Plant Materials Program Technician 1

Expected Dates
January 20, 2022 to November 17, 2022
NYS OPRHP Plant Materials Center
Position ID
Conditions of Employment 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.

SCA and New York State Parks seek enthusiastic conservationists to provide critical environmental education and stewardship for State Parks in the Allegany, Finger Lakes, Central, Niagara, and Thousand Islands regions of New York State. Members share housing in groups of 3-5 members per location. Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration, wildlife management, and organizing volunteer events. (**See Covid caveat below for potential exceptions to 2022 events) All 21 Parks Corps members will join together regularly in Central NY for SCA trainings that include Wilderness First Aid Certification, CPR, Leave No Trace Trainer, and other professional development opportunities as they arise. Members serving in a stewardship role will also receive Game of Logging Chainsaw Certification, while members serving in an education role will receive Project Learning Tree and/or Certified Interpretive Guide. The mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources. NYS Parks Corps members serve under the direction of regional Parks staff to assist in accomplishing this mission.  

** Due to Covid-19, events and trainings are subject to change in response to an increase in the number of cases in the state of NY. 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.

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

This position is for local candidates only. Housing is NOT PROVIDED for this position. This position will be based out of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park located at 151 Charlotte Street in Canandaigua, New York.

SCA NYS Parks Corps Overview: The SCA New York State Parks Corps covers five regions of New York State: Allegany, Central, Finger Lakes, Niagara, and Thousand Islands. Corps members are placed at one of these host sites and serve at the state parks in their region. Service activities range from providing environmental education and interpretation, to trail restoration and volunteer initiatives. Members join together regularly for trainings, service projects, or other community events.  The mission of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources.

Purpose of the Program: The OPRHP Plant Materials Program provides sustainable, genetically appropriate native plant materials (NPMs) to support ecological stewardship throughout New York State Parks through consultation, collection, and propagation.

Community Needs that the Program Serves:  
  • Native Plant Materials for Ecological Restoration - Ecological restoration using native plant materials supports critical ecosystem functions, reduces impacts from extreme weather events & climate change, and reduces the impact of overuse in Parks- all benefiting the local community.
  • Environmental Education - The PMC is open to the public with signage and tours to interpret the program and projects; staff & SCA work with volunteers to connect patrons to environmental stewardship. 

How the AmeriCorps Member’s Role Aligns with the Organization: The Plant Materials Program Technician will be managed by the Plant Materials Program Coordinator. Their daily work will be directly supervised by the Plant Materials Program Greenhouse Technician 2, and they will work alongside program staff to assist in the production of plant materials towards a variety of environmental stewardship projects across New York State Parks. They will be trained in native plant materials propagation techniques (up-potting, fertilizing, manual pest control, and daily greenhouse maintenance) and processing techniques (seed cleaning, moisture control, stratification, and seed banking). This position will support production of 40,000+ plants and require seed processing of 20+ species. The technician will work closely with volunteers to support greenhouse functioning. They will also be responsible for positive and effective communication and interpretation to patrons and volunteers.

AmeriCorps Member Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Implement propagation protocols for a range of native plant species.
  • Propagate native plant species from various materials including cuttings, seeds, and divisions. Typical work will include:
    • Preparing soil mixes, sowing flats, watering, propagating, transplanting, and maintaining clean production space
    • Controlling greenhouse pests and implementing best IPM practices
  • Follow Plant Materials Program Protocols to:
    • Clean, weigh, and label seed collections
    • Process seed for stratification, propagation and/or storage
  • Record and upload plant materials processing information to databases.
  • Prepare summary reports on the results of plant propagation and processing protocols
  • Supervise volunteers in plant production, and enthusiastically interpret project work to patrons
  • Communicate effectively with park workers and patrons in a positive manner
  • Work independently and perform frequent check-ins with supervisor
  • All SCA Parks Corps members are required to attend monthly SCA events and complete SCA/Americorps paperwork and reporting. This will account for roughly 15% of your time.

Performance Goals:
Goal 1: Mastery of Techniques

  • Mastery of propagation techniques including up-potting, fertilizing, manual pest control, and daily greenhouse maintenance.
  • Mastery of seed processing techniques including seed cleaning, moisture control, stratification, and storage.

Goal 2: Production

  • Support production of 40,000+ plants
  • Perform seed processing of 20+ species

Goal 3: Leadership & Interpretation

  • Provide positive and effective communication and interpretation to weekly volunteer groups and in daily patron interactions.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • Be an out-of-school youth 16 years of age at the commencement of service participating in a program described in §2522.110(b)(3) or (g);
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent; or
  • Not have dropped out of elementary or secondary school to enroll as an AmeriCorps participant and must agree to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to using the education award; or
  • Obtain a waiver from the Corporation of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) of this section based on an independent evaluation secured by the program demonstrating that the individual is not capable of obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent; or
  • Be enrolled in an institution of higher education on an ability to benefit basis and be considered eligible for funds under section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091);
  • Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States;
  • Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria pursuant to 45 CFR 2540.202.
  • Background in biological/environmental sciences, horticulture, conservation biology, natural resource management, or a related field.
  • Experience with propagation, botany and/or environmental field work.
  • Applicant should be able to:
    • Understand and implement propagation and seed processing protocols
    • Maintain accurate records and write summary reports of plant propagation and processing experiments and protocols
    • Perform repetitive tasks in a detail-oriented manner
    • Be self-sufficient and work independently
    • Communicate clearly and concisely both verbally and in writing
    • Supervise and work closely with volunteers.


  • All NYS Parks Corps members receive a taxable $200/week living allowance and housing provided 
  • Upon successful completion of the term, members receive a taxable 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

Trainings to be included by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:

  • AmeriCorps and SCA Orientation
  • Sexual Harassment/Drug Abuse in the Workplace
  • NYS Certified Defensive Driver
  • New York State Outdoor Educator Association Conferences/Events
  • Professional Development

*Please ignore fit rating/eligibility notes related to this position. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed.

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Visitor Services and Site Operations
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
some experience
Field Research
some experience
Community Engagement
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience