Summer 2024 Internship Application Instructions

Restoration and Management of Native Landscapes in McLean and Woodford Counties, Central Illinois

Internship Goals:

  • Gain hands-on natural lands management experience including:
    • Invasive vegetation removal from and treatment at ParkLands Foundation sites;
    • Learn to identify native and invasive plant species;
    • Collect native plant seeds
    • Data collection support for local research teams (as needed)
  • Work closely with professional land managers and biologists and learn management, restoration, and monitoring techniques from them;
  • Coordinate with the land steward to
    • Perform annual management activities;
    • Assist with Foundation activities, site visits, and work days;
    • Learn the importance of managing our natural area remnants.

This internship program is available to both current students (enrolled at a university or college) and recent graduates. Students should have a background in one or more of these areas: biological/environmental sciences, ecology, horticulture, and related disciplines and have an interest in conservation, ecological restoration and management, and preservation of natural areas. Skills and experience in identification of plants native to central Illinois are highly recommended, but not required (you will learn on site during the internship).

This position will require physical labor outdoors. Interns will be hired for 11 weeks of service at a starting wage of $15.00 per hour for up to 40 hours per week (may be slightly less than 40, but will not exceed).

A typical work day will be approximately 8 hours in length (and will not exceed ten hours) and will include a half-hour unpaid lunch; interns are expected to arrive at work on time and prepared to work. Work sites are at various locations in McLean and Woodford counties, therefore reliable transportation is required (travel time is not included in the workday and there may be options for carpooling among interns). Start of the work day may be as early as 6am in periods of intense heat (which results in an earlier end time). Interns will be required to work on some weekends, as needed, for special events and public workdays.

We seek interns who are capable of independent work and have a strong sense of self-motivation, self-discipline, and dedication to the job. Interns must also be capable of following specific directions, be able to work alone, and communicate well with others.

This work is physically demanding; applicants must be able to walk long distances over uneven terrain and to lift up to 50 pounds. Interns will be supervised by the ParkLands Foundation Land Steward, but will also work closely with members of the ParkLands Foundation Board and various volunteers. Interns are expected to communicate clearly and positively with ParkLands visitors and volunteers, welcoming visitors from underserved populations. Information about the ParkLands Foundation is available at the ParkLands Foundation web site

General Information:

  • Two full-time internship positions are available for summer 2024
  • Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2024, however review of applications will begin as early as February 20, therefore early submission is highly recommended.
  • The internship begins in May and continues until August 2024; positions are for up to 40 hours per week with the typical work day being 8 hours with a 30 minute unpaid lunch (hours will vary with weather, but start time may be as early as 6am)
  • The hourly wage for summer interns is $15.00 per hour (no overtime pay)
  • Interns will work both independently and with others including volunteers, stewards, and professionals.
  • An herbicide operator’s license is required, however this will be obtained at the start of the internship. For testing information contact Illinois Department of Agriculture, License and Test Information (1-800-641-3934); interns will take the General Standards test.

To apply, please submit the following application materials:

  • Cover letter indicating why you want to be a Parklands Foundation summer intern, why you are qualified for the position, and how being an intern will benefit you professionally;
  • ParkLands Employment Application
  • Three Completed Reference Forms  
  • Résumé stating your educational background, employment history and relevant experience;
  • Names and contact information (Mailing address, Phone Number, email address) of three professional references;
  • Please provide a separate reference form for each reference provider.
  • Please send in this form as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2024 to ParkLands Foundation via email: