Massachusetts Conservation Corps

Expected Dates
March 27, 2023 to October 20, 2023
Site
SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps
Position ID
PO-00734629

Are you seeking the chance to learn hand-on conservation skills and give back to the outdoors? The SCA Massachusetts Conservation Corps is 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.

AmeriCorps Eligibility Requirements:

  • US Citizen, National, Lawful Permanent Resident, and persons legally residing in a state
  • Must be able to pass a national service criminal history check
  • Must be 18 years or older

Program Description

The Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a 7-month residential program that runs March 27th through October 20, 2023. The program is located in Rowe, MA, with project sites located throughout Massachusetts. Training and projects aim to address conservation needs on Public Lands in Massachusetts. This position is primarily hands-on and projects can be physically demanding. Before applying, applicants are encouraged to reflect on the concept of Service. This is an AmeriCorps position - not a typical job - and requires a commitment to not only serving in public lands but also committing to the community experience of residential living. Members of the Massachusetts Conservation Corps should expect to meet regularly, reflect on their service, and contribute to the community-building process.

Program Time breakdown:

Orientation 5%
Wilderness First Responder 5%
Conservation Work Skills 5%
Chainsaw
-or-
Rigging
5%
Conservation Service 70%
Other Service/
Trainings
10%

Training Season: The entire corps will begin the program with 6 weeks of training together. Training will include: Orientation, Wilderness First Responder (80-hour course), Conservation Trail Skills, Mental Health First Aid, Specialty Skills (chainsaw or rigging), Leadership development, Non-Violent Communication and Leave No Trace.

Field Season:  Hitches will typically be 10 days in length, but could vary depending on the location and project needs.  During hitches, crews will be based out of front country tent camps in close proximity to the project site. Crews will complete a variety of projects throughout the state, ranging from the Berkshires to the Cape.  Projects may include, but not limited to: new trail construction, native or dimensional bridges, rock steps/walls, invasive species management, resource monitoring, sign installation and preservation of historical structures.

Field-life is often rugged, and while on hitch, members should expect to live with limited access to electricity, cell phone reception and sometimes showers.  Additionally, while on hitch, this program is alcohol and substance free.

Covid-19

Member health and safety are a priority for this program. As long as Covid-19 is a threat, members are expected to do their part to keep their team safe, this includes being mindful of current regulations, regular cleaning and disinfection of tools and equipment, and regular health check ins with staff.

Once a position offer has been accepted, members are required to demonstrate full vaccination status for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine; OR Receive from SCA a reasonable accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements based on a medical disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Additional information and instructions regarding how to request a reasonable accommodation will be provided at the time of selection.

Program Benefits

  • $400 bi-weekly living allowance, before taxes
  • $4,826.50 Segal Education Award at the end of completed service term
  • $485 one-time travel/commuting stipend
  • SNAP eligibility up to $250 per month plus various discounts available to EBT card holders
  • Housing and Utilities for duration of program with onsite laundry
  • Childcare assistance available
  • Professional Certifications including Wilderness First Responder, Adult & Child CPR
  • Conservation training in carpentry, rock work, trailside structure restoration, and more!
  • The opportunity to serve in State Parks & Forest throughout Massachusetts
  • Networking opportunities with conservation professionals with state parks, forests, and nonprofits across Massachusetts. 

Training Opportunities:

  • Wilderness First Responder & CPR Certification
  • SCA Conservation Work Skills
  • Nonviolent Communication Training
  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Carpentry basics
  • Chainsaw Safety Training Levels 1 & 2 -OR- SCA Rigging Certification
  • Leadership, resume building, and other professional development opportunities

Essential Functions and Position Requirements:

  • Interest and investment in leadership development and teamwork
  • Interest in conservation skills that increase access to public spaces
  • Willing to complete some project paperwork including project reports, output logs, and tool inventory
  • Willingness to lead a crew on a 10 day trail project, coordinating all project logistics and partner communication.
  • Must be willing to learn how to use hand tools and power tools to complete projects
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. & walk/hike 2 miles on rugged terrain
  • Must be able to serve in diverse situations and various outdoor environments 
  • Willingness to camp outdoors for 9 consecutive nights for all projects
  • Willingness to take part in community chores (i.e. cooking for crew in the field)
  • All participants must commit to following all program and state mandated Covid-19 safety guidelines. This may include, but is not limited to, wearing a mask for all service and group activities, taking extra time to sanitize tools and equipment, and notifying supervisors when a member is not feeling well.
  • Commitment to living and working within an intensive crew environment; 
  • Commitment to service in working conditions that will include: extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds, and precipitation.

Marginal Functions and optional service activities:

  • Virtual service as make-up hours (i.e. creating land acknowledgements or project site research)
  • Trail clean up and volunteer days

Potential candidates must be able to fulfill the above requirements in order to be considered for this position. In addition, it is recommended that applicants have a strong interest in service, conservation and community building. No previous conservation experience is required to be considered!

Staff and Program Partners will make every effort to create an inclusive and equitable program experience for all corps members. 

Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service. Email Program Assistant [email protected] if you need to make an accommodation request for the application process or interviews.

SCA strives to cultivate a work environment that encourages fairness, teamwork, and respect among all staff members. The organization and this program are firmly committed to maintaining a service atmosphere in which people of diverse backgrounds and lifestyles may grow personally and professionally. SCA1957

Please reach out to Julia at [email protected] if you have any questions about the position or application process!

 

Application Instructions:

1. Click the link on this page or use application Code: PO-00734629

2. Set up your Basic information

3. Complete the “Corps/Internship” section.

4. Complete the “Final” section and submit.

5. When filling out the essay questions and experience sections, be sure to include your interest and experience in conservation, natural resources, community building, and related fields.

6. Complete reference requests for at least one professional reference.

 

Final program model will be determined by available funding.

  • Massachusetts Conservation Corps is a residential program based in Western Massachusetts.

    During conservation service season, members get to travel the state of Massachusetts, serving on public lands for 10 days at a time.

  • Wilderness First Responder
    Chainsaw or rigging certification
    Carpentry
    Mental Health First Aid
    Trail crew leadership
    Risk management
    Trail maintenance and construction
  • Western Massachusetts is a mecca of outdoor adventure opportunities, including hiking, biking, and paddling.
  • All members will become certified Wilderness First Responders. Members will learn leadership and teamwork skills throughout their term of service.  In addition, members will enhance their communication and conflict resolution skills while living and serving in a community environment.
Main Area of Focus
Backcountry/Trail work
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Backpacking
some experience
Camping
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Leadership Experience
some experience
Trail Maintenance
some experience