Trail Crew Internship with American Conservation Experience: Golden Gate NRA

April 2, 2010



Internship Description: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ and Santa Cruz, CA, is currently hiring energetic, ambitious young adults to participate in a 6-month skills training program preparing them for outdoor careers with the National Park Service, with ACE, with other conservation corps, or land management agencies such as the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc. Interns will serve at Golden Gate National Recreation Area learning advanced trail maintenance skills among professional National Park Service Crews. This is a volunteer internship providing free housing, a $110 per week food allowance, and the opportunity to learn and train among professional mentors.

Start Date: April 19, 2010
End Date: September 30, 2010
A six month commitment is required.

Potential exists to continue serving with other ACE crews or in other ACE internships beyond September 30.

Internship Major Duties and Expectations:

Trail Interns will support NPS staff by assisting in the construction and maintenance of park trails. Typical duties include:

• Assisting Park staff with the construction of a variety of advanced trail structures such as, bridges and boardwalks, staircases, retaining walls, waterbars, etc. Interns will also assist park staff in routine trail maintenance duties such as brushing trails, outsloping tread and clearing drainage structures.
• Completing work tasks as instructed by Park staff, keeping daily work log and demonstrate proper work procedures and methods while working in the field with other volunteer groups.
• Following strict guidelines in making safety a priority, including the responsible use of personal protective gear and insuring that all tools, equipment, vehicles and other co-workers are working safely in all conditions.
• Following instructions from all park staff and understanding and respecting all park regulations and policies.
• Working with a professional demeanor as a part of a team. Good public communication skills are a must.
• Assisting park staff with the coordination and supervision of youth crews and other volunteers on trail projects.

Location: Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is one of the world’s largest urban parks, spanning Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties and encompassing over 75,398 acres. GGNRA hosts five National Historic Landmark Districts, five National Register Districts and 665 historic structures. The park is characterized by many wooded areas, hills, and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. In recognition of the scientific and educational value of its vast natural resources, the entire Park has been designated as part of the Central California Coastal International Biosphere Reserve. Intern housing is provided in the Presidio, a unique, historic residential area located within the NPS boundaries.

Working Conditions: Work is labor intensive and strenuous, performed mainly outdoors in hilly terrain near the scenic Pacific Coast in elevations from sea level to 2000 feet with weather conditions ranging from hot, dry and dusty to foggy, cold and rainy. Interns may work and operate equipment in adverse conditions that include extended exposure to sun, wind, rain, loud noise, uneven terrain, mud, poison oak, and various insects.

Reliable transportation required: No
Driver’s license required: Yes

Qualifications: Applicants for ACE’s Professional Development Trail Crew Internships at Golden Gate NRA must be at least 21 years old, have an established interest in conservation issues, and should take evident joy in tackling challenging situations with a positive mindset. Applicants must be willing to undertake arduous physical work in all types of weather and terrain, and to participate as a team member, dedicated to both ACE’s and the NPS’s mission. The internship is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers with the NPS and as a gateway to potential advancement within ACE, not only as an interesting and rewarding way to spend 6 months working in a beautiful location. Drug users, including recreational smokers of marijuana, should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing and generally abhors the presence of drug users in our program.

Desired Knowledge and Skills:

Familiarity and/or desire to learn how to operate tools to perform trail work including, but not limited to; power drill, rock bar, single jack, shovel, rake, axe, brushing sheers, weed trimmers and other trail maintenance tools.
Ability and/or desire to experience trail maintenance work, including but not limited to; cribbing walls, turnpikes, drainage dips, swales, installation of water bars, retaining walls, removal of brush and vegetation.
Desire and ability to work outdoors, at times in inclement weather and terrain. Willingness to perform strenuous physical activity such as frequent bending and lifting and carrying heavy weight.


• Dorm-style, shared room housing is provided in the Presidio.
• A food allowance of $110 per week is provided by ACE.
• Opportunity to gain a working knowledge of trail construction and maintenance.
• Opportunity to pursue training and education opportunities in various departments within the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.
• Opportunity to attend Park Core Academy Trainings on topics ranging from Plant Physiology, Restoration Ecology Theory to Tool Maintenance and GIS.
• Experience working with a Federal agency as well as with a Non-Profit Organization.
• Opportunity to live in and enjoy the scenery, wildlife and cultural resources of this spectacular park.
• Opportunities to work with volunteers from diverse backgrounds in trail maintenance and construction.
• Opportunity to become a steward of America’s public lands and a leader in your community.
• Opportunity to meet other men and women from all over the world that share a common interest in preserving and protecting our natural lands.

To Apply*:

Please email a resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references to Chris Baker at with “GGNRA Trail Crew Internship – American Trails referred” in the subject heading of your email.

*Qualified female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: April 4, 2010. Positions may be filled sooner.

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