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Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Rutgers Environmental Stewards]

Executive Director

Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary

It is our belief that any future Executive Director’s job description should include the active stewardship and management of the Arboretum’s woodlands and grounds. Despite the fact that the Arboretum has the Stone House and the beautiful new addition to serve as an indoor learning center, those facilities would not be the attraction they are without the sixteen acres of woodlands surrounding them. We believe the woodlands to be the Arboretum’s most valuable asset and learning tool, and to that end we need an Executive Director who has the educational and professional background that will enable him/her to execute plans to preserve and restore the woodlands so that they may become an even greater attraction and learning facility for the community. Although such person does not need to be an expert in forestry, botany, and wildlife, he/she should have a good working knowledge of the foregoing, and be able to locate the appropriate resources when expertise in any of the foregoing is required. In addition, such a background would be a resource for educational staff members.

An Executive Director candidate should be able to network with others in the public land management, natural resource, and environmental fields. To that end, an individual who is a member of any related associations such as the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, and/or the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, would be a plus. We believe that connections developed with others in such organizations lead to information about grants and other opportunities that would benefit the Arboretum. (For example, Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve is now encouraging municipalities, landscape managers, and individuals, to partake in its Plant Stewardship Index (PSI) Program.  The PSI is a method for quantifying how “natural” a site is and the seriousness of management concerns. The PSI is used to guide and monitor restoration projects, and the data used in PSI collection can be used in grant applications.) An Executive Director should have a good working relationship with the town forester and any other township officials who can offer services that benefit the Arboretum. The Executive Director should be able to work with the Trails and Grounds Trustee to implement programs and actions that would benefit the restoration and preservation of the woodlands, and should be able to marshal and organize volunteer manpower to work in the woodlands. The work in the woodlands is many-faceted and is too overwhelming to be a one-woman/man job. To that end an Executive Director candidate should be able to work with and inspire the community to encourage volunteer and financial support of the woodlands

Although we are focusing on the need to restore and preserve the woodlands, we believe an Executive Director also needs to be aware of the day to day minutiae of maintaining the Arboretum grounds: i.e., making sure garbage is collected, pathways are clear, etc., and be able to set up a system (whether with paid or volunteer manpower) to make sure things like that are taken care of.