Trails Associate

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Compensation: 48K + benefits


Trails Associate


The Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) was founded in 2012 to advance the restoration and conservation of natural areas for a resilient and healthy New York City. We participate in a public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) to enable high-quality management of the City’s 10,000 acres of forests and wetlands. A key focus of our work is increasing awareness opportunities for the general public to experience NYC’s abundant nature and diverse ecology. Since 2016, we have been building a strong citywide trails team to execute trail formalization projects in all five boroughs, and are looking to expand the formalization, maintenance, stewardship, and engagement of the trail system. More information about our work is at


This position reports to the Trails Coordinator. NYC Parks has mapped over 370 miles of nature trails, and in 2021 the NAC released the Strategic Trails Plan to guide the long term management of the citywide trails system. These trails provide a means for New Yorkers to connect to nature in their public parks, but many are unmarked and difficult to navigate. Some trails are in need of rehabilitation to mitigate erosion, and in other places networks of social trails (called desire lines) are promoting damage to natural resources and should be closed to restore forest health. Working in close partnership with Natural Areas Conservancy and NYC Parks staff and partners, the trails associate will support the Citywide Trails Team by implementing trail projects in parkland throughout NYC Parks through a combination of trail improvements, closures to unofficial trail networks and trail formalization. Trail improvement work will include installation and maintenance of trail structures such as check steps, water bars and puncheons which improve the overall condition of the trail. Other trail work will include corridor pruning and installation of trail markers to improve access and navigation throughout the trail system. Additional tasks will include data entry to track accomplishments in the field and occasional volunteer event staffing support.


  • Support trail improvement projects throughout New York City as a member of the Citywide Trails Team
  • Collaborate with natural resource management and maintenance staff on trail projects
  • Support and staff trail volunteer events in collaboration with Stewardship Team and Trail Maintainer Program
  • Support the trail building efforts of short-term seasonal field crews
  • Assist in teaching workshops to partners and staff
  • Identifying native and non-native flora present in NYC natural areas
  • Working outdoors for long hours in NYC natural areas (forests, wetlands, and grasslands) in various weather conditions
  • Interacting with staff and the public in a courteous and professional manner
  • Conduct occasional chainsaw work on trails
  • Assist with data entry, reporting and documentation of trail projects


  • Minimum two seasons of trail work including structural installations, identifying erosion and drainage issues, corridor pruning and trail restoration
  • Willingness to work occasional early morning, evenings, and weekends
  • Valid New York State driver’s license
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs and traverse uneven terrain for entire work days (7 hours)


  • Bachelors’ degree, preferably in environmental science or outdoor recreation
  • Natural resource management; native plant ID, invasive species management and restoration plantings experience
  • Leading volunteer events
  • Chainsaw certification and/or experience
  • Wilderness First Aid certification
  • Experience with ArcGIS and data collection

Additional Information

Job Location: Trail Associate position will report to Queensbridge Baby Park in Queens and then travel to various park locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Please note that this position requires outdoor work and occasional weekend work.

This is a full-time position (35 hrs/week) with an annual salary of $48,000, which includes a competitive benefits package of paid time off, medical and dental insurance, 401K with company match, and professional development funds.

Contact Information

Natural Areas Conservancy
Contact Name: Julia Raskin
Website: Apply Online