Grand Prairie Friends serves as a private, not-for-profit, conservation land trust whose mission is to preserve and restore natural communities in east-central Illinois and promote an understanding and appreciation of natural resources. Grand Prairie Friends owns and manages over 1,200 acres of remnant and restored tallgrass prairies, woodlands and wetlands in Champaign, Coles, Ford, Iroquois, Shelby and Vermilion (IL) counties. Focus projects include bat mitigation restorations and landscape-scale conservation initiatives along 13-miles of the Embarras river. We encourage applications from candidates that wish to be part of a small team with a big impact.
The ecological restoration and preservation of natural areas owned and/ or managed by Grand Prairie Friends. Based in east-central Illinois, the dominant land management focus includes forest, prairie, savanna, and wetland habitats.
• Field work tasks include, but are not limited to, invasive species control by hand-pulling, cutting, or spraying; collecting, processing, and planting native seed and plants; annual site monitoring; prescribed burning and burn preparation.
• Site operation duties include trail, building, landscaping and light vehicle maintenance; mowing for
public access and land management needs; hiking trail maintenance; installing and maintaining signs and trail markers; removal of litter.
• Office work tasks include writing reports on natural areas work to the Board of Directors, site monitoring reports, records of hours and activities, and other reports, data organization, and administrative tasks.
• Outreach and leadership tasks may include leading volunteer workdays; organizing and assisting volunteer monitoring activities and other programs; coordinating, assisting, and leading interns and hourly staff; communicating and coordinating with contractors; collaborating with other agencies and organizations; serving as a representative of Grand Prairie Friends in the community including, but not limited to, public interactions, events, neighbor relations and community partnerships.
• Participate in professional development trainings.
• Other duties as assigned.
Completed a BA/BS in ecology, biology, natural resources, environmental science or a related field, or equivalent experience.
• Must possess knowledge of conservation issues; general biological and ecological principles as they relate to natural areas management including basic plant and animal identification skills and invasive plant management techniques.
• One to two years experience working with ecological restoration, invasive species control, herbicide application, prescribed burning, and planting preferred.
• Experience and references which support a self-led, self-motivated work ethic.
• Experience working as part of a team and with the public, with good written and oral
• Ability to operate GPS units and interpret maps. Experience with GIS software encouraged.
• Ability or willingness to learn to safely use and maintain tools including but not limited to chainsaws, brushcutters, hand tools, tractors, and agricultural spraying equipment.
• Construction, mechanical, electrical, welding or other building and maintenance experience is advantageous but not required.
• Proficiency with standard office equipment and software such as MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
• Ability to perform strenuous physical work, sometimes under adverse conditions or in inclement weather including heat, humidity, sunlight, and rain as well as environmental conditions like biting insects and hazardous plants, chemicals such as cleaning supplies, pesticides, and gasoline/oil, and machinery with moving parts and high noise levels. This includes routine moderate lifting and ability to carry up to 50 pounds and the ability to stand or walk for long periods over rough, uneven terrain and wet and slippery surfaces, and may include stooping, twisting, climbing, balancing, kneeling, crouching, or crawling.
• Candidate must be willing and able to work flexible schedule including occasional evenings and weekends, and to work independently in remote locations without supervision.
Submit Resume and Cover Letter to Executive Director Sarah Livesay at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 5.
Job specific questions, contact Natural Areas Manager Jeff Peyton at Jeff@grandprairiefriends.org