Garna Greater Arkansas River Nature Association - Education, stewardship, river ecosystem volunteering - garna logo

Now Hiring: Programs Director

Photo Credit: Randy Schwitzer

GARNA Programs Director
Job Opening Announcement – June 2024

Are you passionate about teaching and learning about the natural world, especially in the outdoors? Is developing ecological literacy for young people the kind of social change and community-building venture that sparks your creative impulses? Do you see yourself as a leader in promoting good stewardship of the environment for future generations? If you’re still reading, GARNA wants to hear from you!

What We’re Hiring For
The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) leads acclaimed environmental education programs, public land stewardship volunteerism, innovative sustainability initiatives and appreciation for our outdoor recreation, livelihoods and heritage in Chaffee County and throughout the Upper Arkansas

GARNA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1996. We enjoy strong community support, an impressive volunteer base, and a top-notch staff, and now we’re looking for our new Programs Director to lead continued excellence and expanded reach in all our programming — especially for youth aged 24 and younger. A full-time, salaried team member, the Programs Director will mentor and supervise two part-time staff and serve as a staff leader and an ambassador for GARNA in the community.

Who We’re Looking For
GARNA’s new Programs Director is an innovative and creative thinker whose vision matches their organizational skills, personal enthusiasm and attention to data and results. The successful applicant is as comfortable leading a classroom discussion or a hands-on craft project for third graders as they are presenting to peers at an environmental education conference.

Our next Programs Director knows how to motivate, manage, commend and gently correct others as needed, whether direct reports or students, without losing either patience or their sense of humor. They mix their education and training with their personality and insights to deliver continuous learning and growth for those they serve while never losing the appetite for their own professional growth and development. They are at home in a small, collaboration-driven organization and community, and draw strength and energy from the world-class natural beauty our location offers. The ideal candidate has been looking for a place and a position to truly make their own and to make a difference for others.

What’s involved?
● Direct services: GARNA’s Programs Director is the organization’s lead for planning, executing, evaluating and improving our wide-ranging Youth Ecological Literacy Program (YELP), which serves more than 2,100 local children ages 5-18 both in-school and on excursions and in summer day camps. The Programs Director frequently leads these exercises personally but also supervises program execution by part-time staff and seasonal AmeriCorps members.

● Outreach: The new Programs Director will extensively interact with counterparts and colleagues from the local school districts, state and federal recreation and land management agencies, grantors, professional associations, partnering nonprofit and for-profit entities, community interest groups and parents as required to attend to their responsibilities. This outreach work will be guided by GARNA’s core commitment to delivering equity with inclusivity and in support of diverse communities.

● Planning: The director is responsible for crafting annual work plans for themselves and their direct reports, nested within the overall GARNA Annual Work Plan collaboratively developed by staff with Board input and tiered off of GARNA’s 2024-27 Strategic Plan.

● Curriculum: The director will be entrusted with keeping GARNA’s programs coherent and in line with recognized curriculum standards for environmental education, reflecting best practices in youth programmatic engagement and integrated with the overall learning strategies of our local schools.

● Grant writing: The successful applicant will demonstrate a successful track record of finding, applying for, securing, administering and reporting on grants that fund the position and its responsibilities. The new director will work in tandem with the Executive Director and other colleagues in fulfilling these responsibilities.

● Communication: Our new team member will integrate opportunities to share stories and successes with GARNA’s audiences as part of their day-to-day activities, in partnership with the rest of the team. Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills are required, fluency in Spanish is highly desirable, and skills in photography, social media, or other expressive media are greatly appreciated.

● Team participation: Like all of GARNA’s staff, the Programs Director will be expected to participate in staff-wide activities and initiatives including community events, tabling, partnerships, conferences, fundraising events and other similar activities, some of which occur outside the traditional workday or in other locations.

● Administration and supervision: The director will serve as a manager for a subset of GARNA staff, AmeriCorps and volunteers with the customary responsibilities including evaluation, mentoring, delegating, recruitment, development and refinement of job descriptions/task instructions, etc.

Am I the Right Person for This?
GARNA is a truly equal-opportunity employer. We believe the right skills, spirit, temperament and experience are more important than any specific educational and career credentials. However, the ideal applicant will hold an education or environmental degree, and have a background and/or training in classroom education, school administration, youth social services or a related field. A bilingual, Spanish-speaking candidate will be highly preferred, though not required. We will also consider applicants who have pursued a non-traditional education or career path, if their knowledge and experience are the right fit.

GARNA believes in a living wage and in a workplace that encourages continued development of our team members’ knowledge and skills. This position offers a starting salary range of $50,000 to $55,000 depending on experience. We’re seeking an average weekly time commitment of 40 hours, but we’ll consider a 32-hour week at a reduced base salary for the right applicant. GARNA offers competitive benefits including health insurance, retirement savings, paid time off, cell phone reimbursement and other miscellaneous benefits.

How Do I Apply?
Please send your résumé and cover letter along with a few samples of your professional writing to Electronic submissions only; please, no telephone calls. Submissions received by July 12, 2024 will be given priority consideration.

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