The Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow (MassLIFT)
2016 Land Stewardship Coordinator Position Opening
with Essex County Greenbelt and the Town of Ipswich Open Space Program
The MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program was initiated and is managed by Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust as a collaborative effort of regional conservation organizations (including urban conservation and gardening efforts) seeking to increase their capacity to engage with more people and do more community conservation projects across Massachusetts. This year, 30 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members will help their hosting organizations meet critical community needs for land protection, stewardship of protected lands, outreach to the broader community, and youth education opportunities to engage young people in conservation. To learn more about MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, visit http://www.masslift.org.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 men and women in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems and also leverage their service by mobilizing volunteers to help address community needs for environmental stewardship, health, education, economic opportunity, disaster services, and support to veterans and military families. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit http://www.americorps.gov.
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps is a grant program contingent upon renewal of federal funding from the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS grants to AmeriCorps programs in Massachusetts are administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.
The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA, mass-service.org) is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state commission on community service and volunteerism. MSA’s mission is to catalyze the innovation and growth of service and volunteerism by creating partnerships that maximize resources, expertise, capacity, and impact. MassLIFT is one of 22 AmeriCorps programs for which MSA currently administers funding and supports program implementation.
AmeriCorps Member Eligibility Requirements
This year’s MassLIFT program will run from August 29, 2016 through July 28, 2017. All MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members are expected to serve full-time, commit to serve for the entire eleven-month term, and complete at least 1,700 hours of service, including time spent in trainings and service with the full MassLIFT team. Weekly service averages 35 hours and commonly includes some night and/or weekend activities.
Applicants must also meet the following AmeriCorps requirements:
• a US citizen, US national, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S.
• at least 18 years old
• a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
• no more than three previous terms as an AmeriCorps member
• pass a criminal history background check, including an FBI check
AmeriCorps programs provide equal employment opportunities. MassLIFT will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, color, political affiliation, creed, national origin, marital status, or any other status as protected by federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request.
Member Compensation and Benefits:
• MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members will receive a living allowance of $12,530 over the 11-month term of service, which is $522.08 per 24 biweekly pay periods.
• MassLIFT assists members in obtaining health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov. Reimbursement of costs may be available.
• Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
• Upon successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps members receive a $5,775 education award that can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans. See http://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/edaward for info and restrictions.
• AmeriCorps members are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans, as well as payment of interest accrued during service.
• MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members gain skills in land conservation, attend a statewide conference, and participate in team trainings and other professional development opportunities.
• AmeriCorps members experience the personal rewards of national service
and community engagement.
Note: MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.
The 2016 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program will support thirty full-time AmeriCorps members, serving in one of four positions: Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC), Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC), Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC), and Youth Education Coordinator (YEC). The positions differ in their emphasis on land protection, stewardship, community outreach, and youth or adult education. All members will carry out capacity building projects; educate or train individuals in environmental stewardship; recruit, train, manage, and support community volunteers engaged in land conservation activities; and identify new individuals and groups to participate in education, recreation, or service opportunities that address land conservation needs. All positions include computer-based administrative and reporting duties. The specific responsibilities and goals of members in each position differ as described below.
Essex County Greenbelt will host a Land Stewardship Coordinator for the 2016-17 service year in a shared position with the Town of Ipswich Open Space Program. Information about all MassLIFT positions is available at: http://www.masslift.org.
2016 Land Stewardship Coordinator Position Opening with Essex County Greenbelt and the Town of Ipswich Open Space Program
Essex County Greenbelt
82 Eastern Avenue
Essex, MA 01929
Essex County Greenbelt is a non-profit land trust that works to conserve the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic landscapes within the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. Since its founding in 1961, Greenbelt has conserved over 16,000 acres of local land and has been directly involved in protecting 75% of the acreage conserved in the last decade. Through active land conservation initiatives, as well as multi-platform public outreach, Greenbelt continues to build a community of conservation and stewardship throughout the region.
Greenbelt acquires and manages land to protect the integrity of our ecological systems and to maintain a base of local agriculture growing local food. A primary focus of our work is the creation of a network of “greenbelts” consisting of natural corridors and visually intact landscapes, many of which are accessible to the pubic and managed for outdoor recreation.
Greenbelt conserves land by acquiring parcels which we then own and manage in public trust; by holding conservation restrictions on land owned by individuals and families, municipalities and other conservation organizations; and by assisting our many collaborative partners in land conservation projects, through our experience, expertise, and financial assistance.
The Town of Ipswich
Open Space Program
25 Green St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
The Town of Ipswich Open Space Program was established in 2000 after residents, who have long appreciated the beautiful landscapes, natural resources, and opportunities for outdoor recreation in town, approved funding dedicated to land conservation. The Open Space Committee, formed in 1994, was the driving force behind the creation of the Program, which is part of the Department of Planning & Development within the Town. Since its creation in 2000, the Open Space Program has protected over 700 acres of land in Ipswich for both public enjoyment and health, as well as important natural habitat values and resource protection, adding to the inventory of land already permanently protected by the Town. The Program is staffed by the Open Space Program Manager who oversees land acquisition projects and initiatives, and the Open Space Administrator who oversees management and maintenance of the Town’s protected lands. The Town collaborates with a number of other land protection and conservation organizations, including Essex County Greenbelt Association, to enhance our effectiveness and reach.
Land Stewardship Coordinators (LSC) build the long-term capacity of their host sites to meet core land stewardship responsibilities and collaborate externally with municipal boards and local, volunteer land trusts and other community groups to develop sustainable volunteer stewardship programs.
Specifically, the LSC builds networks of volunteers to support community land stewardship needs. They organize, train, and collaborate with municipal boards, neighborhood and civic associations, youth groups, and schools to steward conservation land. With volunteers, LSCs survey and monitor conservation land, build and maintain recreational trails, remove invasive plants, restore wildlife habitat, mitigate erosion, and improve public access to open spaces. By providing training and organizing collaborative stewardship projects, they increase access to funding for community projects, demonstrate environmentally responsible land management, help individuals build skills, and nurture an inclusive sense of public ownership in the local landscape. LSCs spend roughly 60% of their time in the office and 40% in the field.
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members engage with their supervisors to develop and carry out three or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Some of these projects will involve recruiting, training, and/or managing community volunteers. Essex County Greenbelt and the Town of Ipswich Open Space Program have proposed the following potential projects for their Land Stewardship Coordinator, who will split their time 60/40 with Greenbelt and the Town of Ipswich respectively during their service year:
1) The AmeriCorps MassLIFT Land Stewardship Coordinator member will work within the Land Stewardship Department of Greenbelt (3 days per week), increasing staff capacity to maintain the safety and accessibility of owned properties, enhance or improve the public’s recreational experience through the installation of trails, observation platforms, Osprey nesting platforms, etc; and engage community groups such as hikers, mountain-bikers, and trail-runners and others in projects such as trail clearing and improvements like boardwalks. The member will also significantly increase Greenbelt’s ability to monitor and document private CR holdings and organize our growing Osprey Program.
2) The AmeriCorps MassLIFT Land Stewardship Coordinator will work within the Ipswich Open Space Program (2 days per week), working on capacity building activities to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the land protection by the Town for the benefit of the environment and the people who use them. Potential projects could include: developing an invasive plant removal and native edible replanting project with students and local volunteers on Town land; improvements and expansion of recreational trails on Town properties and/or adjacent conservation properties in partnership with land trusts and local trail groups; improvements to the Town’s record keeping system for the twenty plus Town held conservation restrictions by organizing, collating, updating, and digitally storing important records; producing virtual video tours of Town conservation properties for public outreach on the benefits of land protection; assisting the Town with data organization and edits of its GIS open space database .
Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the member’s interests and skills.
• associate degree; experience may be substituted for education
• knowledge and direct experience with ArcGIS mapping software
• ability to navigate independently in the field utilizing map, compass, and GPS units
• ability to read and interpret various maps, such as surveys, aerial photos, and USGS topos
• experience with natural systems and identifying plant and wildlife species
• comfortable serving independently in both an office and field setting
• able to walk 3-4 miles a day over uneven terrain in a range of weather conditions
• comfortable utilizing computer programs such as Microsoft Office and have the ability to quickly learn new programs
• degree in natural resources, forestry, land use planning or other scientific-related field
• knowledge of forest management and MA forestry laws
• ability to write detailed technical reports
• experience giving presentations and/or trainings to a diverse audience
experience training and managing volunteers
For questions about Greenbelt/Town of Ipswich LSC service position, contact Shelley Raymond, Greenbelt’s Operations Manager at 978-768-7241, ext. 23 or email@example.com.
How to Apply
Hosting organizations, service positions, and application procedures are described at the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps website: http://www.masslift.org.
A complete member application includes a 1- 2 page cover letter, a resume, three references, and an application form. Download the application from the Join MassLIFT website. Scan your cover letter, resume, and completed form into one PDF file (in that order) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member applications will be available for viewing by all of our host sites. Do not send applications directly to a host site.
We strongly encourage application submissions before interviews begin in mid-May. Position offers and acceptances will begin in early June. The program aims to fill all positions by late July, but host sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled.
For questions about MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, contact Sean Pollock, Program Director, at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. Email email@example.com or call 978-248-2043 x16.