The Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts and and Conservation Legacy are seeking to hire a dynamic director to head up our new COVER Corps (Conservation Outreach Volunteers Engaging Resilience). Funding for this new initiative has been secured from the new USDA/NRCS/NACD/AmeriCorps Working Land Climate Corps program.

This is a grant funded project. While we have one year of funding secured, we are looking to create a program that is ongoing for years to come. The new director will be pivotal in elevating this initiative and supervision 8 COVER Corps (AmeriCorps) members that will work across the state. Position will be based out of Springfield/Jacksonville area, with some statewide travel as needed. Direct questions to

Position details can be found below and at Program Director, Illinois COVER Corps

Starting Salary Range: The starting salary range for this position will be in the $71,900 – $74,057 range, depending on experience, education, and skills relevant to the position. Please note that the indicated starting salary range describes the range for an incumbent in this position. Most new staff generally start at the beginning of the range percentile to ensure internal salary equity.

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Status: Full-Time, Exempt. This position is a one-year position grant funded by Working Lands Climate Corps. Continuation beyond the first year is contingent upon grant funding and not guaranteed.

Benefit Eligible: Health, Vision, Dental, Long-Term Disability, Retirement, Paid Time Off

Reports to: Executive Director

Posting Period: Applications will be review on a rolling basis, with the first review beginning on July 12th.

To Apply: Send Cover letter and resume to Geoff Elliot at

  • Subject line includes “Applicant_(Your Name)”.
  • Cover Letter must include a response to the following: Provide some examples of your experience effectively working with diverse communities, including those specific to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and other underrepresented populations, in personal or professional context.

Organizational Summary:

Conservation Legacy is a nationwide non-profit. The Corps programs within the organization engage participants in diverse conservation and community projects that serve public and private lands. These projects provide opportunities for personal and professional development and strive toward a high priority of needs for public land managers and community partners. Through the mission of engaging future leaders who protect, restore and enhance our nation’s lands through community-based service; Conservation Legacy works toward a world with healthy lands, air and water; thriving people and resilient communities.

The Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD), is a grassroots organization formed in 1948. It is made up and serves Illinois’ 97-member Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). Soil & Water Conservation Districts work to protect Illinois’ greatest assets – the rich, fertile soils and water resources of the state through strategic conservation efforts. Soil & Water Conservation Districts, working in conjunction with agricultural as well as environmental stakeholders, have for decades over played a central role in efforts to protect and sustain the viability of Illinois’ natural resources for future generations. The AISWCD mission is: To represent and empower Illinois’ Soil & Water Conservation Districts. The Vision supports the mantra “Clean Water, Healthy Soils.”

Led by AISWCD, the COVER Corps partnership joins forces with The Conservation Legacy, The Corps Network, USDA/NRCS, and NACD to launch a new Conservation Outreach Volunteers Engaging Resiliency (COVER) Corps program engaging Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Eight (8) full-time AmeriCorps members will serve as COVER Corps members to meet Illinois’ statewide immediate need for connecting Illinois producers, landowners and community members with conservation/climate resiliency programming and resources available. Members (based in AISWCD or SWCD offices) will assist producers, landowners and community members in navigating conservation programs and cost-share funding opportunities as well as assist them with gathering all the necessary supporting documentation to complete applications. Members will follow up with stakeholders served to see whether referrals to community resources were successful and provide feedback to local, state, and federal partners. Members will also serve to build capacity for Soil and Water Conservation Districts and will perform outreach functions to assure sites are connected with the support and training needed to assure sustainability of this service within the local community. The anticipated outcome of the direct COVER Corps efforts will be increased conservation practices and awareness of climate and conservation initiatives.

Position Summary:

The Program Director oversees operational excellence and functions while supporting established relationships with partners and assisting in the identification and establishment of new partnerships as assigned by the Executive Director. This position interfaces significantly with other Conservation Legacy programs and staff on all program aspects. This position works collaboratively as a leadership member of the Conservation Legacy team ensure programmatic operational effectiveness, process evaluation and staff training and oversight.

The Program Director will supervise and mentor COVER program participants and is responsible for providing leadership for staff who carry out day-to-day programmatic and administrative operations. The Program Director will also serve as a representative of Stewards on Conservation Legacy Committees and be expected to work collaboratively across Conservation Legacy with staff of sibling programs. The Program Director must develop and maintain good working relationships with staff, agency partners, members, and site supervisors.

Essential Responsibilities and Functions:


  • Leads member professional development.
  • Recruits, hires, and trains new program members.
  • Supervises, supports, guides, and evaluates members in managing their responsibilities and expectations.
  • Tracks, approves, and processes timesheets, PTO requests of members.
  • Establishes weekly check-ins with each supervised member to address questions, ensure procedures are being followed, and foster a collaborative work environment.
  • Works with program member to coordinate distribution of responsibilities, and step in as necessary to cover member responsibilities when a member is unavailable.

