2021-2022 NYC Civic Corps

Member Position Description

Host Site Name: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Position Title: Farm Training Coordinator (FTC)

Location: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island Ny 10301

Tentative Schedule:  Tuesday–Saturday , 8:30-4:40

# of member Slots in this Position: 1


Need for the specific project on which AmeriCorps Member is serving:

Snug Harbor sees volunteer engagement as a crucial component of our organization’s vision, seeking to meaningfully engage and develop our community, building civic mindedness through transformative experiences in the arts and sciences.  To expand service and build capacity, we rely upon volunteers from many facets of our community, from college and high school interns, probationers, senior citizens, cognitively challenged emerging adults, and other devoted local supporters.  The incoming AmeriCorps member will focus on developing supports for service on the Heritage Farm, mainly a training manual including standard operating procedures, policies, and procedures, and provide a continuing point of contact for volunteer service on the Farm.  The Farm Training Coordinator (FTC) will work with the Service Coordinator in development and implementation of Snug Harbor’s volunteer management system, specifically structuring volunteer service on Heritage Farm, as well as coordinate outreach, intake, tracking, and assessment of volunteers.  The FTC will also coordinate with the Environmental Stewardship Coordinator and the Visitor Services Coordinator to optimize volunteer service at Snug Harbor.

Expectations and Goals for the specific project on which AmeriCorps Member is serving: 

At conclusion of service, the member will have expanded, edited, and improved the Heritage Farm Training Manual, a subset of the larger Staff Volunteer Management Handbook generated by the Service Coordinator. This will solidify Snug Harbor’s role as a meaningful community partner, facilitating transformative experiences for all stakeholders.   The FTC will participate in outreach and oversee onboarding of Heritage Farm volunteers.  This success will be measured qualitatively through volunteer and volunteer manager assessments, as well as documentation of skills-acquisition.  Quantitatively, success will be determined by a couple of metrics.  Firstly, levels of attrition in volunteer service will be tracked.  Secondly, we expect an increase in volunteer hours.  The FTC’s work will provide a foundational component of volunteer management at Heritage Farm.

Member Position Summary: 

The AmeriCorps member will join a fast-paced team of urban farmers, acting as a learning leader in the field, working with farmers and volunteers to plant, harvest and maintain our 2.5-acre production farm.  Heritage Farm’s holistic approach to managing a productive landscape while addressing the needs of our community includes organics collection and composting in addition to food production.  The FTC will drive volunteer onboarding and support on the Farm while working with the Service Coordinator in volunteer outreach.  After mastering skill sets and understanding how task sets support the larger goals of farm operations, the FTC will serve as a volunteer leader, supervising skills acquisition in the field.  Skills include seeding, thinning, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and composting.  The FTC will also serve to expand volunteership on the grounds by guiding Farm volunteers into expanded service with the Horticulture and Visitor Services teams.  Heritage Farm staff work in all weather conditions (including rain and extreme heat), while maintaining a fast and efficient pace.  This is a physically intensive job.  While previous experience in farming is helpful, it is not required.  Anyone with a strong work ethic and deep interest in learning about sustainable small-scale agriculture through hands-on experience should apply.   

Snug Harbor will rely on the FTC to oversee further development of a Farm-dedicated training manual, as well as continually assess volunteer and departmental capacity and impact.  The FTC will focus on the following: build upon the Heritage Farm training manual for greater access within the community; maintain the Heritage Farm volunteer schedule; and streamline tracking of skills acquisition.  We expect additional tools and policy needs will emerge in the course of the member’s service. In order to onboard volunteers safely, the training manual will develop standard operating procedures, policy, and protocol in reference to Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations relevant to Farm service.  The volunteer schedule will be maintained in continuous communication with the Engagement Department’s Service Coordinator.  

Detailed Tasks: 

  • Identify volunteer gaps to address through outreach
  • Review, identify, and develop resources for volunteers, including training materials, checklist, manual, etc.
  • Continue the building of a Heritage Farm Training Manual
  • Manage volunteer training for new volunteers, including work plans
  • Serve as an internal resource for Heritage Farm staff on coordinating volunteer groups, providing logistics and management support
  • Increase impact through continuous assessment of volunteer service
  • Ensure all volunteer attendance is tracked and updated weekly
  • Track progress of volunteer service
  • Assist Farm Manager and Director of Engagement in volunteer assessments
  • Identify and document return volunteers and groups for regular recognition
  • Manage volunteer group schedules and distribute weekly volunteer schedules
  • Create volunteer information sessions for potential volunteers to learn more about the roles volunteers can play at the Heritage Farm
  • Create work plans and schedules for volunteer projects
  • Analyze volunteer surveys to implement volunteer feedback
  • Gain competencies in the following skills with supervision and support from the Farm Leads and/or Farm Manager:  transplant, thin, propagate, direct seed, weed, harvest, and wash produce for our CSA and markets; organics collection and compost processing; production tracking
  • Gain competencies in project management, from conception through planning and execution
  • Communicate the vision and goals of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and the Heritage Farm professionally with fellow staff, volunteers, customers, and visitors on the farm and at CSA market days
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks at once while managing your time well
  • Ability to lift 50lbs regularly and be able to stand, squat, kneel, bend, and crouch for extended periods of time
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Experience working outdoors in a physically demanding role
  • Ability to learn new tasks quickly and execute them immediately
  • Interest in learning about small scale intensive agriculture and the techniques used in organic farming
  • Ability to following all safety protocols
  • Committed to being an active and flexible member of a small team

Required Skills for AmeriCorps Members (set for all program members):

  • Strong commitment to national service and the mission of the host site
  • Desire to work in the non-profit sector
  • Desire to serve with diverse communities
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to conduct community outreach and make presentations to community groups
  • Willingness to take initiative to achieve goals
  • Strong project management/multi-tasking abilities
  • A clear plan for living on the AmeriCorps stipend in New York City
  • Availability to lead and/or attend events during evening and weekend hours (frequency varies by position)
  • Minimum high school diploma or equivalency
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • US Citizen or lawful permanent resident (AmeriCorps regulations)https://docs.google.com/drawings/u/1/d/smrynlhC2JRdbAngiM1AwdA/image?w=383&h=2&rev=1&ac=1&parent=1QWjHRJkJOeKe6oSvKtn00yWWFDYqbilf

Preferred Academic or Experience Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Interest in agroecology, urban planning, and/or workforce development

Familiarity with Excel

Familiarity with Google Suite, especially Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google Docs

* Please note: The duties and responsibilities in this service position description may be subject to change. In the rare event that there are any changes, fellows will be notified prior to beginning the service year and the position description will be amended.  All changes will be reviewed and approved in advance by NYC Service.