Director, Hidden Valley Nature Center

Midcoast Conservancy

Opening posted: 03/03/2023 | Expires: 04/24/2023

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Are you an experienced professional looking to make an impact in outdoor recreation, nature-based learning, and education in Midcoast Maine? Midcoast Conservancy has an opportunity for you to support this mission as our Director of Hidden Valley Nature Center (HVNC).  Midcoast Conservancy’s award-winning, 1,000-acre Hidden Valley Nature Center is a regional destination for outdoor recreation, education, and adventure. Facilities at HVNC include a newly constructed Welcome Center, an event barn, several huts and cabins available for overnight rental, a waterfront on Little Dyer Pond with canoes and seasonal dock, and nearly 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

The Director of Hidden Valley Nature Center, reporting to the Executive Director, will be responsible for the day-to-day management of facilities, education staff, and additional programming and events at HVNC.

Organizational Information:

Midcoast Conservancy is an innovative conservation organization with the mission to protect and restore vital lands and waters on a scale that matters. The ideal applicant for this role will be passionate about all three pillars of our work in Midcoast Maine: land conservation, water protection, and connecting people to the outdoors. Midcoast Conservancy was formed in January 2016 with the merger of four local conservation organizations, then in 2019 expanded when a fifth merged! Our organization serves the 28 town / 450 square mile area of rural Lincoln and Waldo counties, and has a membership of approximately 2,000. Our fiscal year 2023 budget is about $1.7 million, with 17 permanent staff, ~6 seasonal staff, and ~250 dedicated volunteers implementing our mission.

Director of Hidden Valley Nature Center

The Director of Hidden Valley Nature Center oversees all aspects of Hidden Valley Nature Center and is responsible for engaging families and communities within the service area in outdoor adventure through community leader trainings, gear lending, and access to trails. Hires and supervises Trails and Facilities Manager, Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) Community Steward, and other supporting program staff. Reports to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate would be someone who has had a leadership position at a summer camp, outdoor recreation center, school, park, resort, or other combination of campus physical infrastructure combined with programmed activities. 


  • Hidden Valley Nature Center (HVNC) Management
    1. Lead all programming and site management for HVNC. This includes strategic program and site planning, annual and project budgeting, expense tracking, event and contractor coordination, and more.
    2. Work with the Executive Director to lead master plan development and implementation at HVNC. This may include working closely with consultants, contractors, key staff, board, council and community members. 
    3. Serve as staff liaison to the Hidden Valley Council. 
    4. Work closely with the Grants Manager & Deputy Director on business sponsorships, fundraising, and grants for HVNC, including creating project budgets and program proposals for grants, and reporting on program impacts to funders.
    5. Work with Admin Director to budget, plan, and execute opportunities for earned income from hut/campsite rentals, outdoor adventure gear rentals/programs and timber frame classes.
    6. Collaborate with the Director of Ecology and Land Conservation and the Forest and Lands Manager on forestry planning and operations at HVNC to ensure excellent visitor experience and access to demonstration forestry practices. 
  • Infrastructure 
    1. Ensure HVNC facilities, service roads and infrastructure are cared for and well maintained by working with key staff, council, volunteers and contractors. (This includes the Welcome Center, Barn, overnight huts/yurts and campsites, signage, well, gatehouse, outbuildings/ outhouses, parking lot, kiosks, waterfront, bog boardwalk etc.) 
    2. Supervise and direct the work of the Trails and Facilities Manager. 
    3. Work with staff and mechanics to maintain/service Ranger, mower, snow machines and snow grooming equipment. Budget for and manage needed equipment maintenance and replacement expenses.
    4. Maintain replacement schedule and budget for key infrastructure at HVNC (buildings, yurts and equipment). 
    5. Work closely with the Trails and Facilities Manager and MCC Community Steward to maintain overnight huts and yurts to ensure a good visitor experience.
    6. Work with designated staff on hut registrations.
    7. Responsible for maintenance, development, and use (including closures) of all trails and roads at HVNC with the support of Stewardship Team to ensure consistency with management plans and protection of fragile resources.
    8. With help from staff and volunteers work to repair and rebuild trails and other site infrastructure as needed.
    9. Ensure trail and educational signs are well maintained. Work with the Communications team to ensure signage is kept to a high standard.
    10. Oversee winter snow trail grooming.
  • Community Programs and Outdoor Adventure Programs: 
    1. Oversee recruitment, engagement and coordination of local volunteers in all aspects of Community Programs at HVNC (Community Leaders Program workshops, training, gear maintenance, trail building, trail stewarding and maintenance including snow grooming, remodeling and renovation of huts and support for events held at HVNC). 
    2. Supervise and direct the work of the Nature-Based Education Program Manager, who coordinates local school groups and other education programming in their engagement with HVNC.
    3. Oversee engagement of community groups and schools in service learning projects related to trails, signage and buildings at HVNC. 
    4. Coordinate or support 3-5 signature events (e.g. Race through the Woods, Kids XC Ski Clinic, Live Edge Music Festival) at HVNC to advance our mission, engage the public and generate earned income. Works with the staff programs committee to ensure adequate advance planning of such events.
    5. Develop annual calendar of HVNC programs. For programs we offer ourselves, develop and manage the program plan and budget. Develop metrics for evaluating current programming to guide future efforts. 
    6. Support and develop programs at HVNC that provide community access to outdoor recreation and adventure programs as well as nature-based outdoor experiences including workshops, classes, school programs, etc.
    7. Builds and fosters strategic relationships with other like minded organizations to expand reach and enhance mission impact.

All staff contribute to the following:

  • Occasionally create written and visual (photo & video) content in partnership with Communications staff for newsletters, press releases, and social media related to their work.
  • Engage in conversations to discover what the community cares about.
  • Act as an ambassador for the organization within the community.
  • Work with colleagues within the organization on outreach to various constituents by attending events, giving presentations, and participating in organizational programs.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, interpretation, resource management, or related field with four years of experience or equivalent preferred. Associate’s degree in environmental education, interpretation, resource management, or related field with two years of experience required. 
  • Experience with outdoor recreation programming and gear lending.
  • Experience with facilities management and equipment (tractor, chainsaws, etc). 
  • Experience (3-5 years full-time equivalent) in employee supervision, training, and budgeting.
  • Possession of a valid and current Maine Drivers License with appropriate classification.
  • First Aid and CPR training up to date and current, or willingness to obtain certification.
  • Verbal and written communication skills and a professional demeanor. 
  • Ability to effectively present information to management, public groups, and/or board of directors. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with employees, volunteers, outside partners, and members of the general public.
  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 25 pounds frequently and 50 pounds occasionally. 

Salary: $54K-$58K

Qualified individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. We provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals and are an equal opportunity employer. Ideal start date is May 1 but negotiable. Deadline for applications is 5:00 PM, Friday April 24, 2022, or until the position is filled.

How to Apply: 

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to Pete Nichols, Executive Director, at . If you become a finalist, you will be asked to provide a list of 3 references.