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About Us

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, RTC’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Western Regional Office – Oakland, Calif.

Job Summary

About our Western Regional Office

This is a great opportunity to work at the intersection of active transportation, recreation, sustainability and public health. We are a small office of two staff, where your work will have a big impact! You may also interact with our staff in the national office and our other regional offices.

Job Description

Intern assignments can be tailored to match the volunteer's interests and skills; we are recruiting for two part-time interns to assist in the following program areas:

  • Mapping and Analysis: We use GIS maps and analysis for project proposals and presentations. Our GIS staff in the national office operates the website, which houses the richest trail database in the country. Interns with GIS skills can help create maps, conduct trail segment and network analyses, expand and improve our GIS data, and help develop materials like Story Maps.

  • Bay Area Trails Collaborative Support: We lead the Bay Area Trails Collaborative (BATC), a group of trail planners and advocates collectively working to establish a 2,700-mile network of multiuse trails throughout the Bay Area. Interns help coordinate quarterly and working group meetings, support BATC outreach and communications efforts, and help develop mapping and communications materials for our priority projects.

  • Communications: Assist with researching and writing stories for our national blog, e-newsletter and magazine.

  • Nonprofit Administration and Development (Fundraising):

    • Nonprofit administration: Learn how a small nonprofit operates (budgeting, information systems, billing)
    • Grant writing and fundraising: Assist with grant writing and fundraising research
  • Policy, Trail Development and Research Areas:
    • Policy research and advocacy support: RTC supports legislation on a national, state and regional level to promote trails, walking and biking for active transportation, recreation, health, economy and the environment. Policy tasks may include outreach to potential partners, research and preparation of issue briefs and fact sheets, legislative bill analysis and outreach/education/organizing on legislative priorities.
  • Trail Planning and Technical Assistance: We advise trail planners and advocates on a variety of trail planning, design and funding issues, and serve on trail planning teams with other consultants. Interns assist with researching and responding to questions, compiling best practices, organizing workshops or events, contacting trail partners for project updates and contributing to our Trail-Building Toolbox by helping produce research reports, factsheets and white papers on a variety of topics relating to trails, bicycling and walking.


Qualified candidates should be currently enrolled in or recently graduated from a college, university, or graduate school. We generally require a commitment of 15 to 20 hours per week for ten weeks for a summer internship, or three to four months during the academic year. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who have:

  • A demonstrated interest in a related field;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail;
  • Flexibility to pitch in where needed.


While RTC internships are unpaid, interns enjoy the benefits of working for a nationally respected nonprofit in downtown Oakland, Calif., in a casual but professional atmosphere.

How to Apply

Please use only one method of transmitting your résuméNo phone calls please, unless contacted for an in-person interview.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and résumé indicating a “Trails and Greenways Internship” preference, including how you learned of this announcement, to the following contact:

Human Resources Manager
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20037

Fax: 202.223.9257

EOE. Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.