2021-2022 NYC Civic Corps

Member Position Description

Host Site Name: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Position Title: Environmental Stewardship Coordinator (ESC)

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

Tentative Schedule:  Thursday – Monday, 8:30-4:30

# 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 at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, mainly a training manual including standard operating procedures, policies, and procedures, and provide a continuing point of contact for volunteer service on the grounds.  The Environmental Stewardship Coordinator (ESC) will work with the Service Coordinator in development and implementation of Snug Harbor’s volunteer management system, specifically structuring volunteer service, as well as coordinate outreach, intake, tracking, and assessment of volunteers.  The ESC will also coordinate with the Farm Training 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 developed a Horticulture-dedicated 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 ESC will participate in outreach and oversee onboarding of Snug Harbor botanical garden 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 ESC’s work will provide a foundational component of volunteer management.

Member Position Summary: 

The AmeriCorps member will join a fast-paced team of horticulturists and groundskeepers, acting as a learning leader in the field, working with staff and volunteers to propagate, plant, and maintain plant material on our 83-acre campus.  Snug Harbor is an open park, home to 12 formal gardens and 10 acres of state-mapped wetlands.  The ESC will drive volunteer onboarding and support on the grounds while working with the Service Coordinator in volunteer outreach.  After mastering skill sets and understanding how task sets support the larger goals of grounds operations, the ESC will serve as a volunteer leader, supervising skills acquisition in the field.  Skills include seeding, thinning, transplanting, weeding, pruning, organics collection, composting, and invasives removal.  The ESC will also serve to expand volunteership on the grounds by guiding volunteers into expanded service with the Heritage Farm and Visitor Services teams.  Horticulture 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 is helpful, it is not required.  Anyone with a strong work ethic and deep interest in learning about horticultural practices, groundskeeping, and ecosystem management through hands-on experience should apply.   

Snug Harbor will rely on the ESC to oversee development of a Horticulture-dedicated training manual, as well as continually assess volunteer and departmental capacity and impact.  The ESC will focus on the following: develop the structure of a training manual to create greater access within the community; maintain the 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 Horticulture 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.
  • Create a Snug Harbor Horticulture Training Manual
  • Manage volunteer training for new volunteers, including work plans
  • Serve as an internal resource for Horticulture staff on coordinating volunteer groups, providing logistics, management support, and supervision
  • Increase impact through continuous assessment of volunteer service
  • Ensure all volunteer attendance is tracked and updated weekly
  • Track progress of volunteer service
  • Assist Director of Horticulture 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 by volunteering at Snug Harbor
  • 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 Horticulturist and/or Groundskeepers:  seeding, thinning, transplanting, weeding, pruning, organics collection, composting, and invasives removal
  • Gain competencies in project management, from conception through planning and execution
  • Communicate the vision and goals of Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden professionally with fellow staff, volunteers, customers, and visitors
  • 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 horticulture and ecosystem management and the techniques used
  • 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 ecology, 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.