The Chicago Urban Conservation Program builds on the Conservancy’s science-based, collaborative, results-oriented approach and its record of contributing creative and effective solutions to conservation challenges. We work to achieve benefits for people and nature in Chicago and neighboring communities by increasing access to and engagement with urban nature, increasing urban biodiversity and improving community resilience and public health by implementing natural solutions as essential components of a healthy, just, climate-resilient city. All our work is done collaboratively in partnership with other leading agencies and organizations across Chicago and neighboring communities and aligned with environmental and social justice priorities.
The Community Stewardship Program Fellow will support the community stewardship program, implement community stewardship workdays and supervise volunteers who perform restoration, conservation, and engagement work on Chicago Park District natural areas, complementing the efforts of the Department of Cultural and Natural Resources. This position will be under the supervision of the Community Stewardship Program Manager, a shared position between the Chicago Park District and The Nature Conservancy. This is a part-time position which will end 12-months after the start date. The goal of the fellowship is to create a pathway for emerging conservation professionals to develop skills in community engagement and urban habitat restoration, filling a gap left between career training programs and entry into the general workforce.
The Community Stewardship Program Fellow will be responsible for assisting Chicago Park District (CPD) staff to empower and engage community members to care for and activate CPD natural areas. The Program Fellow will work under the direction of the Community Stewardship Program Manager to lead community stewardship workdays in CPD natural areas, maintain records of volunteer service and assist with program outreach and promotion.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- Supervise and lead volunteer stewardship workdays and special events, working alongside community stewards where appropriate • Instruct diverse volunteers of various ages and abilities in the use of habitat restoration tools and practices.
- Maintain stewardship volunteer database, keep records of workday activities and attendance.
- Attend and represent CPD and TNC at conferences to disseminate informational materials about the stewardship program.
- Assist the Program Manager with projects such as the production and distribution of promotional materials.
- Principal work location is the CPD office in Chicago, Illinois. Due to the flexibility required in this position other work locations may be utilized from time to time. Work on weekends and some evenings will be expected.
- The employee will need to pass a CPD background check prior to employment.
- 1 year’s training in volunteer coordination, a science-related field or related experience in habitat restoration.
- Experience recognizing plant and animal species.
- Experience working in a team environment.
- Possession of Illinois Herbicide license, or obtain within 6 months of employment.
- Possession of a valid driver's license, or obtain within 6 months of employment.
- Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. First Aid, CPR, herbicide or pesticide application)
- Experience working across differences such as race, culture, disabilities, socio-economic class and language group. Multilingual or bilingual skills appreciated, particularly Spanish.1 - 2 years’ experience in habitat restoration or related field.
- Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems.
- Ability to communicate clearly via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.