The Mississippi River is one of the world’s great rivers, a natural resource of global significance. Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) is a leading nonprofit that protects, restores and enhances the Mississippi River and its watershed primarily in the Twin Cities region. The organization has become a national model for conservation and watershed protection. Our goals are to: improve water quality; conserve important lands; engage people in learning about and taking action to protect and enhance the river; inspire widespread commitment to this natural wonder flowing through our community; and protect our river’s unique scenic, natural, cultural and recreational qualities.
The organization has an annual budget of $4 million and employs a dedicated, professional staff of 25 who work to improve the health of the river through policy advocacy, education and engagement, land conservation and restoration and other disciplines. Over 30 years, FMR has established deep relationships and credibility with thousands of local residents, landowners, neighborhood organizations, volunteers, government agencies and elected officials.
With a well-known and respected brand, a seasoned and effective staff, a strong Board of Directors, and an ever-growing base of support, FMR is poised for continued growth and success. The workplace culture at FMR is collaborative and fun, and staff share a common love of the river and dedication to the mission of the organization.
FMR believes the Mississippi River connects us all, and that social and environmental issues are woven together. Its gifts should flow equally to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive of all people and are committed to using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River.
This position is 32 hours/week, with benefits.
The Stewardship & Education Program Associate reports to the Stewardship & Education Director and will join a team of five in FMR’s Stewardship & Education department. The associate will support FMR’s volunteer stewardship and restoration events and environmental education programs. In addition to managing day-to-day administrative tasks, they will be responsible for coordinating two key initiatives: the Storm Drain Stenciling program and Stream Health Evaluation Program.
Since 2006, FMR has coordinated the Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) in the Rice Creek Watershed District. SHEP uses trained volunteers to evaluate the biological health of streams by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates, small stream-dwelling bugs. Storm drain stenciling is a hands-on outdoor service activity focused on improving our local water resources. Using paint and stencils, volunteers mark storm drains with the message, “Keep ’em Clean, Drains to River (Lake or Creek)!” and distribute educational door hangers to neighborhood homes and businesses.
The position is right for an organized and detail-oriented person with a genuine commitment to protecting the environmental and cultural resources of the Mississippi River. The ideal candidate will have well-developed communication skills and one or more years of relevant experience in community outreach, volunteer coordination, strategic communications or related responsibilities.
- Work collaboratively with the Stewardship & Education Team to understand, help shape, and meet the organization’s outreach, education and volunteer engagement priorities and goals.
- Coordinate the Storm Drain Stenciling & Education Program, including facilitating outdoor educational events, communications, participant registration and data entry. Upload and organize event photos after each event on Flickr and organize and track stencil bin check-out requests.
- Coordinate the Stream Health Evaluation Program, leading events on evenings and weekends.
- Assist the Stewardship & Education team with educational workshops for community members and K-12 youth to benefit water quality, habitat, and the River.
- Assist the Youth Program Manager with outreach/communications, coordination of supplies and leading youth programming events. Assist with programming and facilitation for the Environmental Stewardship Institute summer program and school-year council.
- Assist the Volunteer Coordinator with FMR habitat restoration and public stewardship events, often on evenings and weekends.
- Assist with developing promotional materials and other communications efforts to promote education programs to the public as needed.
- Work within the Stewardship & Education Program on implementing FMR’s goals and strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Other administrative support or duties as assigned.
- Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Ability to lead educational activities for large groups.
- Interest in community engagement, volunteer coordination, and environmental education.
- Strong project management and organizational skills, including the ability to plan work, meet deadlines and balance multiple projects and objectives.
- Willingness to work a flexible schedule — often on evenings and weekends — that is adaptive to the organization’s needs.
- Experience and comfort interacting with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, including being comfortable with the challenges and rewards of intercultural communication.
- Strong organizational ability, ability to manage time and work efficiently.
- Self-motivation, initiative, ability, and eagerness to work as part of a team.
- Having access to reliable transportation is required, as well as a willingness to transport project equipment to and from event sites. Mileage and parking costs for work-related travel will be reimbursed.
- Strong teamwork ethic, flexible with a positive, proactive attitude.
Additional desired qualifications
- Experience facilitating or teaching environmental education events with the public or school groups.
- Experience with Google Meet, Google Drive (documents, spreadsheets and presentations), databases and other office-related software and online meeting platforms (Zoom, Teams).
- Proficiency in database, spreadsheet and word processing software.
- Knowledge or background in natural resources, water quality or environmental education.
Salary & benefits
Pay for this position is $22/hr. Benefits are prorated based on hours and include health, dental and short-term disability insurance, retirement match and generous paid vacation, sick and holiday leave.
Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position; a 1-2 page résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Stewardship & Education Program Associate” as the subject line to email@example.com(link sends e-mail).
The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 16, 2024. Learn more about FMR’s commitment to advancing equity.