Now Hiring! School Garden Assistant/Cowlitz AmeriCorps Member

Lower Columbia School Gardens invites kind, energetic candidates to apply to join our team as a 2016-2017 School Garden Assistant/Cowlitz AmeriCorps Member.  Please pass this along to anyone interested in making the world a better place by working with kids, volunteers, plants, and food in school gardens.
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The mission of Lower Columbia School Gardens (LCSG) is to build and sustain school gardens that cultivate the values of lifelong learning, sustainability, health and community in children and their families.  LCSG connects students and their families with real food and hands-on learning through dynamic garden and cooking programs.Position: School Garden Assistant (two identical positions are currently open)
Location: 17 school gardens in Longview and Kelso, with central operations at Northlake Elementary, 2210 Olympia Way in Longview
Hours: Hours vary with seasons but are generally 8:30 to 5:00.  This is a full time 11 month AmeriCorps position with minimum 1700 hours for the Sept 2016 – July 2017 term.
Compensation (through Cowlitz AmeriCorps Network):
  • $1,140 per month living allowance
  • $5,775 education award upon completion
  • Basic medical insurance (if eligible)
  • Childcare Benefits (if eligible)
Position Description: Garden Assistant/Cowlitz AmeriCorps Member 2016-2017
1.  Garden Assistant will lead groups of elementary and middle school students in a wide variety of garden activities.  Planting seeds, turning compost, propagation, watering, fertilizing, transplanting, harvesting, preparing soil, mulching, planting fruit trees and berry bushes, saving seeds, general garden maintenance.  Transport supplies to and from school site.
2. Teach garden related lessons tied to Common Core standards: examining worms and other garden creatures under microscopes, testing soil, identifying parts of plants, plant families, etc, as well as lessons on pollination, propagation, and natural history.  Transport supplies to and from school site.
3. Teach hands-on healthy cooking lessons to groups of students.  Garden Assistant will cook with students K-8 in outdoor kitchen (camp-type kitchen) environments as well as a few Home Ec classrooms where available.  Students will learn basic cooking skills and prepare dishes using ingredients fresh from the garden.  Examples: grilled vegetables, fresh salsa, roasted root vegetables, soup, lettuce wraps, salad, salad dressing, smoothies, pizza.  Garden Assistant will plan activities, set up tables and equipment, set up hand-washing station, procure ingredients, give hands-on instruction, clean up, wash dishes.
4.  Lead art and craft activities in the garden: drying flowers, painting garden signs, making bookmarks, grape vine wreaths, sewing, seed art.  Will plan activities, set up craft station, provide specific instruction to students, clean up.
5.  Garden Assistant will act as volunteer coordinator – recruiting, training, guiding, instructing, and maintaining contact through phone, email, and social media.
6.  Perform general garden maintenance tasks – water, weed, mulch, haul soil & debris, spread leaves and manure, turn compost, clean and organize garden sheds and greenhouses, build trellises.
7.  As a member of the Cowlitz AmeriCorps Team, participant will be required to attend trainings, participate in service projects, weekly meetings and other team activities.


  • U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S.
  • At least 17 years of age; there is no upper age limit.
  • Able to lift 40 pounds, perform physical work for multiple hours in variety of weather conditions.
  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Pass National Sex Offender Registry check, Washington State Background check, FBI background check.
  • It takes a unique person to dedicate nearly a year of their life to service. We appreciate those who bring a can-do attitude, a sense of humor, a zest for learning, and enthusiasm! Must be willing to work with a diverse team and be committed to the idea and practice of service as a way to improve yourself and the lives of others. Self-discipline and motivation are central to success.

To apply, or for more information about AmeriCorps:

  • Call (360) 577-5859
  • Stop by the Life Works building at 906 New York St. in Longview

Read full position description here.

Questions? Please call anytime: 360-431-6725, or reply to this email. Visit Lower Columbia School Gardens on our website and Facebook to get a better idea of the world-changing work we do.

We Are Hiring! Full-time Garden Coordinator

Job Announcement, November 2015

Garden Coordinator

Lower Columbia School Gardens

Lower Columbia School Gardens (LCSG) is a non-profit organization in Cowlitz County that helps schools start and sustain dynamic, thriving garden programs. LCSG has helped create and sustain 13 school gardens in Southwest Washington, and engages over 3,000 students each year in hands-on, garden based learning activities. Find out more on our website,

The Garden Coordinator facilitates a wide variety of hands-on learning for children in multiple school gardens by leading a wide variety of garden-based learning activities, including teaching garden and cooking lessons tied to curriculum standards. The Garden Coordinator promotes the LCSG mission with our partners, stakeholders and the general public. This is a full-time, 40 hour per week position with occasional evening and weekend hours.  We are seeking a kind, creative, energetic person who is passionate about real food, kids, plants, and soil.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop and facilitate garden-based lessons and activities for elementary and middle school children including cooking lessons, arts and crafts activities and lessons tied to curriculum standards
  • Recruit, coordinate and retain LCSG volunteers
  • Integrate garden-based curricula into existing educational settings
  • Create and share garden resources for teachers, children and garden volunteers such as planting guides, lesson plans and volunteer training resources
  • Promote LCSG through marketing, social media, community outreach, teacher and parent engagement
  • Coordinate LCSG events such as fundraisers, volunteer appreciation events, harvest festivals, produce sales, after-school garden clubs, community outreach and others
  • Participate in program evaluation and research
  • Collect and maintain data on volunteer and student participation and other metrics
  • Participate in fundraising and grant writing to support the on-going work of LCSG
  • Perform garden maintenance tasks—watering, weeding, mulching, soil and compost, cleaning and organizing garden classrooms, sheds and outdoor spaces
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the school garden field


  • High School diploma
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field preferred
  • 2 years in environmental education or children’s program development, or equivalent experience and skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop successful outdoor education programs, and facilitate hands-on learning and dynamic programming for elementary through middle school children
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership and teamwork
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience with volunteer management
  • Event planning and coordination experience
  • Flexible, and ability to thrive in a fast-paced, sometimes unpredictable setting
  • Proficiency with computers and basic software programs including google drive, Microsoft office
  • Experience working with diverse populations and across disciplines (parents, teachers, school garden staff, community members, students)
  • The ability to lift 25 lbs, operate garden tools (shovels, wheelbarrows, etc.), assist in construction (retaining walls, garden beds, trellises, sheds, etc.)
  • Willingness to work in an outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions
  • Driver’s license and willingness to drive LCSG vehicles

Compensation: $12/hr.

Position is open until filled.

To apply for the position, please email a cover letter and resume to Ian Thompson, Executive Director for Lower Columbia School Gardens at

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Henricksen, or 360-414-5599 ext. 6434.

Download PDF:  Garden Coordinator Job Description