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Stewardship and Intern Manager – Wilton Land Conservation Trust

Internship, Stewardship

About the WLCT:
The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is an exciting, dynamic, inclusive, growing, and educational 501c3 community-focused nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing, and conserving open space in Wilton. Comprised of an all-volunteer Board of Trustees made up of residents of Wilton, and an Executive Director, we work to conserve land, protect biodiversity, enhance ecosystems, and enrich the Wilton Community with educational programing. The WLCT integrates the latest science and best practices into its land management policies across its 119 separate parcels totaling nearly 840 acres in Wilton. Our critical work is made possible by the generous support of our members, volunteers, friends, and community partners.

WLCT Mission:
The Wilton Land Conservation Trust protects Wilton’s unique natural, scenic, and historical landscapes through conservation and stewardship. The WLCT is a community-focused land trust dedicated to preserving land for open space, protecting biodiversity, and promoting environmental awareness and education.

Position Overview:
The Wilton Land Conservation Trust seeks a part-time Open Space Stewardship & Intern Manager to maintain, steward, and help monitor its nearly 840-acre portfolio and trail networks. This position reports directly to the Executive Director and involves working independently, managing interns, and sometimes directing volunteers. This is a field-based position, with approximately 95% of the work in an outdoor environment where the climate, weather, and terrain can be demanding. Fieldwork, hiking, photography, supervising, and report writing are required for this position.

The Manager’s primary responsibility is to maintain the WLCT’s trail networks and lead interns in completing land stewardship projects across the Land Trust’s network of 119+ properties. These projects include, but are not limited to, trail construction and maintenance, planting/pruning/watering trees and shrubs, stone wall repair, and invasive species removal. The Manager is also responsible for coordinating 1-2 experiential learning opportunities for the interns each season, this could be taking a trip to other local conservation organizations and workshops with environmental professionals. This combination of work and education provides a rewarding experience for our interns; it’s bolstered by the strong leadership of the Manager.

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic and conservation-minded college student, professional, or retiree. A background in botany, biology, soils, conservation, ecology, forestry, natural resource management, or a closely related field is preferred. Candidates should be passionate about preserving the natural environment, protecting open space, environmental education, and ensuring the safety of WLCT visitors.

Primary Responsibilities and Duties: Stewardship

  • Steward and improve WLCT’s existing trail systems through projects such as tree pruning, weed whacking, mowing, invasive species removal, rock wall repair, etc.;
  • Tend to new meadow and woodland plantings through monitoring, watering, weeding, etc.;
  • Identify, describe, and report on site and trail conditions using a field inspection card;
  • Blaze trails and install WLCT trail markers;
  • Assist in completing a variety of other WLCT land stewardship projects;
  • Attends Monthly WLCT Stewardship Committee meetings;

Primary Responsibilities and Duties: Interns

  • Ensure the safety of and serve as a role model for all participants of the internship program;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills, especially experience working with volunteers, high school students, or service organizations;
  • Develop weekly work plans that balance the stewardship and educational objectives of the internship program. Prior to the start of the week, communicate this plan to interns and the Executive Director;
  • Identify opportunities for field-based learning, and coordinate more formal experiential learning opportunities including field trips and mini-workshops;
  • Lead interns in completing stewardship projects to the highest possible standard;
  • Teach interns how to safely use and properly care for tools used in completing land stewardship projects (including loppers, saws, pry bars, post-hole diggers, etc.);
  • Track the progress of projects and provide weekly updates to the Executive Director for the Land Trust’s blog and social media;
  • Help with recruitment, supervision and evaluation of interns and volunteers;
  • First aid and/or CPR training is preferred.

Required Qualifications and Skills:

  • Independent and enterprising, with strong problem-solving ability and a demonstrated interest in the Land Trust’s work.
  • Experience completing various land stewardship projects (especially those mentioned above) and safe usage of the tools commonly used to complete those projects; and other physically demanding work.
  • Experience with the safe operation or power tools such as a weed whacker, lawn mower, and hand saw; and/or basic carpentry skills are a plus.
  • Experience leading, managing, and overseeing youth interns.
  • Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds and work outside in sometimes inclement weather.
  • Ability to independently walk several miles per day over rough terrain in poor weather;
  • Reliable personal vehicle and valid driver’s license;
  • Excellent interpersonal written and oral skills;
  • Facility in communicating with people of all ages and backgrounds;
  • Proficiency with industry-specific computer software (Microsoft Office, Adobe, internet).
  • Applicants must be able to pass a background check (CORI and SORI)

Preferred Education and Experience, and Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree (complete or in pursuit) in preferred fields of natural resources, conservation, biology, ecology, forestry, or related field;
  • And or, a cumulative one-year work experience in a related field;
  • Small engine maintenance and repair a plus;
  • Knowledge of native and invasive species, gardening, preferred;
  • Carpentry experience, a plus

Training: The Manager will work closely with the Executive Director for the two weeks leading up to the start of the internship programs. During that time, the Manager and Executive Director will develop a list of projects, set goals and expectations, formalize workshops and field trips, and lay a solid foundation for the program’s success. After this week, the Manager is expected to run the internship program and steward WLCT’s trails with minimal assistance.

Hours: This part-time position will involve 7-10 hours per week, with a flexible schedule tailored to the applicant’s availability.

Compensation: Hourly rate of $15 per hour for 7-10 hours a week, paid bi-weekly. Professional development opportunities, including attendance of conferences will be made available.

Duration: This is a 30-week position, from March through November. In the off-season (December – February) the role stays connected with the WLCT by attending Monthly Stewardship Committee meetings. The Manager develops their own work schedule, based on their and the intern’s availability. Zoom meetings will help make meetings more convenient for manager, interns, and the Executive Director.

How to Apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to the WLCT, Only complete applications sent to this address will be considered. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please include WLCT Stewardship & Intern Manager in the subject line.

The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all employees.

Deadline: 08/31/22
Wilton Land Conservation Trust
Wilton, CT