Community Outreach and Resident Expert (CORE) Fellow

Posted Date: July 3, 2022
Location: Clifton, Colorado
At The Trust for Public Land (TPL), community is at the heart of everything we do. Our commitment to improving community equity, health, and climate outcomes is the cornerstone of our 5 year strategic plan. In over a decade of work, our Colorado Parks for People program has yielded the greatest results through broad and sustained community engagement. Our engagement process (Community Outreach and Resident Experts -CORE) centers on community voice, whereby we co-design outdoor spaces with communities to ensure every park, trail, and schoolyard we create reflects community priorities and aspirations.

In Clifton, TPL has been working alongside community partners since March 2021, to understand the community’s priorities for improving access to close to home nature. The Clifton Community Commons (CCC) holds all of the community’s priorities and is a collection of park, schoolyard, and trail projects with the Rocky Mountain Park and Elementary School at its heart. In 2022, Mesa County Public Health received funding through GOCO’s Centennial Program to complete a unified vision for the CCC. TPL will provide technical support to Mesa County Public Health and community partners like the Clifton Community Leaders and REC for Kids, by utilizing the CORE strategy to create a community driven vision for the CCC. A critical component of this process will be the hiring of a Clifton CORE Fellow.   

The CORE Fellow will serve a 2-year term and will act as TPL’s on the ground liaison with the community to advance their vision for the CCC. The Clifton CORE Fellow will be a member of TPL’s Parks for People team and will be a critical part of the planning process for the CCC and development of priority projects that will follow, such as park and schoolyard renovations, trail connections, and conservation finance strategies. A key component of the Clifton CORE Fellowship will be to assist REC for Kids and project partners in the creation of a youth team that will serve as a youth advisory council for the CCC.

Part of the CORE strategy is to provide capacity to our community partners and to honor the expertise of youth and their unique ability to connect to their community. Through a paid position on the Clifton Youth Council, youth will help project partners understand community priorities by centering youth voice in the planning process. The CORE Fellow will work closely with these youth and REC for Kids throughout this program and will work directly with the youth to come alongside other project partners, such as the Clifton Community Leaders, to develop the vision for the CCC. Through this process, our goal is to provide Clifton youth with the tools and expertise they need to become positive agents of change in their community forever.

Fellows will also help with all aspects of TPL’s work in their community by assisting project managers in their project tasks and helping the team center community in everything we do. While this positions is focused primarily in Clifton, the fellow will be given the opportunity to broaden their perspective by participating in and supporting the work of TPL’s Parks for People team in communities across Colorado such as Denver, Greeley, Colorado Springs, and Trinidad. CORE Fellows will have opportunities to learn about and engage with all aspects of TPL’s work (such as land protection and conservation finance) and will be given the opportunity to engage with TPL national staff and leadership with expertise in community engagement, climate, health, and equity. There will also be structured opportunities for the Clifton CORE Fellow to engage with and learn from CORE Fellows in other communities. Currently, TPL has two CORE Fellows located in Colorado Springs and Denver.

This is a 2-year, full time fellowship. You will be an employee of The Trust for Public Land and your annual salary will be $50,000 plus benefits. Fellows are expected to commit to the position for the full 2-year time period. This position may also include learning opportunities and networking opportunities organized by GOCO to connect the fellow to other organizations across the state.

Responsibilities or Lists of Tasks:

60%       Working in community with associated TPL projects/community partners/managing youth 
  • Represent TPL in the focus community (Clifton) such as: Attend meetings and coordinate with project partners such as Mesa County Public Health, Clifton Community Leaders, REC for Kids Community Transformation Group, and CCC Vision Working Group. Attend meetings as needed such as REC for Kids Board Meetings, Clifton Community Leader Meetings, Grand Junction and Latino chamber events.
  • Engage with and help lead with REC for Kids the Clifton Youth Advisory Council by: Work with REC for Kids staff to facilitate Youth Council community engagement curriculum, serve as liaison among Youth Council and community partners, attend community events where Clifton Youth Council is participating, provide advisory support to REC for Kids as they develop other youth councils in other communities.
  • Work with TPL and community partners to develop outreach and communication strategies such as: outreach and educational materials (surveys, flyers, newsletters), help organize and participate in outreach events (workshops, barbecues, art projects, tabling at events, etc.), generate and maintain community contact lists.
  • Work with TPL project staff to compile and summarize community feedback such as: document outcomes from meetings and events, develop reports, event photography, reporting for grants (as needed).
20%       Professional Development
  • 1:1 Meetings with supervisor
  • Time spent with other CORE Fellows/TPL Mentors
  • Skill based trainings or research related to career aspirations (REC Youth Council training, Health Equity training, etc.)
  • Attend conferences to explore career opportunities and network (one conference supported annually by TPL).
  • Networking among TPL colleagues and conservation leaders outside of TPL.
  • In the second year of the fellowship, fellows will complete a 3-5 day residency with a conservation organization outside of TPL and choose a passion project to complete.

