Reporting to staff from the Conservation and Experiential Programming, provides hands-on outdoor recreation activities to District patrons at a variety of special events, activities and programs at numerous locations around the District including district Campgrounds. Develops programmatic ideas, concepts and in some cases curriculum that they will deliver at a variety of locations around the District. May be assigned to oversee a specific aspect of special events and outdoor recreation and camping programs and to assist in overseeing seasonal support staff for those projects. Assists with programmatic and customer service interaction at outdoor and nature-based seasonal programs, youth and family events; arts, paddling and outdoor recreation activities; and Nature Center and partner events. Supports community engagement and outreach activities. This is a year-round part-time position up to 29 hours per week.
Facilitates a wide range of experience based, outdoor recreation and nature based programs.
Provides hands-on activities related to nature, the arts, and outdoor recreation to patrons at events
Develops program ideas, concepts and curriculum related, but not limited to, outdoor adventure and recreation, environmental education, nature play and the arts.
Maintains, prepares and inventories equipment and supplies for programs and activities.
Occasionally acts as point of contact and lead facilitator during District sponsored field trips, programs, and events.
Serves as District’s customer service and community engagement representative at events.
Maintains and adheres to program and event schedule.
Drives mobile unit and takes care of vehicle needs.
Supports paddling programs to include paddling facilitation both on land and in the water, portaging canoes and maintaining paddling equipment.
Provides statistical reports and anecdotal reports related to activities.
Participates in research, outreach and marketing.
Performs other duties as required or assigned.
Must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in communication, natural sciences, conservation, environmental sciences or education, recreation/leisure studies, social services or substantially similar area from an accredited college or university and one (1) or more seasons of work experience providing activities, programs or workshops in a hands-on, outdoor recreation, arts education, or youth development capacity
Must possess a high school diploma or GED and two (2) or more seasons of work experience providing activities, programs or workshops in a hands-on, outdoor recreation, arts education, or youth development capacity.
Must possess a current valid driver’s license
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics
Knowledge and interest in recreation trends, specifically, new concepts related to outdoor and adventure recreation, the arts, especially process-oriented art making and creative reuse, and nature play activities.
Knowledge, interest and ability to lead hands-on outdoor recreation activities, programs and events including, but not limited to, canoeing, biking, hiking, art making and game playing.
Knowledge of canoe portage techniques and ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
Knowledge of basic outdoor skills, i.e., camping, hiking, biking, paddling, fire starting, birding, stewardship.
Familiarity with youth development tools, skills and concepts.
Familiarity with community based programming.
Ability to interact with community groups and members of the public to keep program components responsive to community needs.
Ability to work outdoors in all weather and to facilitate a wide range of programs in outdoor settings.
Ability to engage participants ranging from youth to adults in programming and model conservation, inquiry based and experiential teaching and learning throughout the entire program.
Ability to provide excellent communication and demonstrate timeliness and professionalism at all times.
Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
Ability to adapt programming to meet the needs of each audience, regardless of age, experience and abilities of participants.
Willingness and ability to provide excellent internal and external customer service.
Ability to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee's normal line of work.
When applying for employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, preference is given in the application process to honorably discharged Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than 180 consecutive days or during War Time. To take advantage of this preference, a Veteran must:
Meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
Identify themselves as a Veteran on their employment application by answering Yes to the question “Are you a military veteran?”
Attach a copy of their DD 214, DD 215, or NGB 22 (Notice of Separation) at the time of application by uploading it as part of the application. If there are multiple DD 214s, DD 215s, or NGB 22s, the one with the most recent date should be submitted. Coast Guard members must submit a certified copy of the military separation from either the Department of Transportation (before 911) or the Department of Homeland Security (after 911).
Provide original applicable discharge papers at time of interview.
General District Employment Requirements
COPIES OF PROOF OF EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS, CREDENTIALS AND/OR LICENSES MUST BE SUBMITTED PRIOR TO INTERVIEW. ORIGINALS WILL BE REQUIRED AT TIME OF INTERVIEW.
MUST BE A RESIDENT OF COOK COUNTY OR ESTABLISH RESIDENCY IN COOK COUNTY WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT AND REMAIN A RESIDENT AT ALL TIMES DURING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DISTRICT.
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is an equal opportunity employer and ensures against discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, housing status, or gender identity.
About Forest Preserves of Cook County
In 1914, environmental visionaries in Cook County created the first forest preserve in the nation, with a mission
“to acquire, restore and manage lands for the purpose of protecting and preserving public open space with its natural wonders, significant prairies, forests, wetlands, rivers, streams, and other landscapes with all of its associated wildlife, in a natural state for the education, pleasure and recreation of the public now and in the future.”