Crew members are the primary caretakers and handlers for all of these animal ambassadors. The crew works most weekends from April through July. Low cost State Park housing is available at Cypress Branch.

Focus Areas: park improvements, animal care and handling, environmental education

Assateague State Park

Assateague State Park is an oceanfront park on Maryland's Eastern Shore, just south of Ocean City. Assateague is well known for its environmental education and interpretive programming. It also has a Scales & Tales program which currently includes raptors, reptiles and aquatic animals. Crew members will be taught proper care and handling techniques for reptiles and aquatic animals and will be responsible for their daily care, as well as frequent interpretive programming with them. Crew members will design and build original displays for the park's beachfront Nature Center. During the spring, crew members will lead environmental education programs for school field trips. In the summer, crew members will lead interpretive programs and recreational activities for campers including (but not limited to) kayaking, beach yoga, and night hikes. Other activities include monthly water quality sampling with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, various park improvement projects, parkwide event planning, and other conservation projects working with The Nature Conservancy and National Aquarium of Baltimore. Some weekend work is required. Low-cost state park housing is available at Assateague State Park next to the park office.

Focus Areas: environmental education, animal care and handling, park improvement projects

Download the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) Crew Descriptions