Grow Food Northampton
TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator
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|Posted On:||Wednesday, 4th October 2017|
221 Pine St., Suite 349, Florence, MA 01062
Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to promote food security by advancing sustainable agriculture in the Northampton, Massachusetts area. Founded in 2010 in response to a development threat to the largest buildable prime farmland parcels in Northampton, Grow Food Northampton moved from a small group of advocates to a vibrant, community-driven non-profit organization. We now own the largest community farm in Massachusetts, which is largely leased out to private farmers, helping to address land access and tenure challenges. We also manage a 270-plot community garden and a Giving Garden project where volunteers grow many thousands of pounds of vegetables for donation to soup kitchens and food pantries. We operate educational programs on the farm and in classrooms, fund and manage several food access programs that ensure that everyone in our community can afford to eat local produce, and manage a vibrant local farmers’ market. All of our programs celebrate local food as a way to build a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive community.
Community Engagement Coordinators (CEC) build the long-term capacity of their host sites by developing culturally inclusive systems, programing, partnerships, and events. By collaborating with community groups, CEC’s demonstrate how the sustainable use and conservation of land can help address community needs related to education, public health, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, homelessness, poverty, hunger, and cultural decline. By helping a broader cross-section of people experience the benefits of open space, CECs build connections between land and people that increase public support for land access, revitalization, and conservation initiatives.
CECs may partner with homeless shelters or food pantries to build community gardens; hospitals to build wellness gardens and walking paths, neighborhood groups to revitalize urban parks and greenways; farmers markets to increase community access to locally grown food; disability groups to create wheelchair accessible outings; youth and adult groups to inspire artistic expression; public health programs to support recovery; and any underrepresented community groups who want to provide access to the outdoors for recreational and entertainment purposes. By engaging with diverse peoples and collaborating with community partners, CEC’s build bridges that reinforce the connection between land and a sustainable social, economic, and environmental future for all people.
TerraCorps members engage with their supervisors to develop and carry out three or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Some of these projects will involve recruiting, training, and/or managing community volunteers. Grow Food Northampton has proposed the following potential project for their Community Engagement Coordinator:
1) Develop our portfolio of public educational and engagement events and refine and implement our overall communications plan to reach potential program participants (target audiences include low-income households in need of food access, farmers’ market shoppers, community gardeners, aspiring farmers), event attendees, and general audiences. In the process, adopt numerous principles and best practices of communication; master several popular social media, email, and web systems; and engage directly with a diversity of community members, including program participants, volunteers, and event attendees.
2) The CEC will also assist with program evaluation and re-design. This project addresses a need for effective communication to ensure that those who could benefit from our programs and events, and the conserved land that we steward, are aware of the opportunities to do so and able to influence both our outreach methods and program design over time to increase the effectiveness of our work. Our goals are to increase the reach of our communications across many platforms while both unifying our core “brand” identity and improving our targeting of specific messages to specific audiences, all with an ultimate goal of increasing the level and value of our interactions with target populations.
Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the member’s interests and skills.
• A strong interest in serving diverse program participants, volunteers, and audiences
• Comfort presenting in front of groups
• Strong writing, communication, and networking skills
• Well organized and able to balance multiple tasks
• Able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
• Familiarity with and ability to quickly learn a variety of computer systems
• Experience in community needs assessment and/or program evaluation
• Experience with diversity and inclusion issues
• Experience training and managing volunteers
• Experience developing public information materials, marketing materials, and/or press releases
• Technical skills relating to developing and maintaining web, print, email, and social media content
• Familiarity with land conservation, agriculture, and/or food access
For questions about Grow Food Northampton’s service positions, contact Clem Clay at email@example.com.