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Garden Engagement Specialist

Posted: 01/14/2024

Based in Phoenixville, PA, Trellis for Tomorrow is a nonprofit that delivers experiential programs in organic gardening, environmental education, and food security that provide practical and behavioral life skills for youth and adults. Serving the greater Philadelphia area, our aim is to foster compassion and resilience in people and inspire them to build sustainable communities.

Our youth development programs provide a variety of learning and work experiences, entrepreneurial training, and structured leadership opportunities for teens and young adults. Trellis also offers programs that engage more than 20 local organizations and their constituents in impactful volunteer initiatives, most notably our Food for All program which helps to build sustainable communities through guided stewardship of organic gardens where food is grown for neighbors in need. For more information and detail on our mission, values, and programming, please visit www.trellis4tomorrow.org.

The following job description is for a position within our Programs Team and will contribute substantively to the aims detailed above.

Job Description:
The Garden Engagement Specialist position is a full-time, salaried position that reports to the Director of Programs and coordinates/works closely with the Programs Team and Development Team. The ideal candidate has experience in cultivating engagement with individuals and groups, is a confident communicator in both face-to-face and written communications, has strong organizational skills, and is comfortable leading groups in a range of circumstances, environments, and conditions. An affinity for nature and being outdoors as well as familiarity with gardening are desired.

The Garden Engagement Specialist develops and implements strategies to increase the number of people who learn about, work in, and contribute to the Trellis mission. The goal is to both increase the number of people attending programs and events at our gardens and Food for All partner sites, and to improve their experience while they are with us. Approaches will include making new connections, creating materials and messaging, building personal relationships, and delivering high quality events.

Following the pandemic, the increase in work-from-home opportunities has also led to a disconnect of relationships and community engagement. This creative and engaging person will use a multifaceted approach to foster new connections while supporting our garden partners in their efforts to bolster food security in our community. Beyond experience and a demonstrated desire to build relationships and cultivate new connections, the position requires strong leadership, a positive attitude and high energy, and other attributes that personify our values.

This role is a strong blend of in-office administration and planning, client relations, and garden-based work. The role will contribute regularly to Trellis’ on-the-ground program delivery, assisting with garden installations and leading related activities throughout the year. The core of the work will be active, in-person, relationship building and management. Some weekend hours are expected.


PRIMARY JOB RESPONSIBLITIES
• Develop and implement strategies and resources with the goal of advancing greater engagement by program participants at various garden locations, improving awareness and support of Trellis’ work and impact, and establishing new community connections
• Primary representative providing garden supports for select Trellis Food for All network partners
35 Hall Street, Suite 302, Phoenixville, PA 19460 | 610-886-4900 | www.trellis4tomorrow.org
• Manage implementation of recurring and episodic volunteer opportunities and service projects for program partners, participants, and community members
• Participate in garden builds, plantings, and lead select activities at partner garden sites
• Manage Trellis’s online engagement platform for garden partners, GreenSpace, including adding new resources, onboarding partners, and increasing engagement
• Assist in the preparation and delivery of program participant surveys and evaluations, as well as planning for improvements based on responses
• Responsible for review and research of best practices in community building and participant engagement, current challenges and strategies, and innovative approaches
• Develop social media, newsletter, and blog content that will support engagement goals
• Support the Development team in fundraising efforts with Food for All and volunteer groups


SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS
• Undergraduate degree in relevant area preferred
• Strong experience in group management, community building, and relationship cultivation
• Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills
• Comfort working outdoors in all weather conditions a must; garden/agricultural knowledge is a plus, but not required
• Proficient with Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Comfortable using social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Comfortable learning new applications and using new technology generally


CORE COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS
• Communication (oral and written) - Ability to articulate well and be easily understood
• Connector - Ability to comfortably build genuine connections with youth and adults from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and gender backgrounds
• Organization/Time Management - Effective prioritization during unsupervised work
• Achievement Motivation – Drive and commitment to succeed, goal oriented
• Accountability/Locus of Control - Responsibility for one’s own success or failure
• Emotional Stability/Adaptability – Ability to function effectively even when faced with uncertainty or stressful situations. Able to adjust as new information surfaces
• Emotional Intelligence – Ability to empathize and understand the emotions and motivations that underlie human behavior, i.e., ‘reading people’ well

Salary: $45,000

The Trellis for Tomorrow offices are in Phoenixville and Pottstown, and our partner garden locations are across the greater Philadelphia region. This job requires substantial travel within a five-county area, using both personal and Trellis supplied vehicles. Two professional references are required; all employees are subject to FBI & State Criminal Background checks & Child Abuse History clearances. Applications including resume and cover letters can be sent to jobs@trellis4tomorrow.org.

Trellis for Tomorrow is an equal opportunity organization and makes all employment, volunteer, and program acceptance decisions without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, disability, age, genetic information, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

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