Common Ground is Seeking Environmental Educators

Job title: Environmental Educator
Organization Overview

Common Ground is a center for environmental learning in New Haven, Connecticut. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground’s 20 acre campus at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1800 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground’s urban farm produces sustainably grown food for programs and our community, and is home to our friendly farm animals. Common Ground’s Charter High School uses the site as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework highlighting the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things. Each year, more than 10,000 community members participate in festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site. For more information visit 

Job Description

Seeking naturalists and educators to lead programs for children on a working farm set in the middle of a huge state park! Your classroom includes gardens, wetlands, farm animals, bee hives, greenhouses, hiking trails, streams and lakes, campfire circles, a teaching kitchen, and creative outdoor playspaces. Incredibly rewarding work for folks who love teaching outdoors and connecting with racially and socioeconomically diverse groups of children.

Common Ground Environmental Educators plan and teach a wide variety of programs, including school field trips, after school programs, classes for preschoolers, family classes, and more. Educators may choose to specialize in certain kinds of programs. Training is provided, however there is also flexibility for staff to develop and lead their own activities and to take advantage of seasonal happenings in nature. Examples of typical activities include: interpretive nature hikes, farm animal care, gardening and cooking projects, natural or recycled art, games that teach ecological concepts, etc. We serve children in grades preK– 8. Teachers are responsible for planning and running activities, coordinating with other staff, behavior management, daily prep and clean-up, and any other tasks necessary to run a fun, safe, educational program.

Information about our children’s and community programs is available on Common Ground’s website. Applicants should review available information to make sure we are a great fit for your interests and skills.

Spring 2020: Currently hiring for FIELD TRIP LEADERS.

Seeking applicants with flexible weekday morning availability, typically between 9:30 AM – 12 PM. Total hours per week varies, and in the spring may range from 2 – 15 hours per week. Full time, seasonal work is also available for 7 weeks in summer, and increased part time hours may be available in the fall.

Program Schedule

School Field Trips meet from 9:30 AM – 12 PM (with some variability), Mon – Fri from Sept – June.

After school programs meet from 3:00 – 6:00 PM, with additional hours for staff meetings and trainings as scheduled based on staff availability.

Hours per week: 3 – 30 hours per week, based on staff availability and program need. Staff may set specific days and hours of availability.

Qualifications and Compensation

Minimum qualifications for this position are:

  • Experience with teaching formal or informal environmental education programs for a range of ages
  • Knowledge of the natural world: forest ecosystems, New England wildlife, birding, vegetable gardening, geology, native plants, wetlands and ponds, soils, and more. Expertise in all of these is not necessary, we seek enthusiastic naturalists who may have one or more areas of particular interest!
  • Excellent group dynamic and behavior management skills, ability to engage children and direct them in an active teaching environment
  • A passion for Common Ground’s mission and commitment to equity, diversity and environmental sustainability.
  • Ability to represent Common Ground in a positive and professional manner.
  • References that can confirm you are highly reliable, on time, and ready to collaborate with a staff team.

Compensation: $15 – $17.25/hr, depending on experience. This is a part time position and does not include benefits.

To Apply

Complete the online application HERE and email a resume to Rebecca Holcombe at

Application deadline:  February 29, 2020

(interviews and hiring are rolling and positions may be filled before the application deadline)



Common Ground is committed to the recruitment and retention of staff that is reflective of the communities we work with. We strongly encourage applicants from people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

It has been the policy and will continue to be the strong commitment of the Common Ground and all contractors and subcontractors who do business with Common Ground to provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit. Common Ground will continue to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, mental disorder (present or past history thereof) age, physical disability (but not limited to blindness), marital status, intellectual disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and criminal record. Such action includes, but is not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, professional development, attendance at conferences or other opportunities for advancement. Common Ground, its contractors and subcontractors will continue to make good faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies which speak to equal employment opportunity.

The principles of Affirmative Action are addressed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Act of 1866, 1870, 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (Non-discrimination under federal contracts)< Act 1, Section 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso’s Executive Order Number 11, Governor O’Neill’s Executive Order 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (Sec. 46a-60-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (46a-70-81), Deprivation of Civil Rights (46a-58(a)(d)), Public Accommodations Law (46a-63-64), Discrimination against Criminal Offenders (46a-80), definition of Blind (46a-51(1)), definition of Physically Disabled (46a-51(15)), definition of Intellectual Disability (46a-51(13)), cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (46a-77), Sexual Harassment (46a-60(a)-8), Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (360436 through 439), Title I of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.

This Affirmative Action Policy Statement re-affirms Common Ground’s commitment to equity in the workplace and the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity.

Contact at Common Ground: Betsy Sneath, Director of Business and Administration, 358 Springside Ave., New Haven, CT 06515 (203) 389-4333.



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