Job Opening: School Gardens Coordinator!

Groundwork Somerville

 

HIRING: School Gardens Coordinator

 

Groundwork Somerville, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been making change happen in Somerville, Massachusetts since 2000. Through community engagement, environmental and open space improvements, fresh food access, youth education, and employment initiatives, Groundwork creates the building blocks of a healthy community, and empowers residents to improve their quality of life. Groundwork achieves results by engaging the whole community – residents, youth, nonprofits, government and businesses – in the planning and realization of projects. With this collaborative approach, Groundwork ensures that all stakeholders are mutually invested in the outcomes, the key to stable neighborhoods and sustainable change. 

Groundwork Somerville believes that investing in youth, especially those disadvantaged by issues of socio-economics, race, and other systems of oppression, ensures the future of our interconnected society. Food security and racial equity are central to our work because we believe they are fundamental building blocks to a more sustainable and just future.

 

About the Position:

The School Gardens Coordinator leads school gardens programming at all nine of our Somerville elementary school gardens, with plans to add an additional garden in late 2022/early 2023. The SGC will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with the schools in our community, working in those gardens on an as-needed basis, in addition to working on outreach to our larger Somerville community. The School Gardens Coordinator will work closely with the Youth Program Manager, the Food and Farms Manager & Educator, and will oversee the SGC Assistant Coordinator seasonally (April-October). 

 

Pay Rate:

$21.50/hr; approximately 30hrs/week as needed (may increase/decrease slightly depending on the season)

 

Seasonal Schedule:

  • Spring: Plant and maintain school gardens; lead a set amount of seasonal lessons, garden exploration, and activities at all school gardens with support from SGC Assistant
  • Summer: lead group of 5 youth in school gardens maintenance as a Green Team Leader and participate in Green Team programming 
  • Fall: Maintain school gardens; lead lessons at all school gardens with support from SGC Assistant, lead school garden shutdowns in preparation for winter with support from Farms & Food Manager
  • Winter: Submit crop plan and prepare for next growing season, prepare lesson plans, conduct monthly taste tests in school cafeterias

 

Essential Functions:

  • Communication with Schools & Partners
    • Manage all school garden contacts and communications with schools and school partners
    • Serve as Groundwork Somerville’s point of contact for all school-related communication 
  • Education
    • Lead  on-site school garden education programs: school garden activities in the spring and fall
    • Standardize school garden activities and provide curriculum to interested teachers to self-lead garden education
    • Connect to and deepen relationships with teachers through professional development training (through the schools) as well as one-on-one meetings
    • Support the Youth Development Manager through the summer Green Team program for teens as a crew leader
    • Lead a crew of five youth over the summer in school gardens projects, from weeding and watering to installing irrigation systems and making inclusive signs for the school gardens
  • Gardening
    • Maintain school gardens with an emphasis on planting more perennial garden beds including: pollinator garden beds and sensory garden beds. Standardizing school garden plantings to make maintenance more efficient
    • Ensure that all school gardens are well-maintained accessible spaces for youth
    • Harvest school garden crops and ensure that food is brought for donation to Somerville Community Fridges
    • Maintain all garden infrastructure including tools and compost bins; work with schools and school community to develop and improve existing composting program
    • Maintain accurate documentation to offer ideas for ways to improve School Garden operations
    • In fall, submit a Seedling Order & Crop Plan for all schools for following year
    • Assist with farm operations at South St. Farm on an as-needed basis and as part of staff workdays
  • Volunteer & Assistant Coordinator Oversight
    • Communicate with and recruit school garden volunteers through collaboration with school PTAs and MAMAs
    • Organize community-wide school garden workdays on a seasonal basis
    • Train and oversee School Garden Assistant Coordinator 

 

Desired Qualifications:

  • 1-3 years experience facilitating and/or managing as a leader of a group
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, public speaking, and group facilitation skills
  • Experience working with children in an outdoor educational environment
  • Experience or strong interest in farming, gardening, agriculture, landscaping, and/or other outdoor work
  • Ability to take initiative, plan, and prepare for seasonal programming strategically and in advance
  • Detail-oriented; strong organizational skills and ability to keep track of logistics, materials, and information
  • Commitment to Groundwork Somerville’s mission, youth empowerment, and addressing the impact of racism and other oppressions on health equity and local food, environmental, and social issues.
  • Understanding of food systems, environmental racism and justice, and issues of equity and oppression
  • Must be able to work outside in all weather and lift up to 20 pounds
  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English. Candidates who also speak languages and/or have cultural backgrounds reflecting those common to Somerville’s youth and immigrant communities will be prioritized. Specific language abilities desired include Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • Commitment to providing Somerville-area youth with a supportive, transformative experience
  • While it is not required, it is advised that applicants have a valid driver’s license and if possible access to a vehicle to transport themselves between school garden sites.  

 

 

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to director@groundworksomerville.org.


Deadline to apply: February 20, 2022

 

 

 

Groundwork Somerville is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity. Groundwork Somerville does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status. People of Color and those with other marginalized identities are strongly encouraged to apply.