Riverine-Terns program

RRF’s Riverine-terns internship program provides an opportunity for high school youth in the Milwaukee area to gain work experience in the environmental field, allowing them to invest in and impact their city while assisting RRF in carrying out our mission.

Interns are provided the opportunity to have exposure to all operations of an urban land trust and nonprofit management with a focus on land stewardship and restoration. The majority of work will be completed outdoors as a team. There will be opportunities when other staff members work closely with interns based on their field of expertise. There are five available positions to be filled. Interns report directly to the Community Conservation Director. 

Interns will be expected to challenge themselves, ask questions, and take advantage of the many different training opportunities that become available to them. This internship should ultimately benefit the intern in developing a strong work ethic and an ecologically-minded ethic. 

This is a seasonal position (June – August) and hours will vary, averaging 30 hours/week for 8 weeks. Interns will be expected to work 1st and 2nd Saturday morning of each month during the program, other occasional weekend or weeknight hours may be assigned. RRF is willing to be flexible with scheduling based on other engagements/commitments as needed.

Interns gain skills & work experience

In this program, interns gain soft job skills in addition to exposure and education about urban greenspaces.

Finding a job as an inexperienced worker that provides hands-on training, educational opportunities and the development of transferable job skills in the green sector can be a daunting task. After completing the term of employment, interns will have gained the skills and practical applications necessary to pursue standard entry-level jobs within the natural resource management field. Interns will develop an understanding of natural resource management within an urban setting and much-needed stewardship ethic of limited greenspaces. Providing opportunities to gain skills within other departments of RRF will develop an understanding of non-profit management.

Supports workforce diversity

Our internship program provides a catalyst for us to diversify our staff and better reflect our community.

The environmental sector reports hiring less than 20% people of color (Taylor, 2014).

Our recent strategic planning has identified that our organization must commit to diversifying to better reflect the community we serve. Internship participants ideally will be diverse in age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, and/or economic backgrounds. This increased diversity will benefit the organization with fresh perspectives across multiple platforms that will enable us to better serve the surrounding community and secure sustainable succession opportunities from within our community.

Additional support for restoration efforts

This internship program provides additional support to complete habitat restoration during the bustling growing season.

Interns implement various best management practices on properties owned and managed by RRF under the supervision of the Land Manager and Field Supervisor. Interns also assist with leading community volunteers during FORB, in addition to large corporate work days. Additionally, the internship offers hands-on training and educational components throughout all departments of the land trust, offering a diverse range of skill sets to be gained.

What our interns say

Support our internship program

Download the 2023 Impact Report

PDF of the Impact Report for the 2023 Riverine-terns program

Have a question about the program? Contact us.