This position requires that you become enrolled in AmeriCorps. If you are selected for this program please be sure to accept AmeriCorps during the SCA offer process. No travel allowance will be offered for this position even if it is stated on your confirmation of acceptance.
Due to Covid-19, events and trainings are subject to change in response to an increase in the number of cases in the Hudson Valley region. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being held remotely, requesting symptomatic members to stay home from events, and asking members to test prior to Corps gatherings.
SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps partners with State and non-profit agencies to address the conservation needs of the Hudson River Watershed region. Corps members are placed at individual host sites, where service activities range from providing environmental education to underserved youth, to restoring streambanks along the Hudson River, and beyond. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other events.
Purpose of the Program:
Grafton Lakes State Park (GLSP), along with its sister sites Cherry Plain State Park and Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, serves around 500,000 visitors a year. Our audience comes from surrounding rural communities as well as the Capital Region urban/suburban populations in and around Troy, Albany, and Schenectady, New York. Visitors range in age from preschoolers to retirees. The park is located on the Rensselaer Plateau, which contains the fifth largest forest in New York State and is home to a variety of wildlife including porcupine, turkey, fishers, bear, and deer. We strive to connect all our visitors, young and old, with the natural world.
Exhibits and displays at GLSP include live reptiles, a live barred owl, a bird observation area, and seasonal activities.
GLSP provides a variety of programs and events, including a weeklong service project for high schoolers in the summer. This program is held in partnership with the Forest Conservation Corps (FCC) and Rensselaer Youth Outdoors (RYO).
The Environmental Educator will assist the environmental education team at GLSP with educational programming in all stages. Including lesson plan creation, preparation, and instruction. They will also assist with citizen science initiatives, like NestWatch, to educate about and promote conservation in the park. The Environmental Educator’s duties include, but are not limited to: educational programming, both for the general public, and school groups; event planning; live animal care; invasive species monitoring and control; citizen science initiatives.
Community Needs that the Program Serves:
Grafton Lakes State Park provides educational and interpretive programming for a diverse population including local rural communities and nearby urban communities in New York’s capital district. School programs provide valuable experiential learning for students who may have little experience interacting with the natural environment. Public programs provide educational and recreational opportunities to help connect people with their environment and foster stewardship and conservation values.
Values and Standards of the Program:
SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.
AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:
The Environmental Educator will present programs for school groups and public programs for all ages and abilities. As a staff person at the Park, the member will be friendly and approachable, greeting and interacting with visitors, answering questions, and providing information. The member will perform stewardship and conservation projects including nest box monitoring, trail camera wildlife surveys, and more. Member will support and assist with our annual Bark n Brew event, Trout Day, Trick or Treat Trail, and I Love My Park Day. Projects involve working both independently and on a team and may involve recruiting and supervising volunteers. Interns are encouraged to pursue the development of programs and projects in their area of interest.
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The Environmental Educator will support the Park’s mission to connect children and families with the environment through educational programs, fostering stewardship and conservation values.
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Present environmental education programs to school groups and the public; interact with visitors to the park, offering informational interpretation, answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics.
Goal 2: Accomplish stewardship projects including: citizen science research, trail camera monitoring, monitoring of invasive species, and invasive species removal.
Goal 3: Expand skills and gain experience in program development and presentation.
- Valid driver’s license for 3+ years.
- Ability to pass a federal background check.
- At least 18 years of age.
- Member must have bachelor’s degree, major in Biology, Environmental Studies, or Education is preferred.
Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position:
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently or with a partner;
Coursework, experience, and baseline knowledge of natural sciences;
A genuine desire to work with children, and some prior experience;
Passion and commitment for environmental conservation;
Interest in teaching and learning about the natural world and modeling stewardship and conservation values.
A background in education is valuable, but the most important qualities to possess are enthusiasm, positive energy, and desire to learn.
Artistic skills in graphic design or other visuals art are a plus.
Computer and technology skills are a plus..
Training in Environmental Education program development and presentation will be provided.
Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,495
Amount of living allowance member will receive:
$350/week living allowance
$1,000/month housing allowance upstate (if housing is not provided)
$1,100/month housing allowance in NYC (if housing is not provided)
Healthcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for free health insurance
Childcare coverage (if applicable):
Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps
Student loan forbearance and interest payments, (if the member qualifies): Eligible for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Environmental Leadership Institute, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, Mental Health First Aid, and other opportunities that arise.
Position ID: PO-00736084
Expected Dates: January 22, 2024 - November 18, 2024
254 Grafton Lakes State Park Way
Grafton, NY 12082
Handicap Accessible?: No
Main Area of Focus: Education and Interpretation
AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible
Driving Logistics: Required
A personal vehicle is required to access amenities such as grocery store, libraries, etc. as well as travel to Hudson Valley Corps trainings and events.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member
Housing will be provided on site at Grafton Lakes State Park.
US Citizenship: Yes