Our North Texas office is working to ensure that every resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan has access to a park, trail, or green space within a 10-minute walk of where they live. As a part of this program, we are embarking on an ambitious plan to dramatically increase park access in Dallas by creating dozens of new parks and trails across the city. These new parks will take a variety of forms, including trails and greenbelts along Five Mile Creek in southwest Dallas, and partnering with the Texas Trees Foundation to transform Dallas Independent School District schoolyards into parks accessible to the public after learning hours.
Community engagement is at the core of our work, and each park goes through a rigorous public input process that ensures the parks are reflective of neighborhood identity, needs, and desires. Through community meetings, stakeholder interviews, interactive events, and design workshops, we collaborate with Dallas residents to develop and implement a shared vision for new greenspaces in their neighborhoods.
The Trust for Public Land is seeking two organized and talented people to join our team in 2021 as a Community Conservation Fellows. In this paid internship, the Fellows will work with their manager to implement community engagement plans related to various park projects TPL is working on.
This unique internship offers the opportunity to:
- Engage closely with communities to determine their needs and desires in parks and open spaces
- Work in a fast-paced multi-disciplinary environment
- Play a role in improving Dallas’ parks and open spaces
- Think creatively about how to engage residents and park users to provide better quality parks in Dallas
- Explore new strategies for community engagement, including virtual and “socially distant” methods
…and will help build your knowledge of:
- What makes a great community greenspace
- How to engage communities
- Organizing and leading volunteers
- Municipal government and public policy
Reporting to their Community Conservation Leader, the Fellows’ goals and responsibilities will include:
- Implement community engagement plans at various TPL park locations across Dallas
- Help execute “Virtual Park Bench Chats” featuring education and interactive content
- Visit and report on various TPL park projects throughout Dallas
- Help coordinate and participate in virtual community meetings
- Serve as a reliable community contact and liaison between TPL and the communities where TPL works
- Build relationships with these communities through social media, phone calls and email outreach
- Identity and engage with local community organizations and stakeholders
- Document and track outreach and community conversations
- Record community feedback
Selected fellows are community-driven and excited about creating accessible park spaces in areas across the city of Dallas. Qualifications include:
- Currently enrolled in or recent graduate from a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program
- Strong organizational capabilities and ability to plan and execute events
- Strong interpersonal skills, able to effectively communicate with diverse audiences across multiple mediums (spoken, written, email, and social media)
- Ability to self-motivate and work productively without supervision
- Knowledge and familiarity with digital communication tools, including email, social media, and MailChimp
- Basic computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Fluency in Spanish (a plus, not required)
Time Commitment: 20 hours per week from February 15, 2021 – May 7, 2021. Responsibilities may include working evenings and weekends, as well as regular visits to TPL project locations throughout Dallas. Start and end dates are flexible, and additional time off may be negotiated.
Pay: $15 / hour
COVID-19 / Work From Home: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all employees of The Trust for Public Land are working from home indefinitely. If you do not have access to a laptop or computer, The Trust for Public Land will provide you one. Fellows will be expected to participate in regular check-in calls with their supervisor and team member at least twice per week, be responsive to phone calls, emails, and text messages during normal business hours.
Although this position will be primarily “virtual,” there will be regular site visits to park projects that The Trust for Public Land is working on, including on-site meetings with colleagues and partners. All meetings will occur outdoors, and all participants will be required to wear masks and maintain minimum of 6-feet distance.