Environmental Education - Nature Educator (Community Service Aide II) - Open Continuous

City of Portland | Portland, OR

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Posted Date 5/25/2022

Portland Parks & Recreation invites applications for Nature Educators for Field Trips/Guided Walks and Teen Nature Team!

This is an ongoing recruitment to fill positions starting in April and September. Applicants are encouraged to apply early! Eligible applicants will be contacted for interviews as early as March.

As a Nature Educator, you will...

Work collaboratively with a small team of educators to lead engaging programs for diverse learners. You will plan programs where learners observe, ask questions, and learn through direct experience.

We are looking for team members who are...

  • Curious - interested in nature and excited to teach outdoors in all kinds of weather.
  • Flexible and creative - able to adjust programs in real time based on changes in the weather and interest level.
  • Strong communicator - comfortable talking with people of all ages and willing to continuously refine their skills as an educator and feel comfortable offering and receiving feedback.
  • Empathetic and caring - able to reflect on their own beliefs about people from other cultures and learn about other cultures through the personal experience of the participants. Able to apply techniques that reduce social and emotional harm to others.

These are part-time positions, not to exceed 1400 hours in a calendar year. These positions are not eligible for benefits.

  • In-person nature education programs can take place at any Portland park or natural area within the city limits.
  • Program planning and evaluation takes place at the Environmental Education office at 2909 SW 2nd Avenue in Portland, OR and is completed remotely using the Microsoft Teams platform.

Employees are required to transport city equipment to and from work locations. Employees can drive shared city vehicles to and from programs. City vehicles are parked at a Portland Parks & Recreation facility, and employees are responsible for retrieving the vehicle from the appropriate location.


Ability to work outside in all types of weather conditions. Must be physically and mentally able to walk, hike, stand, balance, bend, reach and lift or carry loads up to 25 pounds. Educators should be able to hike up to three miles on uneven and hilly terrain and be able to tolerate loud noises such as those from overhead planes, leaf blowers, or excited participants.

About the Nature Education program at Portland Parks & Recreation

Portland Parks & Recreation offers nature education in parks and natural areas. Programs are hands-on and interest-driven. We offer inclusive, outdoor options for all ages and abilities. Our goal is to help people connect to themselves, others, and the world around them.

Programs focus on the following:
  • Caring for our green spaces
  • Learning through observation
  • Connection to nature

We are hiring Nature Educators for two different programs.

Click the links below to learn more.

  • The Field Trip/Guided Walk program leads school field trips, guided walks, and custom group programs with children, youth, and families.
  • The Teen Nature Team program leads activities and builds relationships with middle school students.

Nature Educator – Field Trips/Guided Walks (2-5 positions available)

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Create nature-based programs for students in grades K-8, young children, and community groups.
  • Build rapport, set boundaries, and use positive redirection methods with youth.
  • Create programs that welcome and value people from all backgrounds and cultures.
  • Collaborate weekly with the educator team to share knowledge, skills, and ideas.
  • Connect with teachers, parents, and group contacts by phone, email, and newsletters.
  • Work behind the scenes to create agreements, send invoices, and track participant data.
  • Attend ongoing trainings and workshops to continuously improve teaching methods, lesson content, and equity work.

Working times:

School Year (September - May): Approximately 22-28 hours per week between the hours of 8:30AM—3:30PM, Monday through Friday. Weekend hours are possible, but not frequent.

Summer (June, July, August): Approximately 30 hours per week, 9AM-3PM, Monday through Friday

Nature Educator – Teen Nature Team program (1-3 positions available)

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Create nature-based lessons for middle school youth.
  • Set boundaries, re-direct behavior, and give feedback to participants.
  • Maintain equitable expectations for all youth.
  • Create a community that welcomes and values people from all backgrounds and cultures.
  • Meet weekly with team members to prepare for field sessions and make decisions on program goals, topics, and activities.
  • Create and edit program forms, handouts, and outreach materials.
  • Connect with teachers, parents, and group contacts by phone, email, and in person.
  • Walk five or more miles on uneven ground, handle sharp tools, and drive city vehicles.
  • Build long term relationships with youth by providing ongoing opportunities, support, and mentorship.

