Conservation Crew Member - Spring 2023
Title: Conservation Crew Member
Location: Based out of Harrisonburg, VA
Expected Start Date: March 2023
Estimated End Date: May 2023 or later
Status: This is a full-time, seasonal 300-hour AmeriCorps National Service position.
Compensation: $600/week living stipend, AmeriCorps Education Award on completion
Questions? Contact ACCrecruiting@conservationlegacy.org
Appalachian Conservation Corps:
Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) works to connect young people to critical conservation service work across Appalachia and neighboring communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania. As a corps program, ACC partners with public land managers to identify, plan, and complete projects that improve public access, habitat quality, and economic development. ACC is a program of Conservation Legacy, a nationwide network of conservation service organizations. Our programs focus on service, place-based learning, life skills development, appreciation of diversity, civic responsibility, and career development. ACC also provides an opportunity for members to learn about the local environment and issues affecting it and introduces individuals to recreation and resource management careers. ACC welcomes national applicants, but also emphasizes the engagement of local individuals who represent the communities in which they serve.
The Conservation Crew Member position is an entry-level role. Crew Members are supported on a variety of levels, by their Crew Leaders, Program Staff & Project Partners, and Conservation Legacy Staff. While prior experience with the outdoors or outdoor work can be helpful, it is not a necessity for this position. We ask that Crew Members embrace learning opportunities, face challenges, and build community with their crew.
Projects take place across the Appalachian Region, including work with the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and other land managers. During their time in the field, Crew Members camp overnight and work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, performing heavy manual labor related to environmental conservation and restoration projects. These hands-on projects include visitor access improvements, trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species treatments, historic restoration, disaster relief, and much more. Most projects require hiking out to remote work sites for the day with tools, equipment, and day pack.
Typically, Crew Members will meet at the ACC Office in Harrisonburg, travel in a crew vehicle to their project site and remain in the field for 9 days at a time, followed by 5 days off. While in the field, Crew Members work 8-10 hours a day. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting and includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half hour break for lunch.
Prior to their start date, selected Crew Members must begin their background check process and complete an online enrollment process which includes completing e-forms, uploading IDs, and enrolling with AmeriCorps. For those with limited access to online platforms, accommodations may be available and can be discussed during the interview process.
Conservation Crew Members with ACC serve on a crew with 4-6 other Crew Members and 2 Crew Leaders who provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Food is provided while in the field. Crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores (cooking, washing dishes, etc). Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated if known ahead of time. Many evenings include group discussions on conservation topics.
ACC supports a culture of feedback and growth. Crew Members will set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance through both self-evaluation and a review with their Crew Leader in the middle and at the end of their season. Evaluations will cover areas such as professionalism, responsibility and leadership, communication, engagement, productivity, safety, and equipment use. Crew Members will also be asked to evaluate their Crew Leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term.
- $600/week living stipend, paid bi-weekly
- AmeriCorps Segal Education Award upon successful completion of service term
- Member Assistance Program – 3 free sessions of support with a counseling or work-life balance specialist
- Uniform shirts, helmet, work gloves, eye protection, and other necessary safety equipment is provided
- On-the-job training
- Professional development opportunities (mentorship, resume support, alumni listserv, etc.) and exposure to natural resource career paths
- Be between the ages of 18 and 30 (exception for Veterans up to age 35)
- Have US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency status
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass background checks
- Fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (Federal partner requirement)
- No previous experience is required, but a general comfort and previous knowledge of working/living in an outdoor setting is helpful.