Salary: $12-$15 per hour, based on experience
Schedule: Hourly independent contractor, 15-20 hours per week from late June-November, including some evenings and weekends.
Ideal Start Date: May 1st
Focus: Urban Agriculture, Orchard Maintenance, Community Organizing and Education
Palmer Park is comprised of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a public golf course, tennis courts, state-of-art splash pad, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, a historic log cabin, and more. With continued city budget cuts and limited financial resources, the City has encouraged creative solutions from citizens to keep our parks alive and healthy. People for Palmer Park accepted this challenge, and has officially adopted Palmer Park. People for Palmer Park (PFPP) is committed to the preservation, recreation and revitalization of Palmer Park, for the good of all. Our vision is to create an urban oasis, regional destination, and daily recreation site that will promote an active and healthy community. Our guiding values include preservation of park resources; restoration and preservation of the park’s history; equal benefit and access to the park; creation of a safe park environment; responsiveness to park users and the community; timeliness in our actions; and collaboration and cooperation with the city, community, and stakeholders.
We believe that with the collective energy, efforts, and talents of the people who use and love the park, it can be revitalized to its fullest potential and restored to Senator Palmer’s vision when he donated the land for the park in the late 1800s: “a park for the good of everyone.”
PFPP is seeking a Farm & Community Engagement Manager. This position is responsible for overseeing in-ground and plant production at the Palmer Park Urban Garden, an approximate one-acre urban farm located in Palmer Park, Detroit. (The one-acre is the portion currently being cultivated, however, it is part of a larger, almost 5-6 acre area that may be developed in the future.) The site, owned by the city of Detroit and operated by People for Palmer Park includes twenty (20) 4x4 raised beds, which have been planted with a variety of vegetables, herbs and perennial flowers/herbs, a compost station, a rain catchment irrigation system, a greenhouse (under construction) and a pumpkin patch area has been planted annually.
In addition, People for Palmer Park previously planted approximately 700 apple trees in three different orchard areas. While there is a grounds crew engaged to do the major mowing, mulching and tree maintenance, the farm manager will assist with coordinating volunteers to do some regular oversight and maintenance of the orchards.
The Farm & Community Engagement Manager will also work closely People for Palmer Park to develop a maintenance and harvest plan. S/he will be responsible for recruiting and training volunteers and connecting with local organizations. S/he will also need to utilize farm/garden tools, and operate light machinery including a farm tractor; occasional maintenance and repair of this equipment may be required.
The Farm & Community Engagement Manager reports to PFPP’s president, Rochelle Lento and Preservation Committee Chair, Clinton Griffin.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Oversee the production of vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit, and seed at the PFPP garden including supervision and volunteers engaged in fieldwork at the site.
- Oversee transplant production by providing support and supervision to volunteers.
- Facilitate an annual farm planning process for the PFPP Farm. to include a site map, field plan, harvest plan, planning schedule, crop rotation plan, labor plan, and farm budget.
- Maintain and improve quality of produce and soil.
- Maintain records to monitor and evaluate key farm inputs, outputs, and activities.
- Assist with the development and implementation of farm-based education for urban gardeners and farmers.
- Assist with community engagement initiatives at the PFPP Farm including events, tours, and regularly scheduled working lessons/volunteer opportunities.
- Attend PFPP meetings, trainings, and other key citywide events, as needed.
- The ideal candidate will have 2-5 years of organic farming experience, including transplant production, farm planning, and harvest and post-harvest handling.
- Interest and familiarity with issues relating to the City of Detroit, local food, food access, and sustainable agriculture, and a genuine appreciation of the urban environment.
- Strong organizational and written/verbal communication skills; proficiency in MS Word and Excel required.
- Experience supervising volunteers and working with diverse communities.
- Experience teaching youth and/or adults, preferably in a farm or garden setting.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Ability to lift 40 pounds.
- Driver’s license is preferred but not required.
- Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, social work, community organization, natural resources, plant science, horticulture or a related field is preferred but not required.
How to Apply:
Please send email of your resume and brief cover letter no later than March 21st to Rochelle Lento, People for Palmer Park Board President of firstname.lastname@example.org or to PO Box 43734, Detroit MI 48243. Use the job title as the subject line.
For more information, please visit our Garden info page or call 313-727-9925.