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31 Jan 2024

Full-Time Catskill Steward

Catskill Center for Conservation and Development – Posted by Fparnell Mount Tremper, New York, United States

Job Description

Catskill Steward 


About the Catskill Center

The Catskill Center preserves and enriches the environmental, economic and cultural well-being of the Catskill region through collaboration, inspiration and stewardship.  We believe that the vitality and prosperity of the Catskills depends on robust collaboration, thriving local communities and the wise stewardship of our natural resources.

The Catskill Center operates the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskills Visitor Center (CVC), the gateway to the Catskills and Catskill Park, in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The CVC offers interpretive exhibits, a gift shop, accessible nature trails, a pavilion, a fire tower, and year-round events.  To learn more, visit www.catskillcenter.org.


Position Description 

We are searching for multiple full-time and part-time highly motivated and reliable seasonal Catskill Stewards to help protect Catskills wilderness. As the Catskills have become increasingly popular in the last several years, previously pristine destinations have experienced ecological damage from overuse. Catskill Stewards will provide friendly, welcoming natural history interpretation and education to the public at top Catskills outdoor recreation destinations. Learn more at www.catskillcenter.org/catskillstewardsprogram.


This is an early career position suited for someone who loves the outdoors, enjoys challenges, and seeks a physically active position that helps protect important natural areas. 

The season runs from May 1 – October 19, 2024, but schedules can be adjusted according to applicant availability. Weekend and holiday work is required for all Stewards. All positions are located in an outdoor environment with minimal facilities available. Training is provided; travel to the training site is required. Stewards will work 37.5 hours per week, with paid leave included. 

Catskill Stewards will be assigned to top Catskills destinations: the Peekamoose Blue Hole, Kaaterskill Falls, Platte Clove Preserve, Fire Towers, and backcountry locations. Stewards may rotate among work locations, depending on the interests and abilities of the Stewards and needs of the program. The Peekamoose Blue Hole is located by Denning, NY, within the NYSDEC Sundown Wild Forest, a secluded wilderness area of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Kaaterskill Falls is located in the Kaaterskill Clove on Route 23A east of Tannersville, NY, within the NYSDEC’s Kaaterskill Wild Forest. Easily accessible to the general public, Kaaterskill Falls is one of the top three visited locations in the Catskill Park. The Catskill Center’s Platte Clove Preserve lies south of Platte Clove Road where the Long Path crosses Platte Clove Road. The Catskill Center’s Thorn Preserve is a popular destination for locals in the Town of Woodstock. Fire Tower locations in the Catskills include the Upper Esopus, Hunter Mountain, Red Hill, Balsam Lake Mountain, Mt. Tremper, and Overlook Mountain.

One Ridge Runner Steward will work at popular backcountry destinations in the Catskill Forest Preserve, primarily along the Devil’s Path in Elka Park NY and at Catskills Fire Towers. The Devil’s Path is a 24-mile trail spanning five peaks with a total accumulation of 9,000 ft of elevation gain. This position is open to one highly qualified individual with excellent hiking endurance and a demonstrated ability to camp outdoors for extended periods of time. 


Job Responsibilities 

Under the supervision of the Community Relations Specialist, Catskill Stewards will: 

  • At key Catskills hotspots, welcome and educate the public about the area, New York City watershed, Catskill Park, and Catskill Forest Preserve, as applicable; 
  • Educate visitors about the Catskills Visitor Center, the Catskill Center, and the history of the Catskills Fire Towers; 
  • Introduce visitors to Leave No Trace Principles and responsible recreation; 
  • Guide visitors to dispose of litter and trash correctly; 
  • Support on-site Forest Rangers and NYSDEC staff; 
  • Check permits and sign in visitors where applicable; 
  • Suggest alternative recreation destinations as appropriate; 
  • Provide photos/videos and captions for social media; 
  • Promote the program through group videos and interviews;


  • Perform routine trail maintenance and litter cleanup of trails, parking lots, and surrounding areas; 
  • Help with group clean-ups and land stewardship projects; 
  • Help ensure fire tower maximum capacity limits are not exceeded;
  • Report any issues needing immediate attention;
  • Count daily visitor totals at assigned location;
  • Assist supervisor with reporting requirements; 
  • Support CVC staff as needed;
  • Complete other tasks as requested. 


Additional Responsibilities for Head Steward position:

  • Data entry including steward location metrics sheets
  • Responsible for steward check in & out times, when applicable
  • Support Community Relations Specialist in various tasks, and serve as backup in their absence


Required Qualifications – All positions

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Possess a valid Driver’s License
  • Demonstrated success in customer service or working with the public 
  • Ability to work independently or in a group with minimal supervision 
  • Excellent communication, public speaking, and interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to remain outdoors with minimal access to facilities for extended periods of time, and without cell phone service at some locations
  • Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area over rough terrain and during inclement weather.

Additional Requirements for Ridge Runner & work at remote Fire Towers

  • Demonstrated ability to ascend and descend a 3500’ peak across at least 6 miles of uneven terrain in a backcountry setting 
  • Ability to and comfort with remaining outdoors with minimal or no access to facilities and no cell phone service for eight hours at a time 

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Passion for the environment and/or the Catskills 
  • Knowledge of Catskills natural history, ecology, and recreational opportunities
  • At least one year of college credit in environmental education, natural resources management, biology, environmental studies, or a related field or 6 months experience in environmental conservation work in a park or recreation setting
  • Ability to speak conversational Spanish 
  • Empathy and patience 
  • Experience teaching 
  • CPR, First Aid and/or Wilderness First Aid certifications 


Compensation: $17.00-$20.00 per hour 


TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to jo**@ca************.org


Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will be accepted until Friday, April 19th, 2024 or until the positions are filled. 


The Catskill Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the ground of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability or national origin in the hiring, retention, or promotion of employees; nor in determining their rank, or the compensation or fringe benefits paid them. 


The Catskill Stewards Program is partially funded by the Environmental Protection Fund, as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Catskill Steward, conservation, Environmental, and non-profit. Salaries: Less than 20,000.

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