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Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site - Host 2023

Pisgah Forest, NC
Location: Cradle of Forestry in America Heritage Site
Closest Towns: Pisgah Forest, NC / Brevard, NC

Session: First Session April - Mid-July 
Session: Second Session Mid-July - Early November

Site Description: The Cradle of Forestry in America is the birthplace of science-based forest management and a living legacy made possible by George and Edith Vanderbilt of the nearby Biltmore Estate.  Some 87,000 aces of the Vanderbilt’s “Pisgah Forest” tract became the nucleus of the Pisgah National Forest, established in 1916.  This 6500 acre historic site was created by Congress in 1968 to “preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America.”  
Today the Cradle of Forestry is open to visitors from mid-April to early November.  Visitors are rewarded with the opportunity to explore the past, present, and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship - brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, film, music, drama, guided tours, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events.  A sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center with its gift shop and café welcomes visitors to the historic structures and a relaxing walk through the woods or neighboring Pink Beds Valley.
Position Description: Hosts are on duty approximately 3 days/week and are primarily responsible for greeting visitors with rotational assignments at the Gatehouse, Information Desk, Exhibit Hall, Historic Buildings, Gift Shop, and living history trail programs.  Hosts will assist staff with daily operations, coordinate programming and special events with CFAIA Directors and USFS personnel, and contribute to the safe and attractive operation of all grounds, facilities, historic buildings/collections, and equipment with a focus on sustainability and green practices, where appropriate.
Duties (all):

  1. Opening and closing of visitor center and historic buildings.
  2. Engaging visitors and answering questions about the Cradle, Pisgah National Forest, the Biltmore legacy, and the natural and cultural history of the area, as well as local resources of interest.
  3. Responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of record keeping and reporting procedures related to fee collection and demographic reporting.
  4. Assisting with special interpretive events at the Cradle of Forestry.
  5. Performing other general duties as assigned by the Manager.
  6. Caretaking only: Performing routine housekeeping, landscaping, and daily light maintenance for overall appearance and functionality of the historic site.

  • Ability to work successfully as part of a team as well as assume independent responsibilities.
  • Experience working/volunteering in a visitor/nature center setting strongly desired.
  • Strong customer service ethic and the ability to interact well with people of all ages, including large groups.
  • Ability to communicate basic historical and natural science facts of the site.
  • Knowledge of regional natural history, forest ecology, and/or forest management (optional).
  • Public speaking ability in an engaging style (optional).
  • Ability to walk up to two (2) miles daily and lift twenty (20) pounds.

Employed by:                            Cradle Manager
Responsible to:                         Cradle Manager / Cradle Caretaker

Amenities: Full hook-up (30 & 50 amp e/s/w); laundry; limited internet and cell service; uniform shirts; gift shop discount; ample time off to explore the area with its rich cultural and natural resources.

Minimum Length of Stay: 16 weeks
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