Connecting People with Ellerbe Creek AmeriCorps Member

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This position is based in Durham, NC, at the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. ECWA’s mission is to protect and restore Durham’s most urban stream and create an interconnected network of nature preserves and trails that connect the people of our city to their creek.

Before you apply, please “read the instructions carefully”: 

Include all relevant materials in your application. Applications that do not include all of the relevant items will not be considered. Start date is September 6th 2017 and will end on June 30th 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with the last day to apply being June 30th 2017.

Please note that this is for an AmeriCorps position for 10-months with a pre-determined living allowance and other benefits that include health care benefit and the Segal Education Award. All information can be found on the link provided above. 

**The position is subject to federal renewal of the Corporation of National and Community Service and the AmeriCorps program. At this time the Conservation Trust for North Carolina,the host program for CTNC AmeriCorps, is hopeful funding will be renewed for the AmeriCorps program.** 

Purpose of the position

The Connecting People with Ellerbe Creek AmeriCorps position will connect people to nature through outdoor education and stewardship volunteer experiences in their own local stream, Ellerbe Creek.  The AmeriCorps member will help the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) expand our reach into the neighborhoods and schools around Ellerbe Creek and our nature preserves through educational programming, outreach, and volunteer coordination.  The Ellerbe Creek watershed is located in urban Durham, and the population is over 40 percent African American and 15 percent Latino.  The AmeriCorps member will help ECWA broaden its message and strengthen support by working with schools, through events, and by engaging new groups of people.

The AmeriCorps member will serve as the liaison between ECWA’s staff and board and its all-volunteer ECWA Education Committee. This role will help unify ECWA’s education, community outreach, and community engagement goals across the organization.  All ECWA programs and committees

In addition to education-related outreach and program work, the AmeriCorps member will also support ECWA’s stewardship outreach by helping the Stewardship Coordinator and the Land Stewardship Committee to bring new and more diverse volunteers to monthly preserve workdays.  This work will involve direct outreach into neighborhoods and community gathering places that are within close distance (e.g. ½ mile) of our preserves to provide folks with the opportunity to enjoy and protect the “nature in our own back yards.”

Position responsibilities and duties

The AmeriCorps member will work closely with ECWA’s staff, Education Committee, Stewardship Committee, and other committees when necessary  to expand existing programs to a new group of people by accomplishing the following objectives:

Education Program (40%)

Manage the Ellerbe Creek Explorers Club program.  Coordinate programming with 5 elementary schools, including as many as 8-12 classes in a yearlong program of 2-3 environmental field trips and 1 service learning project.  Partner with local youth organizations and non-profits to conduct programming, especially the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI).  Write new curriculum guides as needed.

Manage the Ellerbe Creek Family Explorers Program.  Recruit families, plan activities, manage materials, and lead the outings, 10 per year through the ECWA program and a goal of 7 times with EDCI Preschool, 2 of which incorporate the parents.

Serve as liaison to the Education Committee, attending meetings, helping set the agenda and taking meeting notes, engaging committee members in programming, and helping the committee reach 3-year objectives.

Assist the Education Committee with outreach and help recruit volunteers for ECWA’s nature hikes, as well as assisting hike leaders with logistics and sign up.  Enter and track attendees in ECWA’s database and follow up with them via email and/or social media to engage them in other ECWA activities.

Assist staff in managing current education grants and pursuing other funding opportunities for various education or outreach programs.

Stewardship Program (30%)

Plan, recruit, and safely lead volunteers at volunteer workdays.  ECWA holds as many as 25 volunteer workdays per year, and it will be the AmeriCorps member’s responsibility to organize a majority of these.

Maintain and grow a database of past and potential volunteer groups.

Assist the Preserve Stewardship in maintaining ECWA preserves.

Community Outreach (15%)

Help to define and implement outreach into neighborhoods, community groups, and businesses near Ellerbe Creek. This includes coordinating small volunteer groups to attend and provide environmental education at community events (e.g. Eno Festival, Centerfest, TLC Wild Ideas).  

Administrative (10%)

Post to social media and conduct outreach through various electronic platforms.

Help maintain ECWA volunteer events and resources calendar

Other Program Help (5%)

Assist the Creek Smart Technician with installing rain gardens, cisterns, etc.


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Outgoing and confident interpersonal skills
  • Experience leading groups of people in an outdoors setting
  • Comfortable working outdoors and in the woods in all types of weather
  • Ability to work independently and with others
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Ability to identify and organize tasks
  • A positive attitude and strong ethic of humility and service
  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Familiarity with local Durham communities and culture preferred
  • Conversational proficiency in Spanish preferred Some relevant experience (e.g. in community outreach or environmental work)
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively, creatively and effectively with people of all ethnic, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds
  • Demonstrated computer abilities in Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint; webpage, social media background, and experience with ArcGIS a plus
  • Must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States; Must have a legal driver’s license and consent to a criminal history check

Essential Functions/physical demands

The AmeriCorps member will do lots of walking, often in nature preserves and other wooded areas, sometimes in neighborhoods.  He or she will be at many meetings communicating with people from diverse backgrounds, often during evening or weekend hours.  The AmeriCorps member will participate in work that may involve trekking through the woods or urban nature preserves, so they will come into contact with the creek, weeds, pollen, insects, poison ivy, and potentially other critters.  The AmeriCorps member will do physical labor several times a month at volunteer workdays.

Preferred schedule

ECWA staff work with 7 volunteer committees, a volunteer board of directors, and hundreds of other event or workday-related volunteers.  This means that we are regularly called upon to work weekends and evenings, or any other hours the volunteers are available.  As a key part of our organization’s work, the AmeriCorps member will be expected to include evening and weekend work into her/his 40 hours per week.  We expect that she or he will work, on average, 2-3 weekend days per month and probably 1 evening per week.  Thus, we work to provide a flexible, fair schedule for all staff, including the AmeriCorps member (e.g. getting a weekday off in exchange for working on an 8-hour Saturday or coming in late the day after a night meeting).  Supervising staff will be available to assist whenever needed.

Location: Durham, NC
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