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21st Century Conservation Fellow

Fellowship Period: One Year Beginning Summer 2022

Natural Lands is a non-profit organization that saves open space, cares for nature, and connects people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. We’ve been at it since the early 1950s and today more than five million people live within five miles of lands under our permanent protection.

Our conservation work, including our 23,000-acre network of 42 nature preserves and one public garden, is situated in the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Lenape. We work to pay respect to their past, present and future, and to their continuing cultural heritage and connections with this homeland.

Natural Lands has made a commitment to implementing strategies for the improvement of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in our leadership and staffing, visitor and member base, and priorities for mission delivery. To support increased diversity in the fields of environmental land management and natural areas conservation, we have established this DEIA-focused fellowship. Applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, or persons of color are encouraged to apply.

This full-time, 12-month paid fellowship offers the selected applicant the opportunity to gain experience in aspects of land management, become familiar with local flora and fauna, gain experience in community outreach, and learn the workings of a land trust. The fellowship will be hosted at our ChesLen Preserve.

ChesLen Preserve is located in the heart of picturesque Chester County, Pennsylvania. The preserve’s 1,282 acres are nestled within a large landscape of protected open space, yet a quick drive takes you to bustling population centers – 20 minutes to West Chester, Pennsylvania; 30 minutes to Wilmington, Delaware; and just over an hour to center city Philadelphia. The preserve includes a variety of habitats within the Brandywine Creek valley including sweeping agricultural fields, wetlands, forest, and globally rare serpentine barrens. ChesLen welcomes thousands of visitors annually and—like all Natural Lands preserves—is open to the public, free of charge, all year long for hiking, birding and outdoor exploration.

The fellow will work with the preserve manager and other staff to explore the “caring for nature” element of Natural Lands’ mission, managing the public use and natural resources of the preserve—assisting efforts to restore natural areas, remove invasive plants, mow fields and trails, and maintain native plant gardens. Tools used in the course of the work include power string trimmers, brush cutters, hand pruners and saws, chainsaws, lawnmower, truck, and tractor. Training on the use of these tools will be provided.

In addition, as part of Natural Lands’ mission to “connect people to the outdoors,” the fellow will work closely with our engagement manager to coordinate the special events at ChesLen that help us become better connected to our visitors. Examples include outdoor concerts, fitness classes, and children’s activities.

The fellowship will be augmented by experiences in other Natural Lands’ departments such as Communications and Engagement, Development, Conservation, Finance and Administration. The fellow will be invited to participate in all-staff meetings and trainings. In addition to the 21st Century Conservation Fellowship, Natural Lands hosts four summer internships and one full-time internship at various preserves and provides opportunities to connect with these colleagues who are also new to the organization.

This is a hands-on position with training provided. If the fellowship is being completed for academic credit, we will work with the fellow and the school to ensure that academic requirements are met.

Compensation

  • $15/hour
  • Housing stipend
  • Transportation stipend
  • This position is eligible for medical benefits
  • Two weeks paid vacation
  • Nine paid holidays
  • Five paid sick days

At a minimum, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Strong and demonstrated affinity for the environment and outdoor activities
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility efforts
  • Be less than one (1) year out of college and have a bachelor’s degree by July 2022
  • First Aid and CPR certification is a plus
  • Able to work 37.5 hours per week. Generally, this time falls during the traditional workweek; however, some weekend hours will be required.
  • A valid driver’s license is a plus
  • Successfully pass a background check for working with children
  • Must be able to walk, stand, bend and squat on uneven terrain; must be able to lift and carry up to 40 pounds and push up to 50 pounds
  • Must be prepared to work outdoors under all conditions

We seek to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our organization stronger. We aim to build a workplace where employees feel empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. Natural Lands is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

FOR A FULL JOB DESCRIPTION OR TO APPLY
Click here to apply using our online application system. Follow the application instructions to submit your resume and letter of interest. Address correspondence to Jeni W. Albany, Director of Human Resources.

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