United Communities AmeriCorps (UCA) members engage in meaningful service that meets critical community needs throughout Southwest Oregon. UCA projects improve access to social services by bridging barriers to educational opportunities, mentoring, job skills development, employment resources, family stability, and having healthy futures. Our members engage clients in their dedicated service project, and then use their experience to recruit, retain, and support community volunteers in their project and host site. Our positions are a dynamic combination of serving in a dedicated project (85%) and engaging in civic and professional development opportunities, alongside our AmeriCorps cohort (15%).
Opportunity: Service Learning Program Leader
at North Mountain Park Nature Center
UNITED COMMUNITIES AMERICORPS
February 1, 2023 July 31, 2023 (full-time; 6 months - 900 hours)
Service Learning Program Leader
PROJECT HOST SITE
North Mountain Park Nature Center
620 North Mountain Ave. Ashland, OR 97520
Lead outdoor education programs and support volunteer stewardship in a nature park, rich with plant diversity and wildlife. Assist with the coordination and delivery of Service Learning field trips for grades 3-12. Teach outdoor education curriculum, often connected to on-site, community service projects including trail maintenance, weed removal and habitat restoration. Assist in the training and support of a large volunteer community, through volunteer program coordination, training, appreciation and the development of volunteer handbook. Assist with habitat maintenance and restoration projects in both natural habitats and demonstration flower gardens.
Information also available at My.AmeriCorps.gov
ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES (to include, but not limited to)
- Coordinate field trips and communicate with teachers about visits to the park, answering questions, sending reminders and accommodating special circumstances.
- Lead youth in service activities; instruct project tasks, provide guidance for safely using tools, keep students on task and provide connection between the work they are doing and the lesson they are learning that day.
- Lead students in place-based Environmental Education activities; engaging students with a variety of established programs on local natural history.
- Help to develop Nature Explore Kits for K-2 classes, providing the tools and resources to help early-elementary teachers engage their students at the park.
- Coordinate and train volunteers to help teach environmental education curriculum and lead hands-on community service projects
- Assist with volunteer gardener orientation and direction of work party volunteers in maintaining and improving gardens, wildlife habitat, native plant habitat and restoration projects within the park.
- Facilitate community education through our annual public event, Rogue Valley Bird Day.
- Locate and eradicate invasive weeds, without the use of herbicides, and assist with the maintenance of the parks Demonstration Gardens; caring for annual and perennial flowers, weeding garden beds, pruning plants, maintaining tools and other garden and greenhouse related tasks
- Implement Effective Volunteer Management Practices (EVMPs), including crafting position descriptions for volunteer tasks within Ashland Parks and Recreation, and the Nature Center specifically.
- Complete and submit all necessary UCA paperwork and reports in a timely manner.
- Attend and complete all UCA training and service requirements including orientation, trainings, team meetings, and National Days of Service (Make a Difference Day, MLK Jr. Day, and a June Service Event).
- Wear AmeriCorps apparel and/or appropriate identifiers while performing service or attending official events.
MARGINAL RESPONSIBILITIES (to include, but not limited to)
- Assist with site preparation, equipment inventory and maintenance
- Help assess the effectiveness of educational programs
- Prepare templates for field trip confirmation letters, scheduling calendars, and pre- and post- visit educational resources for all attending teachers.
- Assist with the recruitment and on-boarding of volunteer instructors
- Take photos to document and market educational programs, work-parties and other service activities
- Suggest improvements to educational and interpretive materials.
- Must be self-motivated, outgoing and enjoy working with and teaching adults and youth.
- Willingness and physical ability to do manual outdoor work in various capacities.
- Have strong organizational and interpersonal communication skills (both writing and speaking in front of groups.)
- Requires a somewhat flexible schedule including working some weekend hours.
- 17 years of age or older, at beginning of service term.
- U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident.
- Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent, or commit to earning one prior to receiving an education award.
- Ability to commit to the full term of service for which they are applying.
- Must successfully pass a National Service Criminal History Check provided through UCAN and/or Project Host Site.
- Regular and reliable attendance.
- Have not previously served four terms in an AmeriCorps*State or National program. Members are only eligible for the equivalent of two full-time education awards in their lifetime. Applicants must disclose if they have ever been removed for cause from any national service program.
- Education or experience in natural resources, natural science or related fields.
- Interest and knowledge of watershed health and restoration.
- Experience in leading educational programs for youth.
- Some computer proficiency with Word and Excel.
- Strong communication skills, and ability to communicate enthusiastically with students and members of the public.
- Work may occur in an outdoor environment with exposure to changeable weather conditions while facilitating groups of people.
- Some work may also be performed in a typical office environment, with significant time in front of a computer and the possibility of moderate noise and distractions.
PHYSICAL & INTELLECTUAL DEMANDS
- Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. and consistently bend, squat, twist, kneel, push, pull, grasp, and lift and carry on both left and right sides.
- Hand-weeding may require good eyesight and fine-motor skills.
- Must be able to stand and walk for up to 8 hours per day
- Must be able to spend up to 8 hours per day at a desk, doing in administrative and programmatic work on a computer.
- Must be able to participate in up to 8 hours of physical activity while teaching educational programs and engaging volunteers.
- Garden tasks require use of pruning shears, loppers, shovels, rakes and trowels.
- Maintenance tasks may require the use power tools such as string trimmers, leaf blowers, and hedge trimmers
- Standard office equipment will be provided including a desk-top computer (with Windows operating system), multiple-line desk phone, copy machine and printer.
MEMBER BENEFITS INCLUDE
- For ease in transporting materials and vegetation, member may drive an electric vehicle on trails and in parking lots.
- $9,001 living allowance paid over the 6-month service term (approx. $1,500 monthly, before taxes).
- $3,247.50 education award upon successful completion of the term of service which can be used to repay qualified student loans or for further education in an accredited institution of higher learning, vocational or trade schools. The education award is taxed in the year that it is used. Members that are 55 and older may transfer the award to one child or grandchild.
- May be eligible for Loan Forbearance & Interest Accrual Repayment on qualified loans (after successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps will pay the accrued interest on qualified loans, which is taxable).
- Basic medical insurance (covers members only, not dependents; vision and dental not included).
- Child care allowance for those who qualify.
- Professional development, trainings and networking opportunities
EQUITY & INCLUSION
UCA values diversity and seeks to provide an inclusive space that rejects intolerance. Qualified individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. UCA is an AA/EEO employer. UCA provides reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals and conducts all activities in fully accessible settings.
HOW TO APPLY
Application Deadline: January 13, 2023
Interviews are conducted on a rolling basis as qualified candidates are identified, so early application is strongly encouraged as member selection may be made prior to the application deadline.
STEP 1: Apply to United Communities AmeriCorps:
The position is visible at My.AmeriCorps.gov
Submit AmeriCorps Application
Submit application, UCA will then forward it to site supervisor for review who then waits for items in Step 2
STEP 2: Apply to Project Site Supervisor:
Conducts first round interviews on a rolling basis and recommends top candidates to UCA
Email the following items to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Cover Letter (1 page)
Contact information for three References (name, title, relationship, email, & phone)
STEP 3: The Project Site Supervisor submits top applicants to UCA for a second interview. Once top applicant interviews are complete, applicants will be notified of selection decision.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS POSITION? CONTACT:
Libby VanWyhe, Nature Center Manager
541-552-2474 | email@example.com
QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICORPS? CONTACT:
Rachelle Mills. M.Ed.
Program Director | United Communities AmeriCorps
280 Kenneth Ford Drive Roseburg, OR 97470
541-492-3919 | Rachelle.Mills@ucancap.org