Environmental Educator

Expected Dates
January 26, 2021 to November 23, 2021
Bear Mountain State Park, NYS OPRHP
Position ID
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. Specific duties aligned with this position may also be subject to change. Such changes include, but are not limited to: trainings being eliminated or held remotely, elimination of large-scale gatherings, reduction of education programs, and a transition to teleworking.  

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. 

This position is located in Bear Mountain, NY which is located roughly 3 miles south of Highland Falls. 

Purpose of the Program: The Trailside Education Program seeks to bring visitors into meaningful contact with the plants, animals, geology, and history of the Hudson Highlands, specifically what can be found along the trails of Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks. It is our goal to foster in all visitors a greater understanding, appreciation, and respect for the natural world. We achieve this goal through informal education for individuals and families; guided tours for schools and other groups; special events open to the public; a summer day camp program for children entering grades 1-8; and topical programs in spring, summer and fall.

Community Needs that the Program Serves: Bear Mountain State Park receives over a million visitors annually and roughly one in ten of these visitors, or 100,000, explore Trailside’s nature trail, animal exhibits, and museums. As an affordable destination within an hour drive of the New York metro region, Trailside serves a diverse audience, including many patrons from underserved communities. The facility is designed for a self-directed experience. Visitors are guided by directional signage through a sequence of exhibits, displays, and museums. However, this experience is greatly enhanced through direct engagement of the public by trained staff. These personal interactions and the ensuing exchange of information, add tremendously to the Trailside experience. Working with and under the supervision of the Environmental Educator 1, the Environmental Educator is needed to expand our capacity for direct interactions with our diverse audience, to more fully realize our educational goals.

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: Through our orientation and training, the Trailside Museums and Zoo Environmental Educator will learn how to interact with and educate our visiting public, by becoming familiar with the principles and methods of interpretation and environmental education. You will gain experience using these new skills as an informal educator, guiding tours for schools and community groups, conducting amphitheater presentations, participating in school outreach, leading weekend public programs and contributing to our special events. You will create activities, conduct lessons, assist with logistics and, eventually, lead the summer day camp program. You will learn to plan and coordinate special events: Earth Day, Summer Celebration, Bird Festival, Biodiversity Celebration and Boo at the Zoo. You will also assist Trailside staff and other interns with ongoing volunteer projects, including restoration of the Trailside grounds to a native plant community and upkeep of the facilities.

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: The AmeriCorps Member will be a major member of the Trailside Education Program, allowing it to reach larger audiences and provide additional programming that would otherwise be impossible.

Performance Goals for the AmeriCorps Member:
    Goal 1: Provide interpretation for the thousands of students that visit in spring and fall.
    Goal 2: Provide tours for school, scouts and other community groups.
  Goal 3: Develop lesson plans for summer day program and special events.

Candidate Qualifications:
  • Ability to pass a background check.
  • Valid driver license of 3 years with a clean driving record. 
  • Skills/Knowledge/Training Necessary to be a successful AmeriCorps Member in this position: Comfort and enjoyment interacting with people of all ages, especially children.
  • Skills: Effective communicator     
  • Knowledge: General knowledge of local flora and fauna is desired.     

All Hudson Valley Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance
Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable Full-time Segal Education Award through AmeriCorps.
Student loan forbearance and interest repayments for federal student loan through AmeriCorps.
Eligible for free health insurance
Eligible for childcare assistance through AmeriCorps

Training Opportunities:
All Hudson Valley Corps members receive Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Hudson River Citizen Science curricula, Trail Skills, Project WILD curricula, and professional development. Optional trainings include Leave No Trace, American Canoe Association Quick Start Your Canoe, and other opportunities that arise.


  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Working with Animals
some experience
Public Speaking
some experience
Working with Children
some experience