AmeriCorps in partnership with Cleveland Metroparks seeks a Naturalist Assistant.

Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners (TCWP) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) watershed organization officially established in 2006. Our mission is to protect and restore water quality and habitats of the Tinker’s Creek watershed through community partnerships. The Tinker’s Creek watershed drains 96.4 square miles and is the largest tributary to the Cuyahoga River. The watershed area spans 24 communities in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, and Geauga counties.

Together with our partners, Cleveland Metroparks recognizes the importance of maintaining water quality throughout Northern Ohio. We also believe in educating the public and regional leaders to support behavioral changes that positively affect our water resources. The Northern Ohio Watershed Corps (NOWCorps) works with watershed groups, soil and water conservation districts, city and county government offices, and other conservation nonprofits to facilitate outreach, education, capacity building, environmental stewardship, and stormwater management.

Cleveland Metroparks is home to 18 park reservations, eight lakefront parks, 300 miles of all-purpose, hiking, biking, and bridle trails, eight golf courses, five nature centers and the nationally acclaimed Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Housing may be available. This housing will be at the cost of $75 a month, require proof of renter’s insurance, and be within a house owned by Cleveland Metroparks.

Skills and Qualifications: Must have a high school diploma or GED. Must have a valid driver's license, be insured, and have own transportation; eligible mileage will be reimbursed for service-related travel.

Must successfully pass a comprehensive background and criminal investigation check. Must possess or plan to pursue a college degree or equivalent education in outdoor education, sustainability, biology, natural resources, wildlife management, or related field. Must be self-motivated and able to work independently and in a team. Must possess good organizational and communication skills and be capable of working with little supervision. Must be able to develop and maintain effective working relationships with employees and the public. Demonstrates maturity, cultural competency, and garner respect of all populations. Experience communicating with diverse audiences preferred. Some knowledge and strong interest in watershed management and the natural history of the Cleveland region. Usual hours of service will be Tuesday - Saturday during the center hours of 9:30am-4:30pm, and Sundays 12-4:30. The ability to serve flexible hours, including weekend days and some evenings, is needed. Scheduled hours may fluctuate, increase, or decrease in consideration of seasonal changes such as inclement weather or other extended activities.

The NOWCorps member will receive programmatic training in addition to site specific training. Programmatic training is provided monthly and covers a variety of topics. Training content may include, but is not limited to first aid, CPR, volunteer engagement, native species planting techniques, stormwater permit requirements, minimum control measures, facilitating public involvement, public education, and Good Housekeeping.

Location: Watershed Stewardship Center, 2277 West Ridgewood Drive, Parma, OH 44134

Reports to: Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center Manager Gayle Albers

Duties and Responsibilities of the AmeriCorps member:

General Member Responsibilities

  • Promote the Northern Ohio Watershed Corps through education and outreach activities
  • Enhance skills and knowledge applicable to position through participation in related workshops, conferences, and training
  • Assist with fundraising designed to raise funds for activities such as member retreats and other program related projects (these efforts will not contribute to general operating costs for the organization or Host Sites)
  • Attend all NOWCorps required meetings and trainings
  • Complete activity reports monthly, required timesheets weekly, and any other reporting in a timely manner in the OnCorps online system
  • All other duties as assigned within the limitations of this member description

Program Responsibilities

  • Works on program development and delivery
  • Works well with learners of all ages and abilities and enjoys serving the public
  • Supports the efforts of Outdoor Education by assisting with education programs and camps which may be held at assigned reservation and off-site locations
  • Helps with special event preparation and special events
  • Assists with exhibit creation

Office Responsibilities

  • Communicates natural and cultural history, environmental, park related information to the public in person and through telephone, internet, park publications, social media, etc.
  • Maintains a safe, clean work environment for one’s self, co-workers and the public. Responds to hazardous situations and emergencies by taking corrective actions as capable and promptly notifying appropriate individuals and supervisory personnel
  • Performs daily operational duties including, but not limited to, opening and closing building(s) and recording walk-in and program attendance

Field Work Responsibilities

  • Cares for the exhibit animals, maintains nature viewing areas at the center, and provides garden and pond maintenance
  • Participates in stewardship events including tree plantings, stream clean ups, and invasive vegetation removal
  • Citizen Science activities and monitoring; and participates in monthly field training

Additional activities that fall within the goals of the program may be assigned with approval of the member, site supervisor, and NOWCorps staff.

Additional information: The Cleveland Metroparks office is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Cleveland Metroparks Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners, and the Northern Ohio Watershed Corps will adhere to all regulations concerning nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations as outlined in federal and state law. This program will be made available to all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital or parental status, genetic information, military service, and religion.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment: The physical requirements and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an individual to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

This position requires the following:

  • manual dexterity sufficient to operate telephones, computers, and other office equipment
  • physical ability to kneel, bend, and perform light lifting
  • ability to write and speak clearly using the English language to convey information and be able to hear at normal speaking levels both in person and over the telephone
  • specific vision abilities required include close vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus

Generally, the working conditions are good with little or no exposure to extremes in health, safety hazards, and/or hazardous materials. Though work is often performed in an office setting and outdoors, this person must have the ability to travel as required to work with Host Site staff/board, volunteers, partners, other members, and the public, participate in conferences and outdoor activities such as but not limited to site visits, volunteer activities, programs, events and project meetings.

Benefits: Member position begins October 4, 2021 and ends September 30, 2022. The member will be provided with an orientation October 4-8, 2021 and relevant training monthly. This position is a full- time member position and requires a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over the service period. The member will receive a stipend of no more than $15,100.00, and the stipend will be paid biweekly. The member is also eligible for health insurance through this position and may qualify for childcare assistance. If the term of service is completed successfully, the member may be eligible for an educational award of $6,345.00. The member will not be an employee of Cleveland Metroparks and is not entitled to any of the benefits or compensation Cleveland Metroparks provides to its employees.

Salary: A stipend of up to $15,100

Job classification: Full-time

To apply: Contact Julie Stark, NOWCorps Program Manager at [email protected] or 330-963-6243. For more information, visit https://tinkerscreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CM_WSCNaturalistAssistant_21-22.pdf.

Posted: September 23, 2021

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