Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the posting time of this position.

Service Description

The primary role of this position is commitment to successful daily operation of The Nature Place (TNP) with a large emphasis on caring for the gardens and grounds and engaging the community in land stewardship. Gain hands-on knowledge and experience working with plants and insects native to this area. Assist in developing and increasing our reach in terms of community engagement and provide a long-lasting sense of appreciation and stewardship for the land.

Time Requirements:
Typical schedule will include Monday – Friday daytime-evening hours and rotational weekend hours. Hours will vary but generally will not exceed 80 hours per two-week period.

  • Summer Positions: Approximately, 35 hours per week average.
  • 1 Year Positions: Approximately, 30 hours per week average September-January; 40 hours per week average February-August.

AmeriCorps

This is an AmeriCorps Position (What is AmeriCorps?).

AmeriCorps Provides Additional Benefits:

  • Learn more about the AmeriCorps Education Award mentioned under "Details". You can use the award to repay qualified student loans and to pay for current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs. (Award Amounts)
  • Professional networking opportunities, mentorship, and experience to help grow your career
  • Make a difference in the community
  • Be a part of a dedicated service team
  • Opportunity for loan forbearance on qualified student loans
  • Free access to Employee Assistance Program includes phone/text/video call counselor service and other resources
  • Health insurance option (1 year/1700 hr positions only, who are not already covered)
  • You may be eligible for AmeriCorps child care public assistance
  • Access to on-site food pantry and laundry facilities

Site Overview

The Nature Place (TNP) is a nature-focused community center open to the public, located in beautiful Myrick Park in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Our mission is to inspire and cultivate meaningful connections between people and nature, for the benefit of both. We offer nature education programs and community events for all ages and our unique space is available to visit during open hours or to rent for special events and meetings. The Nature Place is your space, year-round, rain or shine.

The Nature Place occupies the ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk.
Read More: natureplacelacrosse.org/about/land-acknowledgement

Responsibilities 

  • On-site Visitor Experience
    • Welcome visitors. Engage them to meet their needs, interests or curiosity about TNP and advance our Mission
    • Promote program participation, visitor services, and volunteerism to visitors. Connect visitors to other staff members when appropriate
    • Assist with visitor experience projects related to signage, layouts, exhibits, and displays
    • Purchase supplies and equipment / follow general budgetary procedures
    • Assist the Visitor Services team with proper critter care and handling of live education animals and facilitate public interaction/education
    • Assist the Visitor Services team with opening/closing TNP on a scheduled basis
    • Ensure TNP policies and safety procedures are followed
  • Gardens & Grounds
    • Oversee the maintenance and care of the gardens and grounds, including 5 acres of park space, 7 native gardens, and demonstration produce garden
    • Train under the mentorship of the Master Gardeners & Master Naturalist to support their work in the 7 native gardens (in addition to the direct supervisor for this position)
    • Work independently to complete daily tasks, which include: transplanting, weeding, trimming tall plants, watering, etc.
    • Design displays for the native gardens kiosk
    • Assist in developing/implementing seasonal plans
  • Volunteer Program
    • Develop volunteer opportunities and facilitate existing opportunities in the gardens
    • Research current trends in best practices and the benefits of connecting youth, families, and adults to nature and to their community
    • Coordinate and train unpaid, non-AmeriCorps volunteers
    • Make sure appropriate records of volunteer hours are kept
  • Marketing
    • Assist in designing and creating publicity for TNP gardens and land stewardship volunteer opportunities
    • Assist in distribution of publicity for upcoming events, programs, and volunteer opportunities
    • Assist with website and social media to promote visitor services, programs, and events
    • Develop and write 4-5 blog posts throughout service term (does not apply to 450 hour positions)
  • Capstone Project
    • 1700 hour AmeriCorps Members will have the opportunity to develop a significant program series or select a project that will leave a lasting contribution within their program area, the department, or the organization (does not apply to 450 hour positions).

Trainings

  • All Members serving at TNP
    • AmeriCorps Orientation (timekeeping training, member prohibited activities, how to use your Education Award)
    • The Nature Place orientation
    • Educational Animal training
    • First Aid/CPR/AED
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Sexual Harassment training
    • Additional training tailored to your position
  • 1700 Hour members receive additional training throughout the year, which may include career exploration or learning experiences, field trips, participation in National Days of Service, and other training or professional development opportunities.

Qualifications

  • Willingness to learn various conservation practices or land management techniques
  • Experience or interest in working with the public and/or volunteers
  • Excellent customer service and professional demeanor
  • Passionate about environmental causes and being a part of the community surrounding environmental service
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 20 lbs
  • Ability to use garden tools (ie. Wheelbarrow, shovel, trowel, pruning shears, etc.)
  • Ability to work primarily on your feet/standing/crouching
  • Willing to learn and implement strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Comfortable with learning how to care for and handle live education animals including amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, birds and invertebrates, a plus
  • Dependable; able to fulfill commitment to term of service
  • Willing and able to follow and implement The Nature Place’s policies and procedures
  • NSOPW, FBI, and State(s) Criminal History Checks will be conducted and position is contingent upon a review of those results. The member will have the opportunity to review any results. This position will have recurring access to vulnerable populations. We encourage this not to deter anyone from applying and to ask questions to better understand what this means.

TNP provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran per applicable federal, state, and local laws. We are committed to assuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs, and activities for persons with disabilities. If you have a disability, and need to access information in an alternative format, or need it translated into another language, please contact us at 608-782-2494, by email at staff@wiscorps.org or Wisconsin Relay 711.

Details

Summer Positions​
May 28 - Aug 28, 2024

35hrs/wk
450 total hrs required before end date

$430/wk living stipend = $6,020 total

$1,956.35 = estimate Education Award upon successful completion of service

 

1 Year Term Positions
Sept 4, 2024 - Aug 22, 2025

30hrs/wk average Sept-Jan
40hrs/wk average Feb-Aug

1700 total hrs required before end date

$460/wk living stipend = $23,460 total

$7,395.00 = estimate Education Award upon successful completion of service​