#HEARTTHISCITY: San Francisco

As part of Alternative Spring Break 2014, American Eagle Outfitters has teamed up with the Student Conservation Association to beautify and clean up urban parks throughout the country as part of Alternative Spring Break. We’ll bring you the story of each location throughout April. Join the movement this Spring Break and don’t just go somewhere, do something! Read on to learn more about our San Francisco project from Jean, an SCA team member.

Our volunteers arrived in droves to Golden Gate Park starting at 10am on Day One. I had nonstop registration traffic for about an hour! I loved the energy and excitement of all the volunteers. Once we did a quick introduction, we all headed out to different projects including building planter boxes, painting, cleaning around the building, planting, mulching, and weeding.

SCA Leader Teamer Marvin V. preps planter boxes.

SCA Leader Teamer Marvin V. preps planter boxes.

I took a deep breath, drink of water and led 25 volunteers into Golden Gate Park to work near Alvord Lake, spreading mulch and weeding planters along the bike path. Immediately, visitors to the park began thanking us as we worked. One man said the mulch was especially needed because “it’s gotten so dusty around these trees. It used to be so pretty. This will be great!” We even got a few thumbs up from people on tour buses as they yelled “thank you!” to us.

Right before lunch, we regrouped with everyone involved in the project and heard from some speakers. They did a great job motivating us and articulating the importance of not only conservation work, but urban conservation. Phil Ginsberg, the General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Parks, was especially inspiring. He spoke of the need to protect urban greenspaces, to help the environment and give people a connection to nature within cities.

Christopher C. speaking on the history of Golden Gate Park.

Christopher C. speaking on the history of Golden Gate Park.

Throughout the week, we forged ahead with our projects, completing them with enthusiasm. I spoke with an SCA alum, Amanda Botsford, who said she came out to the event because she remembered how transformative her SCA experience was and she wanted to reconnect with SCA.

Working on the mural.

Working on the mural.

Throughout  the week,  I was so impressed to see volunteers working past 4pm to ensure everything was completed on time. The SCA members from Oakland and Menlo Park were a huge help cleaning up once we completed our work. It was awesome to see them in action! They embodied the spirit of volunteerism, and reminded me why I love working with SCA members.

The project was an incredible success. The park looks better than ever and we left our stamp with the colorful mural created by Chor Boogie.

Volunteers in front of the completed mural.

Volunteers in front of the completed mural.

Keep checking back for coverage of our clean up and art installations this Spring Break in New Orleans, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Follow the SCA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and go to AE.com/SCA to donate.

Project Live Your Life: San Francisco – Watch Tyler in Episode 3

Project Live Your Life: San Francisco – Watch Tyler in Episode 3

Meet Tyler, a youth leader from North Bergen, NJ and winner of American Eagle Outfitters Project Live Your Life in Episode 3 of Project Live Your Life: San Francisco. During our Spring 2014 photo shoot in San Francisco, our VP of External Engagement and Corporate Responsibility, Helga, met with Tyler to give him the news of a lifetime: AEO was giving him $10,000 for his non-profit, Fit to Flow, an organization that provides support to local schools in need to enhance their theatre arts and music programs. . The catch? Our fans have to help him raise $10,000 to match our donation. How can you get involved? Visit Fit to Flow on Kickstarter and donate to Tyler’s cause to help him with the production of North Bergen High School’s musical, In The Heights. You can help Tyler make a difference in giving back to his community!

Want to make your own dreams come true with help from American Eagle Outfitters, just like Tyler? Show us how you take what we make and make it your own by joining Project Live Your Life and you could be featured in an upcoming AEO campaign. Get loves on your content to win awesome prizes, too. This week you could win an iPad Mini to help you get your big dreams off the ground!

Be sure to visit Project Live Your Life on Monday, March 3rd to see the next episode in our series and find out how much money Tyler raised for Fit to Flow.

Missed Project Live Your Life San Francisco: Episode 2? Two artists, Teren and Adria, created six original designs to be produced on an exclusive T-shirt sold by AEO. Our fans voted on which design they wanted us to sell later this spring on AE.com.

Enter the 2014 I

Enter the 2014 I

Yes, it is winter and yes, it is freezing outside, but you’re not going to let that keep you inside-are you? We didn’t think so. Bundle up in your favorite American Eagle Outfitters puffer jacket, sweater and jeans and don’t forget to grab your camera on your way out the door because our Earth-saving friends at the Student Conservation Association are holding their annual “I ♥ Snow” Photo Contest.

The SCA wants to see pics of the sights and scenes that inspire you to embrace the great outdoors no matter how low the thermometer drops. Hopefully the same things that inspire you will inspire others to get out and enjoy nature’s wintry best, too. Enter your chilliest images at contest.thesca.org today. Prizes include a free round-trip plane ticket and cold weather camping gear so share your photos with the SCA now!

Check out some of the photo submissions that are inspiring us to get outside, no matter what Mother Nature brings! Don’t forget to tag your Twitter and Instagram photos of you wearing your favorite AEO cold weather gear with #AEOSTYLE for a chance to be on our AE.com style gallery.

Photo by @amieschiller.

Photo by @amieschiller.

(AEO) This is Aialik Glacier by Katherine Lasak

Photo by @lasak2.

Photo by Jenna O.

Photo by Jenna O.

Photo by Conor P.

Photo by Conor P.

Want to learn more about American Eagle Outfitter’s partnership with the SCA? Check out coverage of American Eagle Outfitters’ $1 million donation to the Department of the Interior, Hurricane Sandy relief and the SCA’s 12 Months of Serving campaign.

American Eagle Outfitters Helps Launch Youth Conservation Initiative

American Eagle Outfitters Helps Launch Youth Conservation Initiative

The following post was written by Anne Pedtke, Student Conservation Association Marketing Outreach Coordinator. The Student Conservation Association, one of American Eagle Outfitters’ national charity partners, is a national conservation force of high school and college students who protect America’s natural resources and restore our environment. Ann had attended the kick off of a remarkable new program called the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps [21CSC] in Washington, DC.

Ann joined Helga Ying, American Eagle Outfitters Vice President of External Engagement and Social Responsibility, and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on the steps of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial to officially launch the corps and announce AEO’s $1 million donation.

 

“American Eagle Outfitters Helps Launch Youth Conservation Initiative” by Ann Pedtke

 

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U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell celebrating the 21CSC launch at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Photo credit: DOI/Tami A. Heilemann.

 

On January 8th, at the President Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, members and alumni from the Student Conservation Association [SCA] joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in announcing the creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps [21CSC]. American Eagle Outfitters’ pledged $1 million to help launch the program. The original Civilian Conservation Corps was founded by President Roosevelt in 1933 as part of the New Deal to provide jobs conserving natural resources and grounds owned by the federal, state and local governments to Americans during the Great Depression. Now AEO is stepping up as the first corporate partner in a federal program that aims to engage 1 million volunteers and provide conservation training opportunities to 100,000 youth across the U.S. every year.

A longtime partner of SCA, American Eagle Outfitters has already made life-changing outdoor experiences possible for thousands of students in SCA’s Alternative Spring Break and Hurricane Sandy Recovery programs.

“The Student Conservation Association was a pioneer 57 years ago,” said Secretary Jewell, “and it has inspired many, many other youth conservation corps around the country. So the work of SCA as a partner with us in our National Parks and other public lands has been critical.”

SCA members and alumni were excited to be on the National Mall to witness the Secretary’s historic announcement. Bundled up against single-digit temperatures, students filled the audience as Secretary Jewell spoke about the importance of youth engagement in the outdoors. “These young people,” the Secretary said, gesturing to the ranks of SCA members who stood behind her, “are getting a taste for what we, as human beings, long for… a connection to nature and the outdoors that feeds the soul. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to know that there are students like these all over the country making a difference in our public lands.”

