River Information & Outreach (RIO) Steward

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, April 2, 2021, 12:00pm


Cornwall Bridge, CT
United States

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Job Description:

The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is seeking applicants to fill three River Information & Outreach (RIO) Stewards positions, available for summer 2021. This position is for weekends only. The RIO Stewards will work 8-hour days on Saturday and Sunday (approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) for a minimum of 12 weeks (June 19 to September 6, 2020).

In 2018, HVA launched the RIO program as a response to reports of high visitor density at non-state, non-federal Housatonic River access sites in northwest Connecticut. These sites have fewer amenities in place (e.g., trash receptacles, restrooms), and dense crowds can negatively impact sites by contributing to litter and erosion. The overall goal of the RIO program is to preserve the outstanding natural character of Housatonic River access sites, with a specific objective of engaging with the public to inform about responsible use of access sites (e.g., Leave No Trace principles).

Position Description

The 2021 RIO Stewards will be supervised by HVA’s Conservation Project Managers. The work will be almost entirely field based, as the Stewards travel among priority river access sites, with approximately 10% office work (data entry and cleaning). River Stewards will be based out of the HVA office in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut.

Each weekend, RIO Stewards will travel as a team among the high-priority river access sites along Route 7 (Gaylordsville up to Falls Village, CT, see map). While at the sites, Stewards will engage with site visitors, conducting informal outreach and ensuring that visitors are aware of the site rules Stewards will also collect data (e.g., car counts), which will help us better understand how sites are being used.

Additional tasks will include trash clean-up days and helping out with community engagement events. There may also be opportunities to work with HVA staff members and community partners to develop more effective outreach materials and strategies.


This position would be a great fit for someone interested in outdoor recreation, park management, and/or the human dimensions of natural resource management.

Candidates should be passionate about conservation and able to succeed as part of a two-person team. In addition, the ideal candidate will possess:

  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to approach and engage with strangers;
  • Familiarity with the issue and/or have previous experience related to high visitor density in natural areas;
  • Ability to represent HVA in a professional manner;
  • Ability to work weekends
  • Spanish and/or Portuguese fluency is a plus

Requirements: Daily access to a reliable personal vehicle is a requirement of the position (HVA does not have a field vehicle, so all field work will be done in personal cars with mileage reimbursements.)

Compensation: The intern will be compensated at a rate of $15/hour for 16 hours per week, for the course of the internship. Personal vehicle mileage will be compensated at a rate of $0.48/mile. Housing is not provided, but we can work with successful candidates to find free or low-cost housing.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit the following materials via email to Lindsay Larson at lkeenereck.hva@gmail.com (ideally as a single PDF, titled “[YourLastName]_RIOSteward”):

  • COVER LETTER explaining your interest and qualifications

Deadline: Applications will be reviewed and positions filled on a rolling basis. We intend to fill all positions by May 1, at the latest, and hope to start intervews by late February.