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 stream banks along the Hudson River, and beyond. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other events.
Purpose of the Program:
Walkway Over the Hudson is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group that works to activate and improve Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. Originally built in 1889 as an operating railroad bridge and brought back to life in 2009 through the dedicated efforts of the local community, the linear bridge park is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.
The park connects the region through several rail trails including the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and the Empire State Trail and is an outdoor attraction for over 600,000 visitors each year. Through our staff and volunteers, Walkway Over the Hudson activates the unique public space year-round through community events and educational programming. Through our partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation we embark on capital improvement projects that enhance the visitor experience.
Walkway Over the Hudson is a small but fast-paced nonprofit organization. Our critical mission depends upon engaging with a diverse community, volunteers, park patrons, members, and donors who share our vision for the park.
Currently, Walkway’s volunteer program consists of 150 committed “Ambassador” who help staff two gift shops that sell merchandise and provide visitor information, run a tram system that provides free rides for those with limited mobility, guide historical walks and educational programs on the bridge, assist with special events, and more. They give back to the community by sharing their time and knowledge of the region to help us enhance the Walkway experience.
The Volunteer Coordinator and Interpreter will assist the Volunteer Services Manager at the Walkway Over the Hudson to coordinate and oversee the volunteer program including orientation, scheduling, and oversight as well as act as an on-site interpreter, leading guided walks on a regular basis for school and adult groups.
Community Needs that the Program Serves:
Walkway Over the Hudson spans two counties and provides a recreational and interpretive space for a diverse population including several urban and rural communities in the lower Hudson Valley region. Poughkeepsie located on the east side of the park and Highland located on the west side of the park, many of our visitors are regular users from these communities.
The park also attracts a large number of visitors from across the state, country, and globe who contribute to the economic vitality of the Hudson Valley.
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:
- Work closely with the Manager of Volunteer Services to coordinate weekly volunteer schedules ensuring ample on-bridge coverage. Actively work to fill vacancies by communicating with volunteers via emails, texts, and calls. Provide coverage for unfilled vacancies as needed.
- Update volunteer training, procedural, and marketing materials as needed.
- Attend monthly volunteer Ambassador committee meetings.
On-bridge Operations (Merchandise, Pavilion, and Tram)
- Serve as the onsite supervisor helping to problem-solve issues and provide support to volunteer Ambassadors, summer youth employees, and Park visitors during assigned shifts.
- Check-in with all shift volunteers at both pavilions (stores) and the tram, daily.
- Maintain effective onsite communication between volunteers and NYS Parks staff during operating hours.
- Assist with merchandise fulfillment, including balancing inventory, replenishing stock, recommending merchandise selections, and maintaining the space with a sense of order and abundance.
- Regularly communicate low inventory and on-bridge needs as well as volunteer and visitor feedback and suggestions to the Manager of Volunteer Services.
Events and Program Support
- Support Walkway staff in preparing for and executing major events and educational programming such as Walkway at Night, Walkway Talks, Walktoberfest, Starry Starry Night, and others as needed.
- Perform other duties and responsibilities as needed by the Manager of Volunteer Services.
- Lead education programs and tours for school aged and adult groups.
- Represent the Walkway in community events such as farmer’s markets, town festivals, etc.
- Build relationships with school teachers to increase the number of tours given to school kids
- Cultivate relationships with neighboring organizations to partner for volunteer opportunities
How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization:
The Volunteer Coordinator and Interpreter will support on-bridge activities that provide a positive visitor experience for our patrons throughout the year.
Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
Goal 1: Assist with scheduling, training, and general oversight of volunteers.
Goal 2: Assist in leading guided walks programs and provide customer service to visitors on the Walkway.
Goal 3: Expand the reach of the organization through volunteer program development, assisting with events, and community outreach.
· Valid Driver’s License for 3+ years
· Ability to pass a federal background check and a motor vehicle background check
- Members must have a four-year degree and/or qualifying experience.
- Successful candidates will thrive within a small, hands-on nonprofit environment and demonstrate a passion for Walkway’s mission. Top candidates will have the following personal qualities and professional capabilities:
- Experience with and enthusiasm for volunteer cultivation and engagement, including working with volunteers of various ages and abilities.
- Excellent organizational, time management, and critical thinking skills. Ability to work productively in a fast-paced, high-energy environment with frequent changes.
- Solid communication skills. Demonstrated ability to defuse challenging situations and work and interact with a positive, calm, and professional demeanor when dealing with volunteers and visitors.
- Strong work ethic with the ability to work collaboratively with a team as well as independently.
- Experience using database management software, Microsoft Office applications, and point of sales systems.
- Ability to perform strenuous physical tasks under adverse weather and field conditions.
- Willingness to work weekends, as well as some holidays and evenings
As a representative of the Walkway, the member is expected to be friendly and approachable and have the ability to work well with children as well as adults. This person will spend time greeting and interacting with visitors, answering questions, and providing information.
- Positive attitude, enthusiasm, and desire to learn
- Experience leading school aged or adult interpretive programs.
- Experience helping organize or assist with events
- Experience driving large machinery or a truck
Tours and presentations: program development, adjusting content to fit your audience, and the basics of interpretation
Volunteerhub: volunteer management software used to schedule and communicate with volunteers
Merchandise sales: barcodes, inventory, tracking sales
Driving the tram
Amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award being offered for successful completion of the member’s term of service: $6,895
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.
January 22nd through March 22nd – Mon.- Fri., 9am – 5pm
March 23rd through November 18th – Wed. – Sun., 9am – 5pm
Exact weekly/daily schedule will depend on seasonal events and programs. Weekend and evening availability is a must. Some remote work may be possible.
Position ID: PO-00736214
Expected Dates: January 22, 2024 - November 18, 2024
Walkway Over the Hudson
80 Washington Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
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 stores, libraries, etc. as well as travel to Hudson Valley Corps trainings and events.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
C.Partner will pay the SCA to provide housing allowance for the member.
US Citizenship: Yes