The New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation (NWC) is set on a beautiful 152 acre property in the Ramapo Mountains of northern New Jersey. The Center serves as a living classroom, with mature hardwood forest, hiking trails, rocky outcrops, a glacial boulder field, a stream, and seasonal wetlands. Our facilities are the perfect setting for outdoor education, and include a large recreation field, picnic grove, pavilion, and group campsites - as well as a rain garden, pollinator garden, and raised beds to enhance the curriculum options. Our history as a center focused on nature and conservation dates back to the 1920’s, and we feature that unique legacy in our place-based programs and events. In addition to the c.1931 main building which houses our offices, we are fortunate to have a c.1800’s farmhouse and many cabins and outbuildings, which expand the options we can provide.
In addition to receiving wonderful feedback from the communities we serve, our organization was chosen as the recipient of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) “Excellence in Environmental Education” Pat Skelly Community Award, and recently received Hulafrog’s “Most Loved Camp” award.
The Senior Environmental Educator will develop and teach natural history, ecology, and STEM programs for school field trips, camps, homeschool, afterschool, scouts, community groups, and the general public. They will manage the education team through training and staffing programs, and will schedule and coordinate public and private programs.
Responsible for all aspects of environmental education programming, including: development, outreach, scheduling, invoicing, leading programs, and staff & intern training.
● Education (40%): Teach existing programs and develop and lead new ones, including: school field trips, day camps, seasonal, homeschool, afterschool, nature themed parties, facility rental add-ons, and public programs. The programs currently emphasized in this role include:
o Outdoor Classroom Integration Programs: Ringwood Public Schools 4th & 5th grade students visit the NWC twice per school year for field trip programs that are custom-developed to integrate into their classroom curriculum.
o Spring & Fall Field Trips: The NWC hosts schools from across the region for outdoor field trips for 1st-8th grade students, many of whom are experiencing the forest for the first time.
o Seasonal Public Programs: We offer several public program “seasons”, including Maple Sugaring in late winter, Pumpkin Chunkin’ with a trebuchet and Natural Wreath Weaving in the fall.
o Scout Badges and Classes: The NWC provides badge classes for scouts and troops of all levels, ranging from BSA Merit badges such as Bird Study & Nature, to girl scout and cub scout programs that are very popular on weekends in the fall and spring.
o Monthly Guided Nature Walks & Hikes: public programs for all ages, including bird walks, night hikes, and programs focused on local flora and fauna.
● Coordination (20%): Scheduling programs with schools, scout troops, and the public; coordinating the staffing and materials for each.
● Staff Supervision and Training (10%): Supervise the education team of part-time staff and interns. Develop and lead training programs, including onboarding and orientation, professional development, and targeted training for field trips, camps, scout badges and other programs.
● Marketing (10%): Create program graphics and flyers; write program descriptions for the NWC website and social media; conduct in-person and digital outreach to promote programs; create social media posts and content for a monthly e-newsletter.
● Camps (10%): Serve as co-camp director and health director for summer nature camp as well as other seasonal day camps throughout the year. Plan camp activities and train and supervise camp counselors.
● Relationship-building (5%): Build relationships with current members and program attendees and grow new ones through customer service, direct outreach, and attending community events including festivals and farmer’s markets.
● Miscellaneous (5%): Organize and maintain inventory of education supplies and materials; assist with grant applications and fundraising initiatives; facilitate grounds maintenance and building operations; plan and present special NWC events and external outreach events.
● 3-5 years experience in environmental education, both in teaching in the field and in program development and creation.
● Background in natural sciences, environmental education, education or related field; degree required.
● Experience in coordination and administration, including scheduling, staff management and training, and
● Experience working with K-8 students, as well as families and adults. Experience with special needs students preferred.
● Knowledge of and passion for the natural world, including local flora and fauna (native and invasive plants, bird identification, stream ecology, forest ecosystems, etc.)
● An enthusiastic, self-motivated approach to outdoor education, and the desire to keep the wonder and excitement of nature alive in every program and to connect each participant with the natural world.
● Flexibility and adaptability to the inherent nature of working outdoors and with children.
● Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to relate to people of different ages and abilities. Must be confident with public speaking, leading groups, and initiating activities.
● Ability to work independently and proactively, as well as to collaborate with the education team and Director, and engage with the communities we serve.
● Exceptional attention to detail, self-motivated, creative and responsible.
● Proficient with working in Google Suite and Microsoft Office.
● Valid First Aid and CPR/AED certificate, or willingness to get certified.
● Must pass a criminal background and sex offender check.
● Must have own transportation and a valid driver's license.
● Must be able to hike 3+ miles over uneven terrain in all weather conditions, and lift up to 25 lbs.
● Must be willing to follow all safety regulations and best practices, including current COVID-19 guidelines.