Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana State Parks 1700 Hour Natural Steward

Posted: September 08, 2021
Location: First Peoples Buffalo Jump & Giant Springs State Parks
Time Commitment: Term of service: January 18, 2022 – November 18, 2022


An AmeriCorps member will help enhance the incredible cultural and natural resources of these parks. The member will improve educational and interpretive opportunities by working with youth groups and junior rangers on projects in the parks.

Outreach programs will target and encourage school groups and organizations to use the park, especially those that assist at-risk populations. The member will increase volunteer capacity by hosting an open house for potential and new volunteers. To improve park land, the member will implement noxious weed control measures such as mapping, biocontrol, chemical/mechanical treatments and facilitate trail work with volunteers.

Montana State Parks AmeriCorps members perform capacity building activities. Their service revolves around the program goals listed below in order to ensure that they do not displace workers or take part in any prohibited or unallowable activities as outlined in AmeriCorps regulations. Montana State Parks AmeriCorps members will likely participate in activities that involve recurring contact with vulnerable populations.

Member will contribute to the following program goals:

  • Improve park land
  • Expand educational and interpretive programs
  • Increase volunteer capacity*
  • Enhance outreach and awareness of state parks
  • Participate in service activities including National Days of Service**
  • Respond to disasters, when called upon to do so by the program

* Volunteer activity facilitated by AmeriCorps members supports the management and operation of State Parks. These activities do not include any prohibited or unallowable activities as outlined in AmeriCorps regulations.

**Service activities will center around the preceding program goals as well as provide unique opportunities for members to engage in service to non-profit community organizations that provide support to those in need, including victims of national disasters, individuals and families in poverty, veterans, homeless animals, and other groups. Service projects will take place on and around designated National Days of Service as well as other AmeriCorps organized events, such as member trainings. Service activities will not include any prohibited or unallowable activities as outlined in AmeriCorps regulations.

Job Responsibilites

Improve park land

  • Conduct noxious weed control by chemical, mechanical, and biological methods to improve lands within the parks and to encourage native plant growth. Conduct weed monitoring and mapping to maximize weed control efforts.
  • Conduct biannual trail assessments to catalog and track trail maintenance needs. Assessments will be used to assign work to staff/volunteers and in project planning.
  • Conduct trail maintenance, including but not limited to, clearing yucca/cactus, tread upkeep, vegetation trimming, and water management.
  • Plan and lead trail workdays for both staff and volunteers. This will include handling logistics and leading crews.
  • Monitor and maintain trail tools for each park. Conduct regular checks of tools to ensure they are sharp and in proper working order.

Expand educational and interpretive programs

  • Member will develop and conduct educational and interpretive programs at the parks.
  • Develop and conduct events or work days at the parks with educational components that will get participants active, teach them about certain topics and complete work for the parks.
  • Assist with the Junior Ranger programs by developing and delivering programs to help expand our offerings to reach more kids.

Increase volunteer capacity

  • Recruit businesses and organizations that offer group volunteer opportunities to volunteer at the parks.
  • Foster relationships with local community service groups and offer volunteer work to those that are required to engage in community service.
  • Plan volunteer workdays focusing on weeds and trails projects.

Enhance outreach and awareness of state parks

  • Represent the parks on local media and at community events that target people looking for information on local recreational and volunteer opportunities.
  • Enhance the parks’ presence on social media with photos, videos, stories, etc…
  • Partner with local outdoor businesses to table at events (sales, open houses…) to promote the trails and volunteer needs.
  • Promote the trail systems at both parks by working with groups such as Visit Great Falls (local tourism office) and by highlighting why trail users enjoy the trails.

Required Qualifications

  • Over 18 with a high school diploma or GED; college degree or equivalent work experience preferred
  • A United States citizen, United States National, or legal permanent resident alien
  • Demonstrated leadership skills
  • Ability to take initiative, handle multiple projects, track details essential to project completion, analyze information, and meet deadlines
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with diverse groups of people
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Basic computer proficiency
  • Passion for the outdoors and enthusiasm for enhancing Montana’s state parks
  • A driver’s license and personal means of transportation within the state of Montana
  • Must pass the requirements of the National Service Criminal History Check

Salary and Benefits

• Living allowance of $16,000 over 44-week term of service • An AmeriCorps Education Award of $6,345 upon successful completion of service. This award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training and resources, or to repay qualified student loans. Members aged 55 and over may transfer the education award to a child, grandchild or foster child. • Eligible for deferment on qualified student loans • Guaranteed health benefits and childcare assistance if qualified • Experience and training working in the fields of outdoor recreation, parks management, interpretive services, education, community outreach, and volunteer management • Opportunity to live, work and be part of the team amid the natural wonders and cultural heritage of Montana State Parks

Application Process

To Apply:

Montana State Parks AmeriCorps only accepts applications through the my.americorps.gov portal. To apply, you can follow the link HERE to our application within my.americorps.gov. Please note, there is only one application for all of our 1700 hour positions, placement preference will be assessed during the interview process.

Inclusion Statement

The Montana State Parks AmeriCorps Program, as administered by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, shall provide equal access to opportunities provided by the Program and shall not discriminate against any person because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. The accommodation must be essential for the Member to perform his/her service successfully. Funds for reasonable accommodations are available for use by members with disabilities who have been offered a position with an AmeriCorps Program and require an accommodation to fulfill the essential functions of their service.