Internship - Urban and Community Forestry Fellow

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Program Dates: 8/26/2024 - 12/6/2024

About us

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults. Program participants protect and restore national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, community green spaces, and much more across the country.

Location: Pittsburgh Metro Area

Position Description

The Community Forestry Fellow placed with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) will participate in a full-time (40 hours per week) hands-on immersion into tree care across urban, suburban, and rural contexts. The majority of service will be outside in all weather conditions. The fellow will also provide community education on the benefits of urban tree canopy. The fellow will be working as a part of the Community Greening Department at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Duties will focus on supporting the Community Forestry program projects that WPC has undertaken within Allegheny and neighboring counties. To date, WPC has planted over 40,000 trees through the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh program and other initiatives. The federal funding supporting this position requires that work be directed towards environmental justice communities (information on these areas can be found here:

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has a strong focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice across our organization. All are welcome to apply, and BIPOC candidates are encouraged to apply. Our statement on this work can be found here

Member Benefits

. Living allowance: $600/week living allowance (pre-tax)*

. $650 Travel Allowance to/from project site, one time*

  • No housing available
  • All allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.


. Being willing to undergo a criminal history check, including criminal background, sex offender and FBI checks conducted after position is offered.

Additional Member Qualifications and Essential Functions

. Please upload a resume to your SCA application

. A personal vehicle is recommended but not required. The fellow will be driving a WPC truck daily. Candidates MUST be able to pass a driving record background check.

. Preferred candidates will have at least one previous full-time internship experience and a background in one or multiple of: biology, forestry, ecology, nursery care, landscaping, tree plantings and tree care, farming, urban planning, or a related field.

. Successful candidates will demonstrate an ability to positively collaborate in a tight team in a hands-on workplace and an ability to adapt to daily project execution needs.


. Assisting in fall tree plantings and tree care activities throughout the growing season (August-Sept) for newly planted trees

. Tree care activities include but are not limited to:

. Tree watering, weeding, and mulching during tree establishment periods.

. Monitoring for signs of pests, disease, vandalism, and other stressors also will be required.

. Other Community Forestry projects that the fellow may assist with include tree planting events, volunteer maintenance events, collecting and updating databases or spreadsheets, assisting with event planning, and more.

. The fellow will also provide educational outreach to community members during tree planting/care events to teach the benefits of urban tree canopy. The fellow will educate an estimated 800 community members during the position.

Schedule *Please note – this is a tentative schedule. Dates may change, but training opportunities will remain the same.

. Typically, M-F, 7am-3pm. Saturday work should be expected to lead volunteer events. Service week will be adjusted accordingly when Saturday service is needed.

. Member will serve approximately 40 hours a week for a period of 16 weeks.

Training and Leadership development

. Tree biology, tree identification, planting techniques, basic tree maintenance practices, and volunteer and data management

. Tool safety, job hazard assessment, and safe driving

. Sexual Harassment and Maintaining a Positive Workplace

. Risk Management 101

. Other training opportunities when available


Housing not provided as part of this position. It is our strong belief that equal opportunity for all members is central to the continued success of our programs. We will not discriminate against an applicant because of race, religious creed, religion, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, age, physical disability, mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity characteristics or expressions in selections, terminations and or recommendations. Opportunity is provided to all applicants on the basis of qualifications and program requirements. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be provided to applicants during the selection process and to members during service.