Website Hilltown Land Trust
TerraCorps is an AmeriCorps affiliated environmental nonprofit growing a more equitable ecosystem of people and organizations to protect and steward land for broader good. Working at the intersection of land conservation, sustainable agriculture and food justice, we seek to bridge the gap between the urban, rural and suburban land movements historically segregated by socio-economic divides. Through our generative service, training and partnership model, we cultivate future conservation leaders and offer immediate capacity support to the local organizations they serve.
About Hilltown Land Trust:
Hilltown Land Trust (HLT) serves thirteen rural towns in western Massachusetts (Ashfield, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Windsor, and Worthington). HLT’s mission is to protect land and promote ecological diversity and health, respectful land stewardship, historic character and natural beauty in the hilltowns of western Massachusetts. Since our founding in 1986, HLT has acquired 35 conservation restrictions (CRs) and owns 9 properties protecting over 5,000 acres. In 2010, HLT and The Trustees, one of America’s oldest land conservation organizations, affiliated to combine the efforts and resources of these two non-profit land conservation organizations in the hilltowns. HLT and The Trustees continue to function as independent entities but collaborate in order to increase the pace of land conservation in the hilltowns.
HLT’s offices are located at the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield, a large, protected property with public hiking trails owned by The Trustees. The building is a small wheelchair-accessible, energy-efficient house with offices and a meeting room that also serves as an event space. Employees of The Trustees also use of the Bullitt Reservation office space, and a workshop in the adjacent barn. Hilltown Land Trust is staffed by two part-time, year-round employees. In addition to the office space in Ashfield, the regional office of The Trustees in Northampton is occasionally used by Hilltown Land Trust staff for work and meetings.
Hilltown Land Trust strongly recommends that staff and TerraCorps Service Members be fully vaccinated before the start of the TerraCorps service year.. The reason we are strongly recommending vaccination is because HLT’s service members will need to spend a significant amount of time in-person with HLT staff, volunteers, and community members. While the majority of this in-person contact can happen outdoors, the member will need to attend some indoor, in-person meetings..
Hilltown Land Trust has proposed the following potential project(s) for their Community Engagement Coordinator:
- Plan and Promote Monthly Events: In cooperation with Hilltown Land Trust’s Engagement Committee, the HLT CEC will coordinate monthly events including hikes, skill-building activities, educational talks, a race, and arts-oriented events aimed at reaching diverse audiences and building the skills and engagement of our volunteers. This can include partnership with other local organizations such as Trails Committees, libraries, schools, senior centers, and garden clubs to organize and promote these events. The CEC will receive and provide training in event organizing and promotion and publicity to volunteers involved in leading, planning, or supporting these events.
- Vernal Pool Plunge: HLT has worked with the Wild and Scenic Westfield River Committee to develop the “Vernal Pool Plunge”, a program which trains individuals in our service area and beyond in certifying vernal pools. The LSC and/or CEC would play a key role in improving and implementing this program with support from the Wild and Scenic Westfield River Committee and previously trained volunteers. In the coming year we hope to offer this program through a combination of virtual and in-person training sessions with more reliance on previously trained volunteers.
- CEC will assist HLT staff in educating our constituents about the importance and impact of land conservation on the local community through HLT’s communications channels. This includes helping to write, edit, and proofread for HLT’s social media, website, and newsletters.
Required AmeriCorps Qualifications:
- A US citizen, US national, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S.
- At least 18 years old
- A minimum of a high school diploma or GED
- No more than three previous terms as an AmeriCorps member
- Pass a criminal history background check, including an FBI check
- Strong writing and verbal communication skills
- Able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
- Comfort navigating computer software programs (Comfort navigating computer software programs including Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Business Manager, MailChimp, LinkTree)
- Training and experience pertinent to the Community Engagement Coordinator position and projects listed above
- Experience training and educating community members and volunteers
- Experience organizing, promoting, and leading inclusive public events for diverse community groups, landowners, and municipalities
- Marketing experience or experience developing public information materials
- Wilderness First Aid certification (preferred) or First Aid/CPR certification
AmeriCorps Member Eligibility Requirements:
This year’s TerraCorps members will serve from August 30th, 2021-July 29, 2022. All Members are expected to serve full-time, commit to serve for the entire 11-month term, and complete at least 1,700 hours of service, including time spent in trainings and service with the full TerraCorps team. Weekly service averages 38 hours and commonly includes some night and/or weekend activities. Training hours will not exceed 20% of the member’s total term of service. Members are required to serve and participate in a TerraCorps service day on MLK National Day of Service.
AmeriCorps programs provide equal opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, 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.
Member Compensation and Benefits:
- TerraCorps Members will receive a living allowance of up to $15,600 (pre-tax) over the 11-month term of service, which is $624 (pre-tax) per 25 biweekly pay periods.
- TerraCorps assists Members in obtaining health insurance coverage. Reimbursement of costs may be available.
- Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
- Upon successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps Members receive a taxable $6,345 education award that can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans. See nationalservice.gov/resources/edaward for info and restrictions.
- TerraCorps Members are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans, as well as payment of interest accrued during service.
- TerraCorps Members will receive mentorship, training, and career development opportunities while serving directly with community-based nonprofits.
- TerraCorps Members experience the personal rewards of national service and community engagement.
Note: TerraCorps members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.
How to Apply
Member applications will be collected by TerraCorps and shared with Service Sites. Do not send applications directly to a Service Site.
A complete member application includes a resume, two references, and an application form. Member application and detailed instructions can be found here.
We strongly encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible once applications are posted. Position offers and acceptances will be made on a rolling basis. The program aims to fill all positions by late June, but Service Sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled.
For questions about TerraCorps, contact Lianna Lee, who manages TerraCorps’ recruitment process. Email MA@terracorps.org or call 978-364-9770.