Outdoor Programs & Communications Specialist @ Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Outdoor Programs & Communications Specialist


30 Hours – non exempt


Building a large and diverse cross section of public support across the Pacific Northwest is critical to sustaining Friends’ efforts to preserve the Columbia Gorge for future generations. Friends’ Public Engagement team works to develop innovative and creative strategies and accompanying tools and tactics to effectively educate and engage the public in efforts to protect, preserve, and steward the Columbia Gorge. Friends’ outdoors activities (hikes, art walks, bike rides, etc.) programs and quarterly newsletter (estimated circulation: 7,000) are vital tools in building a coalition of enthusiastic Gorge stewards.

The Outdoor Programs & Communications Specialist works with Friends’ communication director—in cooperation with colleagues across Friends’ teams—to manage Friends outdoor activities and programs; edit and coordinate production of Friends quarterly newsletter, publications, and graphics; and develop effective strategies, tools, and techniques to educate the public on responsible recreation and everyday stewardship of the Columbia Gorge.


Guided Hiking & Outdoor Engagement Programs

  • Manage Guided Hiking and Outdoor Activities programs—including creating seasonal hiking schedules and ensuring programs are educational, efficient, inclusive, and safe.
  • Recruit, train, and manage a diverse and strong corps of volunteer hike leaders and shepherds.
  • Work with Friends partners, volunteers, and colleagues to develop inclusive and educational outdoor programming that engages Gorge county residents; youth, young adults, and families; and members from communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and other historically marginalized groups around the Pacific Northwest.
  • Responsible for guided hike logistical, legal, and safety requirements. Analyze and evaluate the impact, reach, and effectiveness of outdoor programs.
  • Collaborate with Friends conservation, land trust, and philanthropy teams to develop a robust hiking and outdoor programs schedule that helps to increase overall member and public support for efforts to protect, preserve, and steward the Columbia River Gorge for future generations.

Strategic Communications

  • Manage production of print quarterly newsletter, annual report, and other key print communications to ensure products are produced on brand, on schedule, on budget, and of high quality.
  • Work with communications director and external designers—in partnership with Friends’ conservation, land trust, and philanthropy teams— to develop engaging art, graphics, and data visualizations for Friends print and digital storytelling efforts.
  • Edit (for grammar, voice, and style) and develop engaging print and digital storytelling content (e.g. newsletter articles, web features/ blogs, social media posts, etc.) on the importance of protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Columbia River Gorge.
  • Work with communications director to identify opportunities to advance Friends’ public engagement efforts through creative (written and visual) storytelling utilizing print, web, and social communication channels.

Special Projects

  • Devise creative strategies to promote responsible recreation principles; assist on youth education efforts; and help support ongoing efforts and events to recruit and engage Friends’ members, volunteers, and partners.
  • Manage special communications and engagement projects; conduct research on issues and initiatives; and collaborate with colleagues to help advance Friends’ public engagement initiatives through social media, advertising, public events, and other communication channels, as needed.
  • Assist communications director in support of Friends’ diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.


  • 2-4 years working or demonstrated experience in planning and managing effective hiking, outdoor education, and/or conservation field-based public engagement programs that involve a variety of people and partners (regional knowledge of trails, outdoor venues, and resources in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area highly desirable.)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills—including editing, newsletter and collateral production, web content development, and basic photo and graphic design
  • Previous experience (1-2 years) in volunteer recruitment and management—including experience working effectively with a wide-range of people from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) in education, community development, conservation, communications, or other relevant field.

  • Demonstrated problem solving and program evaluation experience.

  • Valid, insurable driver’s license.

  • Able to work, or be on call, some non-standard hours, including evenings and weekends.


  • Experience with Adobe Creative Cloud, Salesforce, and MailChimp or other targeted email system software.

  • Certification in first aid, CPR, or wilderness first aid and knowledge of ecology, outdoor education, and Pacific Northwest conservation useful.

  • Multilingual and previous experience working with communities of color, immigrant populations, LBGTQ+ communities, and youth organizations.

  • Commitment to the protection, preservation, and stewardship of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.


Salary range is $18 – $20 hourly, commensurate with experience and education. Excellent benefits include generous vacation time and holidays, generous health insurance for employee and dependents along with an employer matched retirement plan.


Friends is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other protected status in accordance with local, state and federal law.

**** This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoffs, recalls, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


This position requires sitting or standing at a desk, using a computer, talking on the phone, driving, hiking, and participating in outdoor activities. The ability to lift up to 30 pounds, work in various outdoor environmental conditions, and respond appropriately to situations requiring first aid.


Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

How to Apply

Application Please send cover letter, resume, and writing sample of less than 1,000 words to jobs@gorgefriends.org with Outdoor Programs & Communications Specialist in the subject line no later than Monday July 27, 2020.


Portland, Oregon, United States




2020-07-02 00:00