Program Overview: Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and environmental education providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. eeCorps members provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.
This position will be located at Bluff Lake Nature Center (BLNC) in northeast Denver. BLNC is a unique urban natural area dedicated to educating and inspiring people of all ages to respect, protect, and connect with our natural world. BLNC is a model urban wildlife refuge that enriches people’s lives through experiential education, environmental stewardship, community engagement, and ecosystem preservation and restoration. BLNC is committed to educational equity and making nature accessible to all.
BLNC believes that:
• All Northeast Metro Denver youth, regardless of race, ethnicity, and income, should be provided the opportunity to have authentic outdoor experiences.
• Positive experiences in nature translate into an increased desire to protect it.
• Discovery based, experiential STEM education is a powerful learning tool.
Service Position Summary: The Environmental Educator will work together with the Education team to design curriculum, develop programs, participate in community outreach, ensure programs are accessible, and facilitate programs. This position will focus on weekly family programs and partner events but will also participate in BLNC’s school field trips during the school year and our 10-week summer camp.
Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): eeCorps members engage with their Host Site organizations to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps and Bluff Lake Nature Center’s goals. These duties include:
● Serve with staff, board, and volunteers to review and develop curriculum and programs
● Facilitate on-site and off-site programs, virtual programs, classroom programs, events, after school, summer camp and field trips
● Evaluate education programs using assessment data from students, teacher/student feedback, current best practices in pedagogy and science standards, as well as observations and first-hand teaching experience
● Provide direct service to over 7,000 field trip students between PreK and 12th grade (90% from low income schools), 400 campers between the ages of 5-17, and community families.
● Assist staff with social media content creation and marketing efforts.
● Work with and lead youth interns and BLNC volunteers.
● Develop relationships with schools and community partners
● Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures
● Attend all eeCorps AmeriCorps trainings and orientations
● Complete all eeCorps required National Days of Service projects
● Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines
● Some local travel required in the Denver Metro area
Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): Additional tasks include:
● Assisting in site volunteer days geared towards families and/or schools (weed removal, trash clean up, etc)
● Assist in organization of paperwork and program supplies
Term of Service: This is a half-time national and community service position requiring a minimum of 900 hours during the term of service (flexible, but usually approximately 30 hours/week Jan-early April, 38 hours/week April-July). The position begins January 24, 2022 and ends July 29, 2022. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Member must serve on Days of Service that take place on certain national holidays throughout the year.
Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Rachel Crouch, BLNC Executive Director, and Heidi Pfeiffer, BLNC Education Manager, as well as by Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator. The 2021-2022 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.
Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at Bluff Lake Nature Center: 11255 E. MLK Jr Blvd, Denver, CO 80238 (site) and 4760 Oakland St Suite 200, Denver, CO 80239 (office) and may involve service at other locations (indoor and/or outdoor) in the greater Denver area.
Benefits: Half-Time eeCorps members receive:
● A bimonthly living allowance of $603.84. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed twice per month by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
● A living stipend of $150 per month
● An education award of 3,172.50 upon successful completion of term of service.
● It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
● Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings, days of service, and program sites
● Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.
● Ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils; option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification.
Physical, Emotional, and intellectual Demands:
● Ability to work in outdoor setting in various weather conditions for up to 9 hours
● Able to carry/lift 50 pounds
● Commitment to equity in education
● People person willing to go out into schools and communities and engage
● Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply
● Passionate about Bluff Lake Nature Center’s mission
● Strong organizational skills with the ability to multi-task
● Strong communication skills with adults and children
● Knowledge of Colorado plants and animals a plus
● Team player, enthusiastic, organized, creative, critical thinker, and self-motivated
● Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
● Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
● High School Diploma or GED required, college graduate preferred
● Ability to pass criminal history checks (required)
● Reliable transportation and proof of auto insurance
● U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required
● People who have spent time in the northeast Denver area (Montbello, Northwest Aurora, Commerce City, Northeast Denver) encouraged to apply
Diversity and Equal Opportunity: Bluff Lake Nature Center shall not discriminate against any employee, volunteer or program participant on the bases of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, marital, parental, veteran or military status, political service, or membership, participation or association with any employee organization. We provide equal employment and volunteer opportunities to all individuals based on job-related qualifications and abilities.
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) recognizes the value of diversity and inclusiveness to advance environmental education. CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.
If you are interested in applying to this position, please send your resume and a short cover letter outlining your interest in the program and commitment to national service to Erin Dreps, EeCorps Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “AmeriCorps BLNC Application” in the subject line. Please also attach a list of three (3) references, and a diversity and inclusion statement that is no longer than one page in length.