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Join the Maine Conservation Corps
Position Available: Environmental Steward - City of Portland (Trail Signage Project)
Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities mission is to enhance the quality of life through people, parks and programming while creating lasting memories for the citizens of Portland and its visitors.
This AmeriCorps Environmental Steward position will be trail focused and will focus on taking a full inventory of all signage within the City of Portland park spaces to better inform visitors. This is a full-scale sign inventory plan for a large city with 67 parks and over 50 miles of trails. There are several directional, parking, rule, access, and welcome signs that all need to be reviewed for recommended changes or potential additions depending on accessibility and safety needs. Additional and related service includes creating a GIS map at the end of the term with multiple layers for better access and analysis, performing basic trail improvement projects where applicable, and engaging volunteers where possible.
General Timeline: June 30: Provide a preliminary evaluation report of our spaces and how best to improve the signage throughout. This could include updated signs, posts, locations, etc.
November 11: We would expect the member to provide a full map by the conclusion of their service time that shows all parks spaces and what signage improvements are needed at each. This would include full recommendations, priority lists, potential costs, sign designs/wording, etc.
Start and End Date
June 5, 2023 to November17, 2023
40 hours per week may include evenings, weekends and holidays.
Description of Duties:
- Evaluate and inventory signage throughout the City of Portland parks
- Communicate, build relationships, and learn from the Traffic Division, Parking Division, and Community Partners such as Portland Trails to review needs
- Review plans with Parks Staff to discuss placement and needs
- Review and develop best tracking practices with internal GIS technicians in Parks and Public Works
- Research proper signage and best practices across the country for park signage
- Develop a plan for necessary improvements
- Become familiar with the City of Portland's long-term Maintenance Plan for each trail i.e. seasonal timelines for tasks, erosion concern areas, surfacing materials, stabilization recommendations, invasive species management, Habitat restoration, fence installation, and repair, etc.
- May also participate in various tasks such as flower/tree planting, playground maintenance, and any other special project that requires their skill set.
- Will engage in volunteer management activities such as recruitment and leading events
- Ability to collaborate with partner non-profits such as Portland Trails, the Parks Conservancy Volunteer Coordinator, the Maine Audubon, and the Portland Youth Corps
- Ability to collaborate with our GIS Technicians on mapping signage, and noting areas of concern, invasive zones, hazardous conditions to keep an eye on, etc.
- Good Communication
- Proficient computer skills
- Can easily accomplish tasks with others
- Possesses the ability to manage volunteers
- Knows proper trail construction and sign installation techniques
- Understands materials used for proper trail maintenance and repair
- Comfortable with a variety of tools and equipment related to trail building, repair, and sign installation
- Must possess a valid drivers license and be in good standing for at least 5 years
- Ability to ride a bike
- Ability to provide written reports, maps and diagrams for planning purposes
Service will be completed outdoors in all conditions, with a mix of field and office tasks. When service begins it will be in the middle of winter in Maine, so proper inclement weather clothing is necessary (warm layers, winter jacket, insulated winter boots with warm socks, etc). Trail/park spaces could be snowy, icy, wet, muddy, etc. During the summer months, the temperatures can vary from cool in the morning to hot in the afternoons, increased humidity, and afternoon thunderstorms are common. Proper layering, and rain gear is recommended in the summer.
- Service is performed primarily outdoors
- Service involves some physical labor
- Service involves travel to nearby locations
- Service is performed independently and as part of a team
- Service involves frequent communication with multiple parties
- Service involves managing time effectively and completing tasks with attention to detail
- Service will require the ability to self-motivate, serve independently and collaboratively
- High School diploma or equivalent
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be a US Citizen
- Must agree to a criminal history check
- All positions at State sites require a valid driver's license with a good 5-year driving record
- Passion for community service and the environment
- Commitment to complete the full term of service
- GIS mapping experience or related experience
- Experience with traffic control signs and markers and Department of Agriculture Park Signage best practices
- Trail maintenance, building, and repair experience preferred
- Ability to lead volunteers and interact regularly with community members, partner non-profits and school-aged groups preferred
- Valid drivers license
- Ability to pass the City of Portland background check
- Conflict resolution and positive mentoring skills are desired.
- Self-starter with effective communication skills and excellent organization skills.
- Leadership experience and an ability to serve as a positive role model to a wide array of young people.
- Experience with outdoor labor including trail maintenance, tree planting, and gardening.
- A second language would be desirable, but not required: French, Spanish, or Arabic.
- Weekly living allowance of $400 (before taxes) for 24 weeks
- AmeriCorps Education Award of $3247.50
- Certifications in the National Incident Management System, some members will also receive MCC Chainsaw Safety Certification
- Conferences such as the Volunteer Leadership Conference
- Networking opportunities
- Maine State Park Pass
- Some members may also be eligible for student loan forbearance and childcare reimbursement
Orientation and Training Topics:
Members will participate in up to five orientation and training days, typical topics include: Intro to AmeriCorps, Prohibited Program Activities, MCC, Host Sites and You, OnCorps reporting, Goal Setting, Portfolio Development, Professional Communication, Conflict Resolution, National Incident Management Systems, Leave No Trace, Intro to Trails, Tool Safety, Use and Maintenance, Interpretive Programs. Initial orientation and training will likely include some virtual aspects in 2023.
Job readiness training, such as resume writing, job search components, appropriate workplace behaviors and interview skills will be taught throughout the term of service.
The Environmental Steward will utilize the Essential Volunteer Management Practices to improve the sites volunteer program.
The MCC ES will also recruit and promote volunteer opportunities from the local community, businesses, and social organizations to accomplish trail projects. The MCC will assist members in identifying potential outreach opportunities, best approaches, and promotion of events to increase volunteerism at the Host Site by using the Essential Volunteer Management Practices. The ES will improve the sustainability of the overall volunteer program.