Massachusetts Park Fellows Program
In 2005, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) launched the Park Fellows Program as part of the agency’s succession planning. The goal of the summer program is to begin to identify and develop the next generation of the state park system’s workforce by engaging college students interested in pursuing conservation and recreation careers in a paid twelve week summer program. A DCR staff mentor, ranging from a District Manager to a Park Supervisor, is provided to each Park Fellow.
Students participate in hands-on work and learning that includes: an operational overview of the Massachusetts State Park system, natural resources management, experience with various facility management issues, work with interpretive programs essential for connecting the public with our parks, and exposure to partnerships vital for building robust park programs. The Park Fellows Program is coordinated and presented in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.
While at each work location, in addition to routine work assignments, site visits will be arranged to give Fellows exposure to a variety of settings as well as disciplines within the agency (Operations, Planning and Engineering, Forestry, Environmental Education, Special Events etc.). A daily observation log is provided and completed by the Park Fellow for each site visit. Mid-way through the program, between rotations, a program-wide workshop brings all participating Fellows together from their various locations for shared learning and project planning. A special project is required of all Park Fellows. At the end of the second rotation, concentrated time is provided to complete special projects. The fellowship concludes with a presentation and graduation ceremony. In 2007, 11 Park Fellows participated in the program across Massachusetts. In addition, the agency hired four Park Fellow Alumni for summer seasonal positions.
Department of Conservation and Recreation