By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
Grow Food Northampton is pleased to announce three full-time service position openings through TerraCorps (formerly MassLIFT-AmeriCorps). We have been thrilled with the work of our first team of service members this year, and encourage anyone interested in a year of service that will strengthen the local food economy in the Northampton area to apply. The description below covers all positions and partner organizations. Grow Food Northampton specifically seeks:
- a Youth Education Coordinator (PDF description) to lead out farm field trips, in-school workshops and other youth programming focused on growing and preparing local food;
- a Land Stewardship Coordinator (PDF description) to grow vegetables for meal sites and food pantries in our 1/2-acre intensive Giving Garden, and play a key role in management of our 120-acre farm, including leases to private farmers and development of productive conservation options in riparin areas; and
- a Community Engagement Coordinator (PDF description) to organize events, lead community outreach efforts, and engage with participants in our many Food Access programs.
If you are interested, read on for more background, see the attached descriptions of the open service positions, and go to the TerraCorps site to apply.
TerraCorps is an innovative national service program working to help communities conserve and secure land for the health and well-being of people and nature. Using the AmeriCorps national service model, TerraCorps prepares and mobilizes emerging leaders to help strengthen community-based nonprofits working to meet these goals.
The 2017 TerraCorps program will support thirty-six full-time AmeriCorps members, serving in one of four positions: Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC), Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC), Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC), and Youth Education Coordinator (YEC). The positions differ in their focus on community engagement and organization, land access, conservation and stewardship, and youth or adult education. All members will carry out capacity building projects; educate or train individuals; recruit, train, manage, and support community volunteers engaged in land-based activities; and identify new individuals and groups to participate in education, recreation, or service opportunities centered around land access and conservation. All positions include computer-based administrative and reporting duties. The specific responsibilities and goals of members differ by position as well as host site organization.
Land Stewardship Coordinators build the long-term capacity of their host sites by creating networks of volunteers to support hands-on stewardship of community lands. They organize, train, and collaborate with municipal boards, neighborhood and civic associations, community members, youth groups, and schools to care for, improve access to, and support the long-term resiliency and sustainable use of community lands.
Community Engagement Coordinators build the long-term capacity of their host sites by developing culturally inclusive systems, programing, partnerships, and events. By collaborating with community groups, CECs demonstrate how the sustainable use and conservation of land can help address community needs related to education, public health, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, homelessness, poverty, hunger, and cultural decline.
Regional Conservation Coordinators build the long-term capacity of their host sites by assessing community needs related to land conservation and land access and then organizing collaborative community projects to help meet these needs. They convene and coordinate community organizations to build regional networks, and organize collaborative cross-sector working groups to initiate new projects around community needs.
Youth Education Coordinators build the long-term capacity of their host site by engaging youth in service learning, experiential education, and inquiry-based science and nature learning projects. They collaborate with schools, libraries, and youth groups on projects that connect young people to the natural world, improve science literacy, and encourage healthy lifestyles.
These are full-time AmeriCorps positions requiring a minimum of 1,700 hours of service over 11 months. The 2017-18 TerraCorps program will run from August 28, 2017 – July 27, 2018.
Seventeen organizations, located across the state, will host TerraCorps members this year: Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Backyard Growers, Buzzards Bay Coalition and Wareham Land Trust, Groundwork Lawrence, Groundwork Somerville, Groundwork Southcoast, Grow Food Northampton, Growing Places, Healthy Chelsea and Greenroots, Hilltown Land Trust, Kestrel Land Trust, Mill City Grows, North County Land Trust, Sudbury Valley Trustees, and Wildlands Trust.
Member applications, position descriptions, and information about TerraCorps and the organizations hosting members for the 2017-2018 program can be found on our website (terracorps.org).
Interviews begin mid-April and we hope to fill all positions by the beginning of June. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.
AmeriCorps programs provide equal service opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to class, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability, veteran status, color, political affiliation, creed, national origin, marital status, or any other status as protected by federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request.
TerraCorps is an AmeriCorps grant program contingent on federal funding through the Corporation of National and Community Service.