Conservation Steward

Expected Dates
March 29, 2021 to October 22, 2021
Sudbury Valley Trustees
Position ID
This position is a part of SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps, a 30-week AmeriCorps program focused on leadership development, completing critical conservation service projects, and building a sense of community.  If you’ve ever wanted to learn the hard and soft skills of being a conservation leader, come join this community of like-minded, service oriented individuals and help us tackle some of Massachusetts most pressing conservation issues.
The SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a partnership between SCA, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), AmeriCorps, and The Massachusetts Service Alliance.

The Stewardship Technician will assist with property maintenance and management at Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) reservations. SVT manages 90 reservations, totaling 2,350 acres and 65 miles of trails. The Stewardship Technician will be responsible for several invasive plant control projects, conducting outreach to reservation visitors, mowing trails and small fields, conducting trail and signage maintenance, and conducting property visits. The Stewardship Technician will work on invasive plant removal projects alone and with volunteers. The Stewardship Technician may also assist with other conservation land stewardship tasks as needed. 

Breakdown of specific projects and estimated % of time spent on each:
  1. Intensive invasive plant control (40%) - Stewardship Technician will focus on four different invasive plant control project areas: (1) Smith Conservation Land - manually remove invasive plants, recruit and supervise volunteer efforts; (2) Gowings Swamp - evaluate knotweed in restoration area and determine actions needed, engage in selective removal of glossy buckthorn; (3) Wolbach Farm - manually remove invasive plants on grounds and adjacent forested areas, complete initial mapping update and assessments; (4) North Field -  manually remove invasive buckthorn, connect with and supervise efforts of Wayland Girl Scouts
  2. Access and trails (30%) - Stewardship Technician will engage in field mowing 1.5 days/week from mid-May through mid-August, with increased mowing possible at the end of the term. Stewadship Technician will also respond to seasonal issues on trails as needed and be available to supplement volunteer stewards. Existing trail projects that the member may assist on include the following: (1) new bridge permitting to replace two existing bridges; (2) trail reroute to be completed during a group volunteer workday; (3) trail marking; (4) bridge and boardwalk maintenance and repair
  3. Outreach and education (25%) - Stewardship Technician will regularly visit the more popular SVT reservations to engage visitors in education about the SVT and their properties, as well as to encourage good dog-walking etiquette and other SVT rules and regulations. 
  4. Checking property boundaries (5%)

Required Member Responsibilities (Essential Functions)

  • Invasive plant control at select SVT reservations
  • Training and serving alongside volunteers
  • General property monitoring and trail maintenance, including boundary checks
  • Visitor outreach and education
  • Providing firm and friendly guidance on dog-walking rules and etiquette

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor degree or upper class standing in natural resources management, environmental science, or related field of study
  • Experience with plant identification
  • Physical ability and willingness to operate a DR Field & Brush mower
  • Experience with basic hand and power tools
  • Willingness to spend long hours outdoors, sometimes bushwhacking
  • Have vehicle and valid driver’s license
  • Ability and willingness to interact with visitors for educational purposes

Recommended Qualifications

  • Experience with invasive plant identification and removal
  • Experience with public outreach and education
  • Experience working with volunteers
  • Experience with trail maintenance
  • Comfortable with operating a chainsaw

Member Benefits

  • Compensation: $200.00/week living allowance
  • Housing allowance: $700.00/month
  • AmeriCorps Education Award: $4,336.50 upon successful completion of program
  • Health Insurance option
  • Member Assistance Program 
  • Trainings provided

* This position is not eligible for travel reimbursement to site.*

**This position is part of a specialized SCA AmeriCorps program and if you are selected, you will be serving as an SCA AmeriCorps member. ** 

*** The COVID-19 pandemic has required SCA to implement several safety protocols and policies to help our teams manage the risks associated with the pandemic.  While it is likely these will change slightly before the position starts, please review the documents below for SCA’s updated organizational response plan and participant agreement form to learn more how our teams will be operating in the field. ***

SCA COVID Response Plan

It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all members is central to the continued success of our programs. We will not discriminate against an applicant because of race, religious creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expressions in selections, terminations and or recommendations. Opportunity is provided to all applicants in the basis of qualifications and program requirements. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service. SCA1957​​​​​​​

User-added image

  • Wolbach Farm is SVT’s office headquarters. The office and barn (where equipment is stored) are set on 54 acres of conservation land, including open field and forest. COVID restrictions are in place to limit office capacity
  • Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Game of Logging Level 2 Chainsaw certification, Trail Work skills, Invasive plant identification and removal techniques, SVT trail maintenance basics, Volunteer Coordination best practices, introduction to visitor outreach
  • There is abundant opportunity to explore nearby conservation land and trails, as well as the city of Boston. If desire, the member will have access to an SVT canoe for river paddling.
  • The member will have pportunities to serve alongside and network with a number of conservation professionals and organizational partners during various projects. Other professional development opportunities (provided by SCA) include a Leave No Trace trainer course, SCA risk management, data collection and reporting for AmeriCorps, and “Life After AmeriCorps” career training
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
degree minor or extensive experience
Chain Saw Skills
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Community Engagement
some experience
Plant Identification
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision
Volunteer Coordination
competent with supervision