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Outreach workers needed for trail program

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

The nonprofit group whose mission is to connect visitors with businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail is looking for post-bachelor degree level fellows to help promote sustainability in Western Pennsylvania.

Trail Town Certified Business Network has used outreach corps fellows since 2009. Pennsylvania Trail Town coordinator William Prince said the group again is working in partnership with the Student Conservation Association to recruit two fellows for 2014.

“We've had participants from across the country,” said Prince, who was a Trail Town fellow in 2011. Through the years, he said the number of fellows has decreased from five to two. He said the decrease means the outreach workers get to work in more towns along the trail.

In the year ahead, the group plans to turn its attention to communities beyond just those on the Great Allegheny Passage. Other trails the fellows can expect to visit include the Pittsburgh-to-Erie Trail, Montour Trail, Trans-Allegheny Trail and Sheepskin Trail.

The positions run from April 1 to Feb. 10, 2015. Participants receive stipends through Student Conservation Association for housing, travel and living expenses and are eligible for tuition reimbursement benefits through AmeriCorps.

Prince described the work as “a little bit of everything.” He said fellows can expect a mix of office, field work and community interaction and are likely to gain some media experience.

This year, the group is conducting a reassessment of all aspects of trail towns and will survey trail builders and users and trailside businesses. Locally, Prince said, the outreach corps will visit Boston, McKeesport, Homestead and the South Side.

Fellows take part in various cleanup and maintenance projects along the trails.

Applicants for the positions must have their own transportation and will work out of the Trail Town program's headquarters in Greensburg.

Jeff Malik from Student Conservation Association's Pittsburgh office said his organization is looking to hire for the positions by early March.

Student Conservation Association is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop future leaders in the area of conservation. It offers a wide variety of paid, volunteer and internship programs for high school and college students and recent college graduates.

A description of the position and application form is available on the association website at www.thesca.org. To find the form, go to the “serve” link, click “young adult,” then search internships using “trail town” as a keyword.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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