Learning Garden Educator

Location: Portland, OR
Deadline: June 19, 2016


The Confluence AmeriCorps program advances environmental justice through innovative partnerships with local organizations in the Portland metropolitan area. These positions are life changing service opportunities where the Member engages in addressing critical, environmental needs in low-income communities and communities of color. This position is a dynamic combination of serving with a Project Partner on a dedicated project (80%) and joining a team of other Confluence AmeriCorps Members for professional and leadership development opportunities (20%).


September 7, 2016 – July 28, 2017 (11 months – 1700 hours)


Portland Community College – Rock Creek http://www.pcc.edu/about/sustainability/rock-creek/


Learning Garden Educator


In Partnership with the Confluence Environmental Center, the Learning Garden Educator will support the Rock Creek Campus Sustainability Office by utilizing a 3.6 acre campus Learning Garden to provide educational activities to students and the public. The garden consists of: 48 raised beds; ½ acre of row crops; a cob tool shed with solar powered irrigation; earthen oven with a green roof; rainwater catchment; 65-tree orchard, berries, grapes, kiwis, bee hives, plus public art pieces throughout. This new AmeriCorps position will focus on leading educational activities in the Learning Garden focused on growing food, healthy eating, and personal health (40%). The Member will conduct outreach and recruit volunteers from underserved communities to participate in projects focused on solid waste, recycling, composting, and other sustainability issues (25%). The Member will collect data and track student and community participation (15%) The Member will participate in Confluence led professional development activities: Professional Development Series, completing a Change Agent Project, monthly team meetings, National Service events and other self-directed development opportunities (20%).

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (to include, but not limited to):

  • Complete daily Learning Garden activities such as propagation, planting, weeding, harvesting food and maintaining hydroponic and hoophouse season extension plantings.
  • Manage, coordinate and track student and community-based learning activities in the Learning Garden.
  • Lead educational activities such as tours and garden workshops for community garden users, students, and the broader community on the topics of growing food, healthy eating, and personal health.
  • Set up and staff Portlandia FarmStandia, our weekly on-campus farm stand, and coordinate food donations for leftover produce
  • Extend outreach and support to low income and communities of color, as well as programs that support these community members.
  • Recruit and supervise community volunteers to participate in Learning Garden work parties, events, and activities.
  • Design and create electronic and print outreach materials to market and publicize Learning Garden events. 2
  • Facilitate vermicompost education and outreach among faculty, staff and students to support the Rock Creek Loop.

Collaborate with Associated Students of PCC (ASPCC) to engage and serve non-traditional and underserved student populations on campus and in the Learning Garden.

Collect ongoing data related to food production, food waste, compost, volunteer hours and other projects.  Complete and submit all necessary Confluence/AmeriCorps paperwork and reports in a timely manner.  Abide by Confluence and AmeriCorps program policies.  Attend and complete all Confluence/AmeriCorps training and service requirements including orientation, training’s, team meetings and national service days.  Wear Confluence uniform and/or appropriate identifiers and required safety gear while performing service or attending official events. POSITION REQUIREMENTS  An independent, self-motivated, creative and resourceful individual who enjoys serving with diverse groups of people, both in the office and outside (rain or shine).  Ability to manage multiple projects/events and complete tasks in a professional, organized and timely manner.  Experience with outreach to students and/or volunteers.  Ability to dig, kneel and lift 50 pounds.  Experience with using social media, e.g. website and Facebook.  Ability to conduct online research for sustainability and/or garden related efforts.  A cooperative manner and the ability to serve as part of a diverse team.  18 years of age or older, at beginning of service term.  U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident.  Possession of a high school diploma or equivalent, or commit to earning one prior to receiving award.  Ability to commit to the full term of service for which they are applying.  Must successfully pass a fingerprint criminal history background check provided through the Individuals State of Residence, State of Service, and FBI criminal identification systems. Also, must obtain a satisfactory report from the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) prior to the start of the position.  Regular and reliable attendance and dependability.  AmeriCorps Members can enroll in multiple terms of service that add up to the value of two full-time education awards. In other words, you can blend summer, part-time and full-time service positions and receive awards as long as the combined service terms don’t exceed two full terms. You can also serve additional terms and elect not to receive an award. Please see http://edaward.org/guidebook/multiple-terms for full information. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS  Bachelor’s Degree  Hands on farming and/or gardening experience.  Experience working with college age students.  Experience with public speaking and/or teaching.  Understanding of sustainable practices to support solid waste reduction, composting and recycling.  Experience working with diverse audiences. MEMBER BENEFITS INCLUDE  A taxable, monthly living allowance ($12,530 paid over the term of service).  Upon successful completion of a term of service, eligible Members receive an education award of $5,775. The education award can be used to repay qualified student loans or for further education in an accredited institution of higher learning, vocational or trade schools. The education award is taxed in the year that it is used.  Loan forbearance (after successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps will pay the accrued interest on qualified loans, which is taxable).  Basic medical insurance (covers Members only, not dependents).  Child care allowance for those who qualify.  May be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Professional development, trainings and networking opportunities. 3  $100 training fund available.  Opportunity to attend conferences and workshops.  Access to fresh produce PROJECT LOCATION  Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus - 17705 NW Springville Road, Portland, OR 97229 TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION  Free PCC Shuttle bus (runs during school year) between Cascade, Sylvania, Southeast and Rock Creek Campuses, as well as downtown Portland  TriMet Bus Lines: 52, 47, 67, CC Rider between Rock Creek and Willow Creek (MAX Stop)  Drivelessconnect.com EQUAL OPPORTUNITY People of color, people with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Confluence is committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities. Confluence, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. Confluence provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees as required by law. Applicants with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process. HOW TO APPLY Project Supervisors will conduct all initial interviews and recommend top candidates to Confluence by July 27, 2016. Confluence will conduct final interviews and offer positions throughout August 2016. Here’s how to apply: STEP 1: Apply to Project Supervisor: Email the following items (in one PDF) by June 19, 2016 to: Elaine Cole, Ph.D., Sustainability Coordinator, elaine.cole16@pcc.edu , 971.722.7655  résumé  cover letter (1 page)  contact information for three professional references STEP 2: AmeriCorps Application: Application materials are completed online at the AmeriCorps website and include:  AmeriCorps Application – Filled out and submitted to a Confluence position  Two On-Line References – Included in the online application.  Online Certification Form –This form is included in the online application or it can be found on the Confluence website. It can be mailed, faxed or emailed to the Confluence Office. STEP 3: Confluence Interview & Placement: Final interviews cannot be conducted until Step 1 & 2 are complete. QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICORPS? CONTACT: Sherrie Jackson Operations Coordinator Confluence Environmental Center, AmeriCorps Program 5441 SE Belmont Street, Suite 25 Portland, OR 97215 503-719-6779 sjackson@confluencecenter.org