Program Operations:

  • Reviews, updates, and documents all policies and procedures to ensure ethical, safe, and well documented processes for field placements.
  • Collects feedback from partners, members, sites, and staff and implements programmatic changes to create a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Manages compliance for systems used by the program.
  • Guarantees member activities follow project agreement requirements.
  • Manages and coordinates incident response, processing, documentation, and includes those that lead to worker’s comp claims.
  • Ensures compliance of all AmeriCorps provisions. Facilitates process for gathering necessary data and information for AmeriCorps reporting.
  • Guarantees that all partner program summaries and related marketing/highlight materials are accurate, appropriate, and disseminated in line with Stewards and Conservation Legacy policy; assigns writings and contributes to summaries as needed.

Partner Relations and Member Engagement:

  • Develops and maintains a positive relationship with existing partners to ensure support is provided and needs are met by staff through regular check-ins and formal evaluations.
  • Assists Executive Director in reviewing and approving new projects and partnerships; processes site applications for new sites; maintains an annual 90% retention of members, ensuring that all projects are completed per CNCS and partner goals.
  • Leads partner communication and check-ins as each partnership requires/determines, with Executive Director.
  • Oversees Salesforce CRM record creation, maintenance, and use.
  • Verifies that agreements and projects are properly entered to Salesforce and that agreements are fully executed (or approved) prior to allowing members to begin service.
  • Leads the identification, selection, implementation and evaluation of training and professional development trends to support members through agreement budgets.

Program Development:

  • Coordinates communication between Conservation Legacy and Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation District staff.
  • Designs service for COVER corps members.
  • Ensures meaningful service opportunities that align with WLCC program goals.
  • Executes vision of WLCC.
  • Seeks out strategic growth opportunities through philanthropy, grant writing, and partnership development.
  • Supports NRCS training initiatives for COVER Corps members in collaboration with partners.
  • Develops strategic plan for COVER Corps program growth and development.

Other Duties:

  • Successfully engages, leads, and supports an inclusive work environment for those of underrepresented populations within the organization and the communities we serve.
  • Leads and/or participates in organizational-wide teams, projects and initiatives that support the work of the Strategic Plans goals.
  • Leads implementation of Conservation Legacy-wide directives related to training and professional development.
  • Compiles Stewards West contributions to Stewards website and communication content.
  • Reviews budget and updates Executive Director on additions or edits as needed.
  • Reports any potential complaints within the organization as identified in the Personnel Policy Manual.
  • Performs a variety of other duties as assigned.

Other “Hats” You May Wear: Customer Service, Relationship Development, Marketing, Administrative, Supervision or Mentorship to Others, Facilitator, Trainer, Facilities, Human Resources, Supervisor

Physical Requirements:

Conservation Legacy is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals and will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to perform essential job functions. Some positions may require periodic overnight travel, non-traditional work hours and physical ability to walk, climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or use tools/equipment on an infrequent or frequent basis. Ability to safely drive an organizational vehicle may also be required for some positions. Disclosure of needs are encouraged to be made upon job offer and throughout employment at Conservation Legacy.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Exhibits the ability to effectively work on diverse teams or with a variety of populations, including those underrepresented at our organization and those of BIPOC communities.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in youth development or corps field.
  • Experience with influencing diverse groups of employees to achieve common goals.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.
  • Ability to carry out assigned work independently or with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, manage complexity cultivate innovation, drive and influence results of oneself and others.
  • Ability to work well with others and to seek assistance when needed to carry out assignments.
  • Ability to keep others, in remote locations, accountable to expectations.
  • Must be able to pass the organization’s criminal history check requirements.
  • Valid Driver’s License and Insurable Driving Record

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with Conservation Legacy programs, members, or administrative systems.
  • Demonstrated experience supervising year-round remote staff.
  • Previous work or education experience related to soil and water conservation or climate resiliency work.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and maintain positive partner relationships.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office programs and applications, or similar platforms.
  • Willingness to travel. This position includes at least 4 week-long trips annually.


To Apply:

Send Cover letter and resume to Geoff Elliot at

  • Subject line includes “Applicant_(Your Name)”.
  • Cover Letter must include a response to the following: Provide some examples of your experience effectively working with diverse communities, including those specific to Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and other underrepresented populations, in personal or professional context.

** Applications are encouraged to be submitted by Friday, July 12th and will be reviewed as they are received and until the position is filled. **

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.

This position is located at 201 WEST LAWRENCE AVE, SPRINGFIELD, IL.

Categories: Uncategorized