Working times:

School Year (September - May): Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00AM–10:00AM and Saturdays 8:30AM–3:30PM (no Saturdays in September). Other hours are flexible, averaging 20–25 hours a week.

Summer (June, July, August): 8:30AM–3:30PM Monday – Friday, averaging 30–35 hours per week.

City of Portland Core Values:
Anti-racism | Communication | Collaboration | Equity | Transparency | Fiscal Responsibility
These are the values that guide our actions as we serve the community and engage our workforce. To learn more about the City's core values, please click here.

Why work at the City of Portland?
The City of Portland serves a population of over 650,000. Culture and solutions are our focus. We view every challenge as an opportunity to learn, improve, and share our experience. We are committed to removing barriers to resources, access, and opportunity.

The City is a believer in all people and continues to actively recruit and retain diverse top talent every day. If you are open-minded, interested, community-focused, and self-aware, please apply yourself at the City of Portland today.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement
As of October 18, 2021, all City employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This is required for all positions at the City of Portland. Proof of being fully vaccinated is required by date of hire. You may request an exception, for health or religious reasons, from getting the COVID-19 vaccine at the time a position is offered.
The following minimum qualifications are required for this position:
  1. Experience working with groups of children and youth, especially ages 2-14.
  2. Knowledge and familiarity with nature education programs and/or environmental education.
  3. Ability to plan, lead, and evaluate programs for people of all ages.
  4. Ability to teach, mentor, and engage with people from different backgrounds (for example race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic situation, religion, and ability).
  5. Ability to build positive relationships, set expectations, and apply techniques for group problem-solving.
  6. Ability to use general office software, for example Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint or other similar programs.
Applicants must also:
  • Be at least 21 years of age by date of hire.
  • Have a current/valid state driver's license. Applicants must meet City "good driver" requirements.
  • Be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 per City/State mandate or have an approved exception by date of hire.

Applicants must submit the following to be considered:

  1. Resume
  2. Answers to the Job-Related Questions
  • Your resume and answers to the job-related questions will be reviewed for this position.
  • Your resume should clearly detail any work experience (paid, intern, or volunteer), formal education, training, or lived experience that pertains to this position.
  • If you served in the military, you may ask for preference. More information can be found below.

Please note, applications for this position must be turned in no later than the closing date and time of this recruitment. Applications must be turned in through the City's online application system. Do not attach materials not listed. E-mailed or faxed applications will not be accepted.

  • Job Posting: 2/7/22 - 7/18/22
  • Applications reviewed: weekly, starting week of 2/14/22
  • Eligible List: created weekly, starting week of 2/21/22
  • Interviews: begin in March
    • Interviews will be held until all positions are filled.
  • Start Dates: April and September
Please note: All timelines can change.

Work Status: Must be a US Citizen or have documents that allow you to work within the US at the time of application.

Veterans' Preference: If you want to ask for Veterans' Preference, please add the following to your application:

  • Add a copy of your veteran document (DD214 or Veteran’s Benefit Letter)
  • Check the box that you are a Veteran
  • Check the box asking for veteran preference

ADA, Pregnancy, and Religious Request: If you would like to request a reasonable change when applying for this job, please contact the Recruiter below.

Equal Employment: No person will be looked at as unfavorable based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and wants everyone who is interested in working at the City to apply.

Language Pay Differential

Employees who speak one or more languages in addition to English and who use their language skill to assist the community, may receive additional pay. More about the process can be found here.

Did you know? We have How to Apply Classes that are free on how to apply to the City. Click the link for the list of dates: https://www.portland.gov/bhr/career-center/applying-city-jobs

Contact Information
Tamela Ressler, Recruiter

Bureau of Human Resources


(503) 823-4346

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer

Listing Type
Education | Environmental | Government/Public Agency
Position Type
Part Time
Employer Type
Direct Employer
$17.00 - $24.00 Hourly
Salary Type

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