American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America’s public lands. ACE is grounded in the philosophy that cooperative labor on meaningful conservation projects fosters cross-cultural understanding and operates on the belief that challenging volunteer service unites people of all backgrounds in common cause.
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Founded by Chris Baker in 2004 in Flagstaff, Arizona, ACE was originally formed under the conservation corps model, providing a range of voluntary service programs for both American and international participants.
The creation of ACE had humble beginnings. Operating with a three-person staff and one crew, Chris expanded ACE’s service footprint into a nationally recognized organization offering direct service in 42 states and 3 territories, providing countless conservation opportunities and member placements.
With the help of a dedicated team, Chris developed enduring, nationally-scaled partnerships with multiple federal land management agencies and dozens of federal, state, municipal, and nonprofit partnerships to grow ACE to where it is today.
Chris’ vision and passion for the natural world and volunteerism has and will continue to inspire our staff, our members and our organization for years to come.
ACE remains a nationally recognized leader in the conservation community engaging thousands of young adults in the accomplishment of practical environmental restoration projects in America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
I feel safe to say that ACE drastically changed my life. It took me in a whole new direction that I hadn’t even considered for myself. In college I studied Art Education and the thought never crossed my mind that one day I would be working in Zion National Park as a Wildland FireFighter. I didn’t really even know what that job was. Now I work with people who were once my project partners in Zion. I was told by both of the people in charge of hiring me for my two fire seasons that my work experience with the conservation corps was the main reason I was hired.