Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

A National Estuary Project

JOB: Native Plant Nursery Crew Lead

Jan. 28th, 2023 - Feb. 28th, 2023

Come Be a Part of TEP’s Native Plant Nursery!

Calling all native plant enthusiasts!  Join us in restoring the land and nourishing the community that we love!

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) received additional funding through the National Estuary Program thanks to bipartisan support in Congress.  We are using these funds to create a new Crew Lead position at our native plant nursery!

The Nursery Crew Lead will work closely with TEP staff, youth crews, partners, and volunteers who share a common goal of growing coastally-adapted, genetically-appropriate native plants for the Northwest Oregon Restoration Partnership (NORP).   Scroll down to read more about the job, the type of person we need to fill the position, and find out how to apply. 

Northwest Oregon Restoration Partnership (NORP)

The Northwest Oregon Restoration Partnership (NORP) is a group of >30 organizations working together to propagate, distribute, and utilize high quality, ethically sourced native plants in the restoration projects implemented on private and public lands in the watersheds of the Lower Columbia, North, and Mid-Oregon coast.  NORP members include the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon State Parks, the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, watershed councils, land trusts, the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA), and local youth programs. 

At the core of NORP is TEP’s native plant nursery.  (Check out our YouTube video.) The nursery propagates over 30 species of trees, shrubs, and forbs specifically for the NORP members (it is not open to the public).  Inventory can exceed over 100,000 plants during the year, with annual distribution to partners typically ranging between 30,000 and 50,000 plants.  The nursery operates year-round, with activities changing throughout the production cycle.  TEP has three staff members dedicated to the nursery (including this Crew Lead position).  The nursery’s week-day crew is comprised of 6-8 OYA youth under guarded supervision.  NORP members, other youth groups, and volunteers also help during planned activities. 

Job Description

Job-specific responsibilities for the Nursery Crew Lead include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Work as part of TEP’s team to support the operation of our Native Plant Nursery (NPN) Program and, by extension, support TEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP).
    • Oversee incarcerated youth crew from the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) in the execution of nursery responsibilities such as sowing, thinning, and spacing seedlings; weeding; culling; transplanting; and management of day-to-day activities.
    • Execute workplans related to plant propagation, transplanting, and inventory movement. Accommodate partner plant order pickups, when applicable.
    • Develop, update, adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP) for nursery tasks. 
    • Continually train OYA youth on best practices, including conducting orientations for new crew members.
    • Supervise volunteer youth crews when applicable. Lead volunteer work days to accommodate NORP members and citizen volunteers. Engage VetsWork fellows when applicable.
    • Work side-by-side with OYA and volunteer youth crews, acting as pace setter while achieving high quality plant products and safe operations.
    • Track volunteer and OYA youth labor hours in Excel and Access.
    • Maintain/repair nursery infrastructure and/or oversee OYA youth in nursery infrastructure upkeep such as weed mat, roads, deer fence, doors, irrigation plumbing, etc.  
    • Maintain/upkeep nursery equipment, including power-washers, blowers, hand tools, and 18-zone irrigation system.
    • Track inventory of supplies and equipment needed for operations and infrastructure upkeep/maintenance.  Request larger supply purchases with appropriate lead times.   Purchase/pickup smaller orders.  Keep accurate records and adhere to a budget.
    • Maintain a clean and organized work space.
    • Lead tours, education events, and outreach activities related to the mission of the nursery.
  • Collaborate with TEP’s Community Education & Engagement Team to provide opportunities for education, hands-on experience, youth mentorship, and community service.

In order to contribute to the success of TEP as an organization, the Nursery Crew Lead will have the following general responsibilities:

  • Support TEP staff, Board of Directors, and partners in the development and implementation of CCMP, 5-year strategies, and annual work plans.  Track accomplishments.
  • Maintain close working relationships with local, state, and federal partners, scientists, educators, volunteers, and special interest groups
  • Represent TEP at meetings, committees, conferences, workshops, and events as needed
  • Support TEP- and partner-led water quality, monitoring, education, and engagement programs as needed
  • Communicate TEP’s achievements through reports, quarterly newsletters, website content, and social media postings
  • Participate in TEP fundraising efforts
  • Any other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications/Requirements (Job Specific)

  • High school diploma
  • Minimum of two years’ experience working with a team, such as
    • green industry in a production capacity (landscaping, farming, forestry, turfgrass)
    • conservation youth corps; youth education or outdoor school
    • food service (cafeteria, fast food)
  • Has strong leadership skills including ability to motivate others and being a positive role model
  • Able to balance encouragement, patience, and productivity
  • Comfortable working with all ages and abilities, especially at-risk youth
  • Able to perform daily tasks while simultaneously directing and overseeing tasks of others
  • Proficiency with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and Adobe or other similar software.  Familiarity with or willingness to learn Access.
  • Reliable transportation to/from the Port of Tillamook that does not interfere with the hours required for this position.  Note that public transportation to the Port of Tillamook Bay is limited and may not coincide with the work hours required for this position.
  • Must pass TEP’s criminal background check prior to first day of work
  • Must pass OYA’s background check and child abuse and neglect registry check prior to first day of work.