 

Secretary Jewell speaks with SCA crew leader Tom M.

Secretary Jewell speaks with SCA crew leader Tom M.

 

American Eagle Outfitters’ Helga Ying added, “This public-private partnership is one close to our customers’ hearts and directly reinforces our company’s community engagement principles. Through this initiative, we are able to provide opportunities for students to work together to protect our planet and improve our country through a deeper connection to nature, civic engagement and community development.”

 

Helga Ying of American Eagle Outfitters

Helga Ying, VP of External Engagement and Corporate Responsibility, speaks about AEO’s donation. Photo credit: DOI/Tami A. Heilemann.

 

After the announcement, Secretary Jewell led the students on a walking tour of the memorial, then invited four SCA members back to Department of the Interior headquarters for lunch. “Having lunch with Secretary Jewell was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Tai Schroeder, a three-time alum of SCA now studying zoology at the University of Wisconsin. “We talked about our experiences with the outdoors and what sparked our interest in environmentalism. I learned that no matter what age you are you can make an impact.”

 

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Secretary Jewell took the time to speak with students and tour the memorial after the announcement.

 

Jeremy Taitaino, an alum of SCA’s community crews now majoring in biology at Temple University, agreed. “Youth are the most important part of the conservation movement … We are the people who are going to be running this country in the future, so if we get involved in conservation early, we can really make a difference.”

Find out how you can become involved with AEO Better World and the SCA by visiting the #SCAserve website.

Follow along on social media:

Twitter: @the_SCA; @Interior; @SecretaryJewell

Instagram: @the_SCA; @USInterior

More coverage:

NPR: “Interior Secretary Wants to Create Jobs for Conservationists

Washington Post: “American Eagle Outfitters Pledges $1 Million for Public Land Effort

Official Press Release: “Secretary Jewell Announces $1 Million Private Funding Commitment to Advance Youth & Conservation Initiative

12 Months of Serving the Planet with The Student Conservation Association

12 Months of Serving the Planet with The Student Conservation Association

Our friends at the Student Conservation Association know that saving the planet means caring for every last bit of it, especially the parts closest to where you live. That’s why in 2014 they’re bringing you new opportunities each month to get together with other local conservationists and serve the planet in your community.

Check SCA’s events page for frequent updates on upcoming single day projects throughout year. This month you’re invited to join the SCA in celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with hands-on conservation service in 11 different cities, including  New York, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Click here to find the event nearest you and RSVP.

 

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Join the SCA and American Eagle Outfitters with 12 Months of Serving.

 

Live in New York? Then you’ll want to know about ConSERVE NYC, SCA’s monthly series of weekend service days in parks and community greenspaces all over the 5 boroughs. Head here to sign up for this month’s event and check out photos from previous projects.

Whether you’re at an SCA service event, or serving on your own, inspire others by sharing your service on the web. Use #servetheplanet to show the world how and why you serve on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure and follow @the_sca! You can also share your conservation inspiration on SCA’s Service Wall by tweeting with the hashtag #SCAserve or clicking here to post photos.

 

Be sure to share your photos with #SCAserve.

Be sure to share your photos with #SCAserve.

 

With SCA’s single day service projects you’ll meet others who care about the planet as much as you do and team up with them to make a positive impact on your local environment. Bookmark SCA’s events page to find new projects each month and sign up for emails to stay informed about events in your city. Let’s work together to make 2014 the year of serving the planet!

Give Back This Season with SCA

Give Back This Season with SCA

Our outdoorsy friends at The Student Conservation Association want to clean up 2,000 miles of hiking trail in 2014 but they can’t do it without your help!

 

student conservation association american eagle outfitters

See how far your gift will go!

 

Donate before December 31st and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar. A $25 gift will have the impact of $50… Imagine a whole mile of fresh hiking!

This holiday season, help SCA deliver the wonders of nature. Head over to SCA’s site to donate and make an impact!

 

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