Website Gardening the Community and Springfield Food Policy Council

TerraCorps Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator (SAC) with Gardening the Community and Springfield Food Policy Council

About TerraCorps:

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 Gardening the Community and the Springfield Food Policy Council:

Gardening the Community (GTC) is a food justice organization centered in youth development and urban agriculture as pathways to building healthy and equitable communities. GTC plays an important role in Springfield’s food justice movement, working to grow produce, manage a farm store and pop-up markets and to create more access to healthy food.   Youth development and urban agriculture are at the center of this work, with youth leadership development built into all levels of the organization. GTC works with youth to grow food on vacant lots and creates opportunities for residents to access healthy food, affordable food access in the Mason Square neighborhoods of Springfield.  GTC’s vision includes building a vibrant, healthy food system with just and equal access to it – one that recognizes and addresses inequity, so racism no longer determines the health or well-being of a neighborhood or community.   GTC has developed the first permanent, community-controlled urban farm and year-round Farm Store in Springfield.  GTC’s partner organization, the Springfield Food Policy Council (SFPC), convenes the broader urban agriculture community in Springfield and co-convenes the Statewide Urban Ag network.  The SFPC also drives broader healthy food focused Municipal and Statewide. 

COVID-19 Information: 

Gardening the Community and Springfield Food Policy Council 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 service members and staff spend a significant amount of time serving in person with volunteers, youth, and the general public..

Gardening the Community and Springfield Food Policy Council has proposed the following potential project(s) for their Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator:

  1. The Member will help to develop and coordinate a municipal and statewide effort to convene urban agriculture based organizations and initiatives to consider how we might measure the mitigation impact of urban agricultural efforts on the climate crisis and environmental justice.  The Member will also help identify students at Smith College and the Conway School to serve as partners on this effort.
  2. The Member will also work with GTC and the SFPC to expand public involvement with GTC/SFPC Farms and programs, by coordinating volunteer impact days, expanding our outreach, developing new community  and corporate partnerships, organizing orientation and training systems for new volunteers and putting into place better systems for communicating with volunteers and tracking and celebrating volunteer involvement. Partners would include area schools, businesses and organizations.  This will include expanding the number of volunteers who come regularly.  This work will focus on recruiting volunteers who are willing to practice social distance farming and who come to the site individually or in small groups.
  3. The Member will work with the GTC Walnut St. Farm Store manager to position it as a strong, community-based resource for families in Springfield.  This will include assisting with farming activities and deepening our outreach in the neighborhoods around us and in Springfield generally so that more families are aware of GTC and use the Farm Store and CSA. We will focus on families who receive SNAP benefits.

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

Desired Qualifications:

  • Strong writing and verbal communication skills
  • Able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
  • Comfort navigating computer software programs 
  • Training and experience pertinent to the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator position and projects listed above
  • Experience training and educating community members and volunteers
  • Able to be active outside in a range of weather conditions, and navigate uneven terrain
  • Experience giving presentations and/or trainings to a diverse audience
  • Farming or gardening experience, knowledge of natural food systems

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.

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