eeCorps Generation Wild Outdoor Educator (The Nature Connection)
Program Overview: Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and environmental education providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. AmeriCorps members serving with the eeCorps provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.
Service Site Overview: This position will be located at the Nature Connection (NC), which is located in Hotchkiss, CO. The Nature Connection’s mission is to eliminate the barriers to getting outside by providing fun, active, and educational outdoor experiences for youth and families in our community.
Service Position Summary: The Generation Wild Outdoor Educators will engage with the Nature Connection to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps and the Nature Connection’s goals. These programs include NC's school-year programs Learn to Bike Program for K-3rd graders where members will help develop and facilitate this program focusing on building confidence and cycling skills for kids at an early age; NC’s Skis for Kids program for 4th and 6th graders and members will teach about winter ecology and snow science while introducing students to cross country skiing. As well, members will assist with Community ski and climbing programs; youth summer camps; and gear lending.
Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): eeCorps members engage with their Host Site organizations to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps’ and NC’s goals. These duties include:
- Continue developing the curriculum for and implementation of the “Learn to Bike” program and “Skis for Kids” programs in partnership with school district teachers and NC staff.
- Collaborate with NC staff to develop outdoor and environmental education activities for youth and family programs that meet the needs of participants from a diverse student population.
- Provide direct service to preK-12 students, teachers, and families in Delta County and Olathe
- Assist staff in developing the curriculum for and implementation of the climbing program for 7th and 8th graders in partnership with school district teachers.
- Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures
- Attend all required eeCorps/AmeriCorps orientations, meetings, and trainings
- Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines
- Some local travel required and occasional statewide travel possible
Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities):
- Continue the implementation of an outdoor gear lending program for local teachers and community groups
- Provide logistical support for teacher trainings including planning, set-up, take down, and field-based professional development activities
- Transport gear to programs using NC provided vehicles which include 10-15 ft. trailers and SUVs
- Assist in service-learning projects with teachers and students including trail construction and outdoor classroom maintenance as needed.
Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands:
- Extended time outdoors in various weather conditions in all four seasons
- Strenuous physical activity with up to 30lbs of supplies transported short distances
- Experience with safe bicycle use on/off trail
- Ability to learn and perform basic bicycle maintenance
- Willingness to self-reflect, change and adapt strategies in order to best support diverse populations of school age children
- 2+ years’ experience working with youth in an educational setting
- Willingness to expand knowledge and expertise in outdoor recreation and program management
- Current CPR-first aid certification; Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder preferred (can assist with recertification costs)
- Ability to drive a vehicle off-road, in snow/inclement weather
- Experience driving a loaded utility trailer preferred
- Residents of rural communities in Colorado are encouraged to apply
- Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
- Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
- High school diploma or GED required, college graduate preferred
- Ability to pass criminal history checks required
- Reliable transportation required
- U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required
Term of Service: This is a full-time national and community service position requiring a minimum of 1,700 hours during the year (approximately 35-40 hours/week). The position begins September 5, 2023 and ends August 15, 2024. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments.
Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Anna Robinson, the Nature Connection Program Coordinator, as well as by Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator. The 2023-24 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.
Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at the Nature Connection Headquarters, 397 Miners Way, Hotchkiss, CO 81419, and service will be performed at schools and other partner locations in and around Delta County.
- Biweekly (two times per month) living allowance of $913.05. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
- Member housing is a special benefit that we are proud to provide through a partnership supported by the United States Forest Service, Paonia Ranger District. This housing is in Paonia, CO, 15 minutes from our headquarters, and is covered by Nature Connection. You will at times have a housemate, with potential for a roommate during the Forest Service’s busy season (April-September). If you choose to go with this housing option, you will sign paperwork from The Forest Service and will need to follow all rules and expectations as a tenant of Forest Service housing.
- Health insurance
- Child care assistance, if eligible
- An education award of $6,895 upon successful completion of term of service.
- It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
- Mileage reimbursement for eeCorps-required travel.
- Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.
- Ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils; option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification.
Diversity and Equal Opportunity: The Nature Connection shall not discriminate against any employee, volunteer or program participant on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, marital, parental, veteran or military status, political service, or membership, participation or association with any employee organization. We provide equal employment and volunteer opportunities to all individuals based on relevant qualifications and abilities.
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) recognizes the value of diversity and inclusiveness to advance environmental education. CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.