Preferred Experience (Job Specific)

  • Leading conservation youth corps or similar
  • Leading and engaging with volunteers
  • Working with neurodiverse youth and adults
  • Experience working or living with multiple cultures
  • Experience with incarcerated crews at any level
  • Experience in agriculture or horticulture
  • Americorps, Peace Corps, or another significant volunteer accomplishment
  • Proof of valid driver’s license and current auto liability insurance required (i) prior to driving any TEP-owned vehicle and (ii) prior to driving any vehicle, including personal vehicle, for TEP-related business during work hours.

Preferred Attributes  (General)

  • Interact with staff, Board Members, and public with a high level of professionalism
  • Demonstrate a concern for effectiveness (e.g. proactively analyze current procedures and offer suggestions for possible improvements)
  • Effective communications (e.g. respectful and courteous in all verbal and non-verbal communications)
  • Creative and self-motivated
  • Willing to carry out tasks and respond to situations as they arise with minimal supervision
  • Ability to prioritize tasks to manage multiple projects, adapting as needed to changing priorities, deadlines, and instructions
  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior
  • Works in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner
  • Displays a positive attitude toward and enthusiasm for functioning as a part of a high-performance team
  • Understands and continuously learns about a broad range of issues related to habitat restoration and living resources and is able to condense that knowledge into forms that are easily understood by partners and the general public

Work Environment

Work shall be performed primarily at the nursery which includes a pole barn, green house, shade houses, an office trailer, and extensive areas exposed to the elements.  Work space for the Nursery Crew Lead is also available at TEP’s main office in Garibaldi. 

TEP’s native plant nursery is located in the Port of Tillamook, adjacent to a minimum-security youth detention facility.  The Nursery Crew Lead shall be engaging with at-risk, incarcerated youth who are under guarded supervision by the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA).  The Nursery Crew Lead shall be expected to follow all OYA safety, security, and COVID-19 requirements.

Work assignments may require walking and standing most of the day, bending, climbing, crawling, kneeling, lifting up to 30 pounds, pulling, reaching, sitting, stooping, handling soil and fertilizer, walking on uneven surfaces, recording and entering data, and contending with adverse weather conditions requiring special clothing and safety precautions. 

TEP full-time staff typically work four 10-hour days each week, Mondays through Thursdays.  The Nursery Crew Lead position may work an alternative schedule, in order to accommodate the personal needs of the preferred candidate.  Options include (i) a four-day work week, Mon-Thur; (ii) a five-day work week, Mon-Fri; and (iii) a full-time schedule between 32 and 40 hours each workweek (same days, same hours every week).  The work schedule for the Nursery Crew Lead will be set between the Executive Director and the successful candidate upon hire.  Evening and weekend work may be required occasionally to support TEP. 

This position is subject to all TEP policies including, but not limited to, those provided in the Employee Handbook, Fiscal Policy, safety protocols, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). This position is subject to a pre-employment background check and periodic background checks during employment. 

Travel during work hours for this position will usually be <100 miles per month.  TEP reimburses its employees for their personal vehicle usage during company-related travel, excluding commuting to and from work, at the IRS standard mileage rate.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $33,850 - $45,350 per year, based on a 40-hr week work schedule.  Actual offer of compensation shall be dependent upon experience and shall be pro-rated if employee’s work schedule is less than 40-hrs per week.  TEP processes payroll on a monthly basis. 

This position is eligible for enrollment in TEP’s comprehensive benefits package. Details on benefits can be provided to candidates during the interview process.  

An example of TEP’s current benefits package for regular, full-time employees who work 40-hrs per week is provided below.  (Benefits would be prorated for full-time employees who work under 40-hrs per week.)

  • Medical, Dental, Vision Health Insurance (TEP pays 100% for employee, 80% for spouse and dependent children)
  • Retirement Program – TEP contributes an additional 7% of the employee’s salary into a 401k, with tiered vesting structure based on years of employment with TEP; employee may also contribute to 401k)
  • Holidays – 10 federal holidays plus 2 floating holidays
  • Vacation – Approx 10.5 days per year (accrual system to be explained upon hire)
  • Professional development/training budget:  $1250 per year

Application Process:

To apply, please submit by email:

  1. A resume,
  2. A statement of qualifications and interest, and
  3. Three professional references.

The statement of qualifications should describe the applicant’s relevant experience and interest in the position and should not exceed two full, single spaced pages.   Applicant contact information must include mailing address, phone number, and email address.   Professional references must include names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Please email application materials to Dr. Kristi Foster, Executive Director at kristi@tbnep.org.   Applications will be accepted until 5:00pm (Pacific Time), Tuesday, February 28, 2023.   Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

TEP will review applications in early March.  All applicants will be contacted by email and advised whether or not they are proceeding to the interview phase of the selection process.  Interviews will be conducted in person or via Zoom, depending on the applicant’s location.  Before the end of March, final candidates will be contacted and asked to submit background check and child abuse and neglect registry check forms.  Upon candidate clearance of all background checks, we hope to make our selection and offer of employment in mid-April.  The preferred start date for this position is in May, 2023; the exact date shall be agreed upon by the successful candidate and TEP.

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership is an equal opportunity employer.  TEP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, or sex in administration of its programs or activities, and, TEP does not intimidate or retaliate against any individual or group because they have exercised their rights to participate in actions protected, or oppose action prohibited, by State of Oregon and Federal civil rights and non-discrimination laws, or for the purpose of interfering with such rights.

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