Recreation Leader IV/Environmental Educator

Alexandria, VA
$44,970.12 - $79,136.46 Annually
Mar 22, 2023
Apr 10, 2023
Full Time
Recreation Leader IV/Environmental Educator

Buddie Ford Nature Center

Full Time Position

The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter square miles in the city have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. This position will be filled internally - we invite all qualified current employees of the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (DRPC) to apply.

In pursuit of service excellence, the Recreation Leader IV/Environmental Educator plays a leading role in developing, implementing, and managing free and fee based environmental education programing at the Jerome ‘Buddie’ Ford Nature Center. This is a full-time supervisory position that reports to and receives support from the Recreation Manager-Naturalist.
Major areas of responsibility include:
  • Plan, lead, and evaluate onsite, school-based, and community outreach environmental education programming.
  • Assist with the recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation of seasonal and part-time staff, volunteers, and interns.
  • Assist in managing the day-to-day operations of the Nature Center including facilities management, program administration, and overseeing the care and use of a live animal collection.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with public and private schools, City agencies, and community organizations to maximize program reach, accessibility, and impact.
The Recreation Leader IV/Environmental Educator is an integral part of the Nature Center team as well as the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. This includes serving as the Manager on Duty of the Ford Nature Center, fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for staff, visitors and program participants, attending division and department meetings, and serving on Division, Department and/or City committees and work groups. This position is provided with opportunities and encouraged to attend professional trainings, conferences, and be involved in professional organizations.

What You Should Bring
Each member of the team is accountable for the outstanding delivery of services to the community. You will bring expertise on environmental science and nature-based education, the principles and practices of program development, management and administration, and knowledge of Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOLs) for public and private schools. You will have a demonstrated ability to train and supervise staff and volunteers, care for and manage a living animal collection, and develop and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, program participants, and partners. You should possess independent judgment and initiative, enthusiasm, flexibility, excellent oral and written communication, and a commitment to provide great customer experiences. You should also be available to work various hours which include days, evenings, weekends and some holidays.

The Opportunity
  • Help to develop, coordinated and implement environmental education outreach and pop up programs reaching at least 500 participants during the calendar year 2023.
  • Assist in the development, coordination and implementation of environmental education (SOL) school programs reaching at least 1000 ACPS students during 2023/2024 school year.
  • Help recruit, train and supervise up to five seasonal staff, volunteers, or interns to assist with SOL and outreach programs, birthday parties and/or summer camp by October 1st, 2023.
  • Lead monthly training and evaluation sessions with staff and volunteers on the proper care and/or use of the program animal collection.
  • Help to maintain registration database, expense and revenue records, program and participant metrics, and contribute to monthly Departmental reports.
  • Join and/or actively participate in at least one Division, Department, and/or City committee or work group by July 1st, 2023.
  • Participate in at least one approved professional development training course or certification program by September 1st, 2023.
  • Hold weekly or bi-weekly performance management/professional development meetings and conduct an annual performance review with staff under your purview.
  • Contribute to the production and distribution of seasonal program guides, promotional materials and educational resources.

About the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
The mission of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities is to enrich the City of Alexandria by creating meaningful experiences through public spaces, cultural activities, and programming. The Department’s vision is to improve the well-being of every person in our community by connecting them to each other and their environment. The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities received national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). National accreditation requires park and recreation agencies to meet 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Associate Degree and four (4) years of experience or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

Bachelors degree in a related field and/or five (5) years of experience developing and conducting environmental education and outreach programs. Knowledge of natural processes, biological and earth sciences, and the local environment including native flora and fauna. A proven ability to handle and care for program animals. One (1) or more years of supervisory experience.


This position requires you to successfully pass a background screening.

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