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Mar 18 / BARD CEP

Urban Agriculture Associate-Trenton, NJ

Organization: Isles, Inc.

Position Title: Urban Agriculture Associate

Location: Trenton, NJ

Hours and Compensation: Not listed.

Application Deadline: May 16, 2014


Job Description:

Founded in 1981, Isles is a nationally recognized nonprofit community development and environmental organization with the mission to foster more self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities.

Each year, Isles reaches thousands of central New Jersey residents with opportunities for at-risk youth job training, affordable housing development, financial literacy training, homeownership counseling, community gardening, environmental health and education, community organizing and regional planning.

Isles’ Community Planning & Development staff works with communities to develop and implement innovative ways to achieve resident-led neighborhood revitalization. Our services fall into three broad categories: community planning, real estate development, and urban agriculture. We work with residents to develop and implement neighborhood plans; provide predevelopment, planning, funding, design, and community outreach assistance to physical redevelopment projects, including affordable housing; support community and school gardeners through the Isles Garden Support Network; offer food and nutrition education via film screenings, discussions, and cooking workshops through our Plate & Place service; and collaborate with other service providers to incorporate hands-on gardening and nutrition education into their youth-serving programs through our YouthGrow service. We also represent Isles on many local, regional, and statewide policy and issue-based committees, and are playing a leadership role in Trenton’s efforts to battle its problem of vacant and abandoned properties.

We are a lean, flat staff that is passionate about what we do. We are always busy, but never too busy to be creative, to laugh, and to find new ways to tackle persistent challenges. We operate as a cross-functional team that has at its disposal a unique set of neighborhood revitalization tools.

Position Summary

The Urban Agriculture Associate will assist the Manager in all aspects of implementing Urban Agriculture services, primarily through work on projects related to the Isles Garden Support Network. This will include office/administrative work as well as hands-on work in gardens, both Isles-managed gardens and those managed by community members. Isles’ urban agriculture work includes the following:

  • Help community groups to create and manage community gardens

Recruit new gardeners and identify new garden sites

Maintain list of existing gardens including contact information for all gardeners

Assist gardeners to develop an annual work plan for their gardens

Help gardeners resolve site control issues for new and existing gardens

Support gardeners to complete site preparation, soil testing, or securing of water access

Coordinate production or acquisition of all necessary seed & plant material for the year, whether through cultivation, purchase, or donation

Coordinate installation of capital improvements, including fencing, rain barrels, shade or storage structures, etc.

Maintain records of phone calls and other requests for gardening assistance

Keep master log of work completion

Dissemination of garden network information and literature

Create effective ways to communicate with gardeners: may include phone or web-based notifications, garden tip sheets, newsletters, or annual gardening yearbook

Organize and support Isles Garden Support Network events with participation of gardeners

Leverage volunteer support to further service goals and meet community need; manage volunteers and coordinate volunteer days

Facilitate donation of excess produce to emergency food providers

  • Support gardening and environmental education efforts including public workshops, Plate & Place events
  • Assist with growing and production at Isles-operated gardens

Assist with coordination of production and maintenance at multiple locations

Maximize production through use of season extension techniques

Help develop and execute contingency plans in case of adverse growing conditions or other unforeseen circumstances

Help develop and adhere to food safety practices relating to the growing, handling, and storage of produce

  • Organize and support beautification projects

Help identify and complete annual beautification projects

Develop new ideas for beautification projects in collaboration with community partners

Education, Experience, Certifications.

  • Experience with gardening, farming, and/or horticulture
  • Community education experience
  • Experience working with youth
  • Cultural competency in working with people of diverse backgrounds
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Experience using landscaping equipment including but not limited to: lawnmowers, rototillers, weed trimmers
  • Basic carpentry or construction skills a plus
  • Comfortable working in an urban setting
  • Passion for the environment and healthy living
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Valid NJ Drivers License in good standing with insurable driving record. A personal vehicle should be accessible, as use of a company vehicle is not always possible. Work-related mileage and travel costs can be reimbursed.

How to apply

Please send resume and cover letter to [email protected]

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