Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Conservation & Experiential Program Aide
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Deadline to Apply:
Monday, April 18, 2022, 11:45pm
Reporting to staff from the Conservation and Experiential Programming Department, provides hands-on EE and outdoor recreation activities to District patrons at a variety of special events, activities and programs at numerous locations around the District including Nature Centers, Program Facilities, Outdoor Classrooms and Campgrounds. Conservation & Experiential Program Aides perform a wide range of duties related to nature-based, programming and customer service interaction
- Supports the mission of the District and the Conservation and Experiential Programming Department.
- Assists in planning, developing, and implementing programs in conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation as well as for seasonal and special events
- Performs a variety of duties in connection with nature-based programming that may include environmental education, outdoor recreation and seasonal events.
- May work in community centers, parks or other community-based locations and at schools including, but not limited to, CPS, after passing institution’s background process.
- Serves as District’s customer service and community engagement representative at events
- May provide care and feeding for captive display animals according to prescribed formulation of dietary needs.
- Facilitates a wide range of hands on experience based, outdoor recreation and nature-based programs through the development of program ideas, concepts and curriculum related, but not limited to, outdoor adventure and recreation, environmental education, nature play and the arts.
- Maintains, prepares and inventories equipment and supplies for programs and activities.
- Maintains and adheres to program and event schedule.
- Drives and takes care of vehicle needs.
- Provides statistical reports and anecdotal reports related to activities.
- Participates in research, outreach and marketing.
- Performs other duties as required or assigned.
- Must possess a high school diploma or GED and one (1) or more seasons of work experience working on ecological restoration, animal care, forestry or providing activities, programs, or workshops in a hands-on environment related to environmental education, conservation, stewardship, nature-based programming, outdoor recreation, arts education or youth engagement, OR must have completed 15 credit hours at an accredited college or university in environmental education, natural/environmental sciences, teaching, arts, forestry, recreation/leisure studies, youth development or similar field.
- Must possess a current, valid driver’s license.
- Must obtain certification of Mandated Reporter for Child Abuse and Neglect through the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services within sixty (60) days of date of hire.
Ability to communicate in Spanish or Polish, OR possession of one (1) season of work experience as a Seasonal Youth Outdoor Ambassador, OR previous 1 season of seasonal work with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, OR one (1) season of work experience as a Conservation Corp Crew member, OR one (1) season of work experience on the property of the Forest Preserves District of Cook County with partners such as the Chicago Zoological Society, Chicago Botanic Garden, Greencorps Chicago, Friends of the Forest Preserves, or Student Conservation Association OR two (2) years of volunteer experience on the property of the Forest Preserves District of Cook County.
REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS:
The interview process may be virtual. Must bring a favorite nature or outdoor recreation object and be prepared to provide a one (1) minute short talk/interpretive presentation regarding the object during the interview.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics
- Knowledge and interest in recreation trends, specifically, new concepts related to outdoor and adventure recreation, the arts, especially process-oriented art making and creative reuse, and nature play activities.
- Knowledge of basic outdoor skills, i.e., camping, hiking, biking, paddling & canoe portage techniques, fire starting, birding, stewardship.
- Ability to research and prepare information for presentation through programming, displays, exhibits and other written and graphic illustrations.
- Ability to provide programming for schools including, but not limited to, CPS and pass the institution’s background process.
- Ability to maintain a high level of courtesy, efficiency and morale while cooperating with fellow employees and dealing with a large number of visitors.
- Ability to interact with community groups and members of the public to keep program components responsive to community needs
- Knowledge of the basic nature, ecology and the flora and fauna and related subjects as may pertain to services and operations of the District and its natural resources.
- Willingness to perform duties associated with the maintenance of nature centers, including animal care, campgrounds, trails and paddling programs and ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
- Ability to perform various types of physical exertion, including, but not limited to lifting, pulling, pushing, and moving objects of moderate to heavy weight.
- Ability and skill in the safe use of basic hand-held tools and equipment
- Ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with others both verbally and in writing. Ability to explain services and operations or provide general directions and information to callers and visitors.
- Ability to effectively organize and manage groups of program participants, particularly children, in a safe and efficient manner.
- Ability to provide excellent communication with colleagues and demonstrate timeliness and professionalism at all times.
- Ability to work outdoors in inclement weather.
- Ability to work extended, flexible, weekend, evening and holiday hours as needed
- Willingness to be assigned to any District facility or programmatic team and to accept short-term, temporary assignments to other District facilities as needed.
The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee's normal line of work.
When applying for employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, preference is given in the application process to honorably discharged Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than 180 consecutive days or during War Time. To take advantage of this preference, a Veteran must:
- Meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
- Identify him/herself as a Veteran on his/her employment application by answering “Yes” to the question “Are you a military veteran?”
- Attach a copy of his/her DD 214, DD 215, or NGB 22 (Notice of Separation) at the time of application by uploading it as part of your application. If there are multiple DD 214s, DD 215s, or NGB 22s, please submit the one with the latest date. Coast Guard must submit a certified copy of the military separation from either the Department of Transportation (before 911) or the Department of Homeland Security (after 911).
- Veteran must provide original applicable discharge papers at time of interview.
General District Employment Requirements
PROOF OF EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES WILL BE REQUIRED.
MUST BE A RESIDENT OF COOK COUNTY OR ESTABLISH RESIDENCY IN COOK COUNTY WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT AND REMAIN A RESIDENT AT ALL TIMES DURING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DISTRICT.
MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED AT THE TIME OF HIRE OR SUBMIT A REQUEST FOR A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION WITHIN ONE (1) WEEK OF START DATE.