Hiring: Upper Rappahannock River Steward


Friends of the Rappahannock is hiring for a full time River Steward based in Culpeper, Virginia to support our programs in Culpeper, Rappahannock, and Fauquier Counties.

Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) is a 501c3 watershed protection organization with offices in Fredericksburg, Culpeper, and Tappahannock, Virginia. FOR works to be the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River. We accomplish this through three program pillars – advocacy, restoration and education. FOR is seeking a full time (37.5 hours/week) River Steward to support all three program pillars for the organization in Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock Counties.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, River Stewards are local advocates, manage a myriad of regionally focused restoration programs, support high value environmental education programs to local schools, and engage their community in interpretive trips. River Stewards also support the work of the Rappahannock River Roundtable collaborative partnership. 

River Stewards will lead interpretive trips, outreach events, river cleanups, and fundraising efforts in their service areas in coordination with the Development Coordinator. 

River Stewards will contribute to FOR social media, website content, and local media outlets in coordination with the Communication’s Coordinator.

River Stewards will support education programs and stay trained on current lessons, activities, etc in coordination with the Education Manager.



Program Management:

Working with the Deputy Director, the River Steward will oversee the implementation of each of the programs below to ensure the completion of organizational goals, grant deliverables, and other milestones outlined in the FOR strategic plan or an individual work plan. This will involve delegating specific tasks to other regional staff.


  • Tree planting through the Headwater Stream Initiative and Urban Forest Program
  • Design, fundraising, and advocacy for Public River Access
  • Outreach, education, and assistance with Agricultural Cost-Share Programs
  • Developing and managing river cleanup programs with local partners and volunteers
  • Canoe/kayak trips on the Upper Rappahannock River Water Trail

Program Assistance:

  • Stormwater Management Programs and the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program
  • Education Field Trips and MWEE programs
  • Summer Camps
  • Higher Education Research Projects
  • Interpretive Trips (canoe/kayak trips, nature hikes, etc)


The River Steward will work with their supervisor and development team to set goals for membership development, local fundraising, and grant writing activities to support local and regional efforts. 


The River Steward will work with the Communications Coordinator to plan and lead interpretive trips, attend outreach events, and develop relationships with partners in their service area. This will include guided on-water trips.

Local Advocacy:

The River Steward will be the primary contact for the majority of local policy, government, and development concerns. You are a resource to local governments, community groups, partners, and citizens. The River Steward will offer presentations to approved local groups and government bodies, participate in community planning efforts, review development plans, prepare comment letters, and organize public comment and petitions when necessary. 



Necessary Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Env. Science, Biology, Ecology, Natural Resource Mgmt or related degree
  • Daily travel with some early mornings, late afternoons, evening and weekend work.
  • Google Suite/Microsoft Word/Excel proficient 
  • Must have valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to drive trucks with work and boat trailers
  • Must be able to lift 75lbs
  • Must be willing to work outside in varying weather conditions
  • Competency in multiple social media platforms
  • Comfortable speaking in front of small and large groups
  • Passion for environmental protection and conservation
  • Comfortable with on-water activities and class II whitewater 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 2-3 yrs professional natural resource or non-profit experience
  • Working knowledge of Virginia agricultural cost-share and forestry programs, stormwater management, and Chesapeake Bay Program
  • Experience with GIS and esri products
  • Experience coordinating events/meetings
  • Volunteer management experience
  • Comfortable leading on-water activities, class III whitewater, and river safety training
  • Established network in Upper Rappahannock watershed region   


This is an entry to mid level position. Annual salary range is $36,000-$40,000 commensurate with experience. FOR offers a flexible work schedule, paid vacation, and sick leave, retirement match, option to buy into group health care, pro-deals, and a variety of other work benefits. Willing to train the right candidate. 

Friends of the Rappahannock is an equal opportunity employer. We are inclusive. We believe diversity drives innovation. We are always growing our partnerships and believe it takes a watershed to make a difference. 

Please send a cover letter, resume, and references to [email protected] with “River Steward Position” in the subject line.

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