Metro Natural Gardening Educator PT (Close 8/21)

Natural Gardening Educator, part-time

Salary $24.65 - $33.05 Hourly

Location Blue Lake Natural Discover Garden (Fairview) and Oregon Zoo, OR

Job Type Part Time

Department Property and Environmental Services

Job Number 2017-6037-PES-NG

Closing 8/21/2017 5:00 PM Pacific

Position Summary

This is a part-time, regular status position working an average of 20 hours per week throughout the year.  However, hours are variable based upon the season and typically increase during the summer and decrease during the winter.  The final schedule is negotiable based upon programmatic and employee needs. This position has pro-rated benefits based on the FTE of 20 hours per week.

How can you learn gardening when you live in an apartment complex in the city? How can you successfully garden without using chemicals? How can we make natural gardening work for someone who has never gardened before?

Do you have experiences with creating programs to teach people from various backgrounds about natural gardening at the Oregon Zoo's Wildlife Garden?

As a passionate educator and gardener you will collaborate with staff and volunteers representing Oregon Zoo, Metro Parks and Nature, Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardeners and others to develop exciting, interactive educational and interpretive programming for thousands of youth and adults while having opportunities to research, design and evaluate educational resources. 

Plus, you will be joining a supportive team of educators who serve thousands of youth and adults each year across the greater Portland region.

Does this sound like a great opportunity to you?  If so, please consider applying for the Natural Gardening Educator position with Metro's Resource Conservation and Recycling division.

Along with your application, include a cover letter describing your experience as it relates to the duties of this position. Applications without the cover letter will be considered incomplete.

At Metro, we hire a workforce representative of the communities we serve, understanding that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We value diversity and support a positive and welcoming environment where all of our employees can thrive.

Essential Job Duties

An employee in this position must be able to perform all the essential job duties listed below with or without reasonable accommodation. This list is not intended to include all of the specific tasks which an employee in this position may be expected to perform.

  • Delivers dynamic interpretive and educational programs to youth and adults visiting the Oregon Zoo's Wildlife Garden who come from a variety of gardening experiences. Content focuses on, but is not limited to, natural gardening techniques, using all safe, organic and natural practices, not harmful or synthetic chemicals. (Programming will include environmental interpretation within the Wildlife Garden and Education Center as well as presentations at summer camps, workshops and special events.)

  • Builds rapport quickly with visitors and presents content in a manner that is relevant, compelling, and authentic.

  • Researches and creates new educational offerings and materials in alignment with program logic models, identified learning outcomes and specific behavior change goals.

  • Coordinates marketing and scheduling of presentations and communicates regularly with partners to confirm presentations and collect follow-up survey data. May take photos and videos at events for use with social and web-based media.

  • Coordinates, oversees and/or supports volunteers or interns, including OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners and Zoo Guides. Participates in training interns and/or volunteers in a variety of duties.

  • Creates and maintains spreadsheets and databases, sorts and tabulates data to assist in tracking and evaluating program outputs and outcomes.

  • Collaborates with a team of educators and volunteers while also having a strong ability to work independently when delivering presentations at the Wildlife Garden.

  • Approaches work with a growth mind set and continually builds upon knowledge surrounding toxics reduction, natural gardening, conservation education and behavior change in order to help the team move our work forward.

  • Assists with coordination of joint program efforts including development of consistent natural gardening curricula, presentations and educational kits as well as facilitation of summer internship and volunteer projects at both the Oregon Zoo's Wildlife Garden and the Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Oregon.  

This position is represented by AFSCME Local 3580 and is classified as an Education Specialist II (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.


Minimum Requirements

Any combination of education and experience which would provide the applicant with the desired skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job. For example: two years of experience in environmental interpretation or education working with diverse youth and adult learners, a bachelors degree in education, environmental science, horticulture or another field relevant to the program area, or other combinations of education and experience. Essential is experience and/or education in the planting and maintenance of native, edible and ornamental plants, trees, shrubs or flowers.

A valid driving license and clean driving record for driving Metro vehicles to and from off-site locations. Ability to pass the Oregon Childcare Registry background check.

Preferred qualifications:

Bilingual in Spanish and English and ability to deliver programming in both languages,
Four or more years of experience working with diverse youth and adults in public outreach settings
Experience and/or education that provide the applicant an in-depth understanding of the issues related to impacts of toxics and other consumer/commercial waste materials and their impact up on wildlife conservation. 

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Knowledge of general teaching and interpretation methods for formal and informal settings

  • Knowledge of education standards (NGSS, Common Core, etc.), different modes of learning, and teaching techniques relevant to formal and non-formal learning environments

  • Knowledge of, experience in and enthusiasm for, natural, sustainable or organic gardening and pest management principles and practices

  • Ability to interact with the public and provide a favorable overall customer service experience

  • Ability to meet and deal courteously with the public and garden visitors

  • Knowledge, skill and experience in event coordination and logistics

  • Ability to relate well to youth and adult learners to build rapport with visitors in a short period of time

  • Ability to deliver interpretive/educational content repeatedly while keeping the material energized, fresh, and consistent

  • Ability to use interpretive methods and techniques to successfully give presentations to youth and adults from various backgrounds

  • Ability to work cooperatively as a team member, contribute to a positive team atmosphere, and collaborate and commit to common agency goals and values

  • Ability to effectively organize work, manage time, prioritize tasks, and both provide and follow written and oral direction

  • Ability to effectively communicate ideas and program concepts both orally and in writing

  • Ability to use standard office equipment including computers, printers, fax and copy machines, and computer software including Microsoft Word and Excel

  • Ability to fulfill Metro's employee values of Public Service, Excellence, Teamwork, Respect, Innovation, and Sustainability


Additional Information

Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.
Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources at 503-797-1570.
Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): New employees will pay the employee portion of the PERS contribution.
Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans' preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.
Criminal background check: In order to protect the wellbeing of its employees, the public and agency assets, Metro may conduct criminal background checks on candidates selected for Metro positions. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude employment and will be considered on a case by case basis. A background check will only be conducted if you are selected as a finalist for a position. If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted by Human Resources prior to the initiation of a background check.
Equal employment opportunity:  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law.  Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer