Trails Laborer - Ongoing Recruitment

Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

Santa Cruz, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details 19.75/hr
Required Experience 0 - 1 years


The Santa Cruz Mountains Trails Stewardship (SCMTS) is a nonprofit trail stewardship organization dedicated to trail building, responsible land management, and education. We work to support, preserve, and expand sustainable trail access throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains area. We’re trail builders, resource management experts, and outdoor enthusiasts who are driven to provide legal, equitable, and sustainable trails for all users. 

Position Summary

We are seeking entry level trail construction staff to support and expand our trail and park stewardship program in the near future. Staff will work with our trail crew to implement trail and park construction projects. This position is ideal for candidates who are looking for experience in construction, natural resources management, parks and recreation management, or other related fields.


  • Pay $19.75
  • Work on prevailing wage projects will be paid at the prevailing wage rate based on trade being performed (laborer, carpenter, operator, etc.). The balance of the value of fringe benefits minus the cost of SCMTS provided benefits will be paid in cash.
  • You will be reimbursed for mileage, travel, and other business-related expenses as approved by your supervisor.

Duty Statement

Responsibilities include but are not limited to,

  • Maintain safe jobsite conditions. Follow and enforce SCMTS safety regulations for volunteers, project partners, and subcontractors.
  • Perform trail construction and maintenance labor under direction of the crew chief.
  • Assist with implementation of volunteer trail work events.
  • Ensure use of best practices for all trail and park projects.
  • Inspect and maintain SCMTS tools and equipment to ensure high level of safety and functionality.
  • Safe chainsaw use for simple bucking/brushing
  • Safely operate vehicles and tow trailers.


The below are desired when starting as a Trails Laborer and priorities for development if lacking. 

  • Volunteer or professional experience building and maintaining trails.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of basic trail construction, maintenance and design.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, ability to follow written and oral direction, and superb communication skills.
  • Ability and desire to work with volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds and skill levels.

Additional Desired Skills 

  • Knowledge of SCMTS, familiarity with trail building and recreation communities throughout California. 
  • Complimentary trade skills such as equipment operation, carpentry, mechanical aptitude, etc.

Physical Requirements

  • The ability to lift 80 pounds regularly.
  • The ability to perform physically demanding work with hand tools for an 8-10 hour workday.
  • The ability to sit for long periods of time while operating equipment.
  • The ability to respond quickly to sounds.
  • The ability to hike long distances and move safely over steep, uneven and/or slippery terrain.
  • The ability to see and respond to dangerous situations.
  • The ability to work in extreme weather.
  • The ability to wear personal protective gear correctly most of the day

Time Commitment 

  • 40 hours weekly, limited term appointment subject to renewal. Work schedule is typically Monday - Friday as well as weekend dig days (1-2 weekend days per month). Work schedule and hours per week may change subject to weather and other project related time constraints. 
  • Work time is generally Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Status, Compensation, and Benefits 

  • Sick leave: You may take up to 24 hours of sick leave annually. Unused sick leave may accrue up to 48 hours total.
  • Holidays: You will be eligible for Holiday Pay for the following holidays: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and the following day, and the week (+/-) spanning December 25th to New Years Day. In the event that a work-related project requires you to work on a holiday, an alternative holiday may be selected with the approval of your supervisor. The holiday benefit does not have a waiting period.

Career Ladder

Laborer → Trails Specialist I →  Trails Specialist II → Trails Specialist III → Crew Chief → Superintendent

Equal Opportunity Policy 

SCMTS’ policy is to afford equal employment opportunity to all persons, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. This policy demonstrates SCMTS’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that values different perspectives and fosters belonging.


To Apply 

Submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references to  Please include any pertinent information, including professional and personal experience, that is relevant to the position. This recruitment is ongoing until filled. 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.