Preserve Manager & Educator
Founded in 1988 by dedicated residents, Westchester Land Trust (WLT) works together with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity, and to protect and enhance the natural resources in our communities. WLT has preserved approximately 8,000 acres through accepting the donations of conservation easements, or by accepting the donation of parcels of land by the transfer of ownership. WLT’s conservation efforts impact the long-term health of the cities, towns and villages of Westchester and Eastern Putnam Counties through protection of watersheds, wildlife, air and water quality, and local food supply.
Preserve Manager & Educator (PME) is responsible for carrying out land stewardship projects on land protected by the Westchester Land Trust as well as performing a lead and support educator role in a variety of land stewardship-based education programs. Preserve management projects will generally be geared toward 1) protecting/enhancing their natural resources, 2) enhancing visitor experience and accessibility at WLT’s public nature preserves, and 3) communicating the importance of natural resources. Education programs will typically communicate the topics of 1) land stewardship and civic/personal responsibility, 2) health and wellness (in relation to nature, agriculture and conservation), 3) natural phenomena, and 4) science. This is a cross functional position that supports Westchester Land Trust’s Stewardship and Programs departments; the PME will work closely with WLT’s Vice President and Communications and Programs Manager to plan, coordinate and deliver education programs to diverse constituencies from school groups and camps to municipal leaders and partner organizations.
In addition to carrying out prescribed land stewardship activities the PME will be responsible for collaborating with the Director of Stewardship on design and implementation of future land stewardship projects. The PME will support field-based stewardship projects by creating GIS-based maps, internal memos, reports and photo documenting all stages of projects as well as sending email updates to volunteers, event participants and organizational partners. The PME will be responsible for reporting many aspects of educational programs to WLT staff, board of directors and partner organizations.
Approximately 75% of this position is field based and approximately 25% will be devoted to office-based activities. Both land stewardship work (2/3 of position) and education programs (1/3 of position) will take place year-round and includes evening and weekend work.
- Provide leadership in implementing land management and land stewardship projects, including vegetation management, light infrastructure projects and boundary management.
- Effectively work with a diverse group of partners to execute the Westchester Land Trust’s stewardship and educational goals and objectives
- Assist in WLT’s ability to collaborate with other organizations and agencies including increasing public awareness of organization goals and mission
- Assist WLT staff in the development of new land stewardship projects and educational programs
- Serve as WLT’s primary field-based stewardship staff member to carry out a variety of land management and land stewardship projects.
- Assist the Director of Stewardship in developing and planning preserve management and land stewardship projects, including drafting Preserve Management Plans.
- Teach environmental topics and land stewardship concepts in field-based, workshop and lecture-style programs. Possible topics include: flora and fauna identification, environmental processes, organic gardening and soil health, land protection and community wellness.
- On WLT preserves: plan, coordinate, and carry out preserve management activities (mowing, weed whacking, pruning, tree felling, sign posting, trail building / maintenance, post setting, fence building and weeding).
- On WLT preserves: independently and collaboratively carry out land stewardship activities (plantings, removing invasive plants, nurturing native plants, maintaining deer exclosures, timber stand improvements and tree girdling).
- Independently and collaboratively carry out all reporting associated with responsibilities
- Create curriculum with representatives from partner organizations (schools, nature centers, hospitals) to highlight land conservation themes and to engage diverse audiences in WLT’s mission.
- Co-coordinate the planning, scheduling, executing, and evaluating of education programs
- All aspects of small building, construction and carpentry projects such as: resource procurement, building, maintaining and repairing kiosks, fences, and wooden signs, and painting, weather-proofing, securing field-based objects.
- Co-coordinate and lead events such as: volunteer land stewardship events, invasive plant removal events, natural history walks, lectures and garden-based events.
- In collaboration with the Director of Stewardship, set up a small native seed propagation lab and plant nursery at WLT’s headquarters.
- Develop and nurture relationships with contractors and partners
- Create, edit and share GIS-based maps
- Maintain WLT’s inventory of tools.
Education and Experience Requirements:
Position requires a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study. Applicants are expected to have solid (2+ years) experience in land stewardship and environmental/outdoor education. Strongest applicants will have leadership experience in 1) executing stewardship projects and/or education programs, 2) vegetation management and ecological restoration and 3) horticulture, field botany and dendrology. A master’s degree in a relevant field is preferred.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Demonstrated leadership ability with experience in engaging diverse audiences
Experience with native plants in the context of propagation, nursery operations and wild planting
Excellent writing skills
Excellent interpersonal skills
Facility to educate and communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds
Strong familiarity with the ecology and natural resources of southern New York State and/or surrounding area
Experience with carrying out land stewardship projects with little or no direction and oversight
Experience with landscaping/ land stewardship tools and equipment such as lawn mower, brush mower, chain saw, drills, wrenches, weed whacker, hand saws, pole saws
Experience identifying and removing invasive plants and restoring a site with native plants
Proficiency with field equipment such as GPS units, digital cameras, compass and maps
Proficiency with internet and computer software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe
Experience with Arc GIS and/or other mapping software
Physical Requirements: Ability to walk several miles per day over rough terrain, use power equipment such as chain saw, use herbicide, and work outside in all weather conditions.
Additional Requirements: A valid driver’s license is required.
To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to email@example.com . No phone calls please.
Westchester Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and acts in accordance with applicable law in all of our hiring and employment practices.