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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 building a nation connected by trails. We reimagine public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Founded in 1986, RTC’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Connect with RTC at and on social media @railstotrails.

Job Location

This position is located in RTC’s Western Region office in downtown Oakland and is easily accessible from BART and AC Transit; bike parking also available. However, due to COVID-19, staff are currently telecommuting.

Job Description

The Program Associate will be a member of RTC’s Western Region team and will interact regularly with both the Trail Development and Policy departments. The primary duties are as follows:

  • Assist with the implementation of our active trail-development technical assistance and community engagement efforts, which may include research and writing of policy and planning memos, developing visual presentations, communicating trail project benefits to stakeholders, and addressing community concerns.
  • Collaborate in preparing a variety of communications materials (blog posts, flyers, PowerPoint presentations, educational materials) to convey our work to stakeholders and decision-makers.
  • Support our state and regional policy advocacy work, which may include policy research, bill analysis, action alerts and messaging campaigns.
  • Assist with implementing the work of the Bay Area Trails Collaborative, a regional trail coalition and TrailNation™ project convened by RTC.

This is a part-time, temporary position; we anticipate the schedule will be about 15 hours per week, starting in late April and lasting through December 2021. The compensation range is $20–$25 per hour, DOE, with proportional sick and vacation leave benefits.

Desired Background and Personal Attributes

The ideal candidate will have an undergraduate degree plus at least 1–2 years of experience in transportation and/or recreation planning, transportation or environmental policy, or a related field. The candidate will also possess the following skills and qualifications (we will also consider a graduate student in these fields with relevant work experience):

  • Experience leading or supporting community engagement activities related to transportation or environmental planning, such as workshops, webinars and focus groups
  • Strong writing and verbal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with diverse constituencies
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and basic proficiency with graphic design programs; ESRI software a plus
  • Ability to be resourceful and demonstrate good critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and time management skills
  • Dependable, detail-oriented and able to work independently
  • Flexibility to help out where needed, and an abiding sense of humor—because things don’t always go as planned!

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low to moderate noise level. We will work with successful applicants to solve technology needs to ensure a positive remote work experience.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage you to apply ASAP as we plan to begin interviews in mid-April. To apply, please email with the following:

  • The position you are applying for in the subject line

  • A résumé (as a separate attachment)

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement about your personal background or experiences that demonstrate your potential to contribute to RTC’s commitment to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.​

Commitment to Diversity

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy seeks diverse, passionate and qualified individuals who want to make a difference in the world. RTC is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, age, and other legally protected characteristics.

If you need a reasonable accommodation because of a disability for any part of the employment process, please e-mail and provide the nature of your request and your contact information.