10%       Internal-focused work
  • Bi-weekly Parks for People team meetings, monthly Colorado staff meetings, monthly TPL all staff meetings, project coordination meetings, HR trainings, etc.
  • Help us develop and improve the fellowship experience by participating in the CORE Fellowship Program development by providing feedback and insights at key milestones.
  • Assist with program evaluation and work with TPL’s academic partners and consultants to interview and survey youth and community partners.
  • Provide general administration and program support.

10%       Engaging with Other Communities
  • Possible statewide networking and learning opportunities through GOCO.
  • Learning about and supporting other TPL projects in communities where TPL is working, such as Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Trinidad.               
This position requires working ‘off-hours’ including some weekend and evening meetings and events as well. Though the position is based out of our Denver office, CORE Fellows will not be required to office in Denver but will be given a “landing desk” at the Denver office. Due to the community-based nature of this work, it is anticipated that fellows will work from home or from locations within the community they serve. Fellows will be provided with a laptop and TPL will work with the CORE Fellow to understand other remote work needs to ensure they have what they need to be productive remotely. CORE Fellows will be expected to travel to the office for staff meetings and professional development opportunities occasionally (at least once every 6 months). Ability and willingness to travel to other communities that may be several hours away from your home is requested. These trips will be planned in advance and scheduled with your input.
What are we looking for?

We hope to find professionals who will become the community champions, professional experts, environmental justice leaders, conservation heroes, and park and trail advocates that their community deserves and our country needs. We are looking for someone who is interested in a two-year position where their community expertise and passion to improve their neighborhood is an asset and their lived experiences are valued. We want to meet people who are interested not only in investing their knowledge and expertise in our work at TPL so that we can do our work better, but also interested in investing in their community and in themselves.

Since this is a two-year position, we hope to find candidates that see this experience as a step in their career development and are willing to invest their time, passion, and energy in making the most out of their time with TPL. In return, TPL will support each fellow and work with them to advance their career aspirations. We hope that the CORE Fellows will support each other, future fellows, and communities across Colorado by sharing their expertise and knowledge with the world when the fellowship is completed.

For this position, our preferred candidates will be:

Connected to the community of Clifton:
  • Someone who has a connection to Clifton and identifies with the community.
  • Someone who is actively working or has worked in the past to improve their community.
  • Someone with a passion for their community and a proven ability to connect with community.
  • Someone who has a desire to improve quality of life (health, climate, and equity outcomes) in their community through improving access to close-to-home parks, schoolyards and trails.
  • Someone who knows and is connected to our community partners (REC for Kids, Mesa County Public Health, Clifton Community Leaders).

 Passionate about the mission of TPL and our Community Partners:
  • Has knowledge of or a strong interest in learning about environmental justice, outdoor recreation and/or conservation.
  • Has knowledge of or a strong interest in working with the organizations we are partnering with (Mesa County Public Health, REC for Kids, Clifton Community Leaders, and CTG Participating Organization).
  • Has an interest in pursuing a career in conservation, outdoor recreation, park design and development or in work related to advancing environmental justice issues through outcomes related to health, climate, and equity.

The Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities we serve.  Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged.  We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.

Are you…
  • Interested and comfortable leading and working with youth?
  • Able to work independently? A self-starter?
  • Able to work flexibly and without constant oversight?
  • Curious to learn?
  • A strong collaborator? Able to work within a team at TPL and with Community Partners?