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Educational Gardens Manager La Puente Home, Inc.

  • Date Posted March 21, 2024
  • Location Alamosa, CO
  • Category Education / Nonprofit
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

 La Puente is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving Colorado's San Luis Valley by providing food, shelter, and advocacy for the homeless and community members in crisis. La Puente was founded in 1982 and endeavors to meet immediate needs and to empower people to live independently with dignity. The organization operates a homeless shelter and soup kitchen, a network of 15 food pantries, homeless prevention services, a transitional living program for families, after school and summer program for at-risk children, and a community garden and nutrition education program.

The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) is a program of La Puente's Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley. VEGI works to fight hunger by sowing the seeds of nutrition education and community through connection with gardening. Students and community members work together to learn more about gardening and provide fresh produce for local hunger relief efforts. Gardens throughout the San Luis Valley provide relief for overcoming food insecurity and its complications while encouraging healthy choices. VEGI connects people to the beauty of gardening, from seed to harvest.

The San Luis Valley is located in beautiful south-central Colorado. It is the world’s largest alpine valley and is comprised of six counties: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache. The Valley is culturally rich with 35 communities between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountain ranges. The area’s largest industry is agriculture, with large bountiful farms contributing to some of the freshest produce and most diverse harvests in the state.

Job description

Full job description linked here 

The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) Manager leads a community-driven effort to address the root causes of malnutrition and food insecurity through garden education and production. The VEGI program is a part of La Puente’s Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley (FBNSLV), and is one of the FBNSLV’s initiatives to address food insecurity beyond the immediacy of hunger. The VEGI Manager oversees staff and volunteers, administrative tasks, garden operations, event planning, education, and community and partner communications for the VEGI program. This person will have opportunities to work with their hands in the dirt and in an office space.


  • Support the AmeriCorps member in implementing and coordinating harvest and planting lessons at the Alamosa Elementary School K-2 Garden
  • Support the AmeriCorps member in developing and implementing fun garden lessons and activities for summer youth programs and after-school programs
  • Support the AmeriCorps member in bringing other established youth groups to the garden during the summer, including: La Puente PALS, SLV Mental Health, Migrant Head start, summer school etc. 
  • Consult with SLV school garden programs and provide help within the VEGI team’s capacity

Garden Operations

  • With the guidance of the VEGI Advisory Committee, oversee overall organic garden production at all three garden sites: The Boyd Garden, The Alamosa Elementary School Garden and the Shelter Grow Dome. 
  • Oversee the preparation of the gardens and other growing spaces including amending and preparing the soil; laying the irrigation systems; working with the Alamosa Community Greenhouse to order seeds and start seedlings; and planning the garden layout and planting schedule
  • Oversee the maintenance of the gardens and other growing spaces (making efforts to extend the season as much as possible), including; planting and replanting, watering, weeding, addressing pest issues, and harvesting and tracking food donations
  • Continue expanding the Alamosa Elementary School garden by amending the soil, planting perennials, and building a hoop house and worm composting area

Recruitment and Oversight of Volunteers and Staff

  • Supervise 2 AmeriCorps volunteers and 1 seasonal employee
  • Train staff, outline duties, oversee work, and conduct quarterly reviews
  • Partner with La Puente’s Volunteer Coordination to actively recruit and manage volunteers and work groups

Community Partnerships and Publicity

  • Support the mission of VEGI’s parent program, the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley, by providing the pantry network with produce from the gardens, nutrition education, and additional program support as needed for FBNSLV events and projects.
  • Inform the public of garden projects and events through social media, mailers, mass emails, the VEGI website, and local news. Send out 1-2 mailers per year for the annual fundraiser and year at a glance
  • Represent VEGI to the SLV community. Communicate with partners and the community at-large, collaborate with other community groups, and continually expand awareness of the Gardens
  • Call meetings (quarterly or more) with the VEGI Advisory Committee
  • Work to support the network of SLV School/Community Gardens

Plan, Coordinate, Publicize and Oversee Special Events Including the Following

  • Annual fundraiser dinner
  • Stone Soup Event at Alamosa Elementary School
  • Community events including community input meetings, workshops, Garden Volunteer Days, etc. 


  • Track grants and manage grant funding spend down
  • Collaborate with La Puente Development Department for program fundraising and gift acknowledgement
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships with foundations and community supporters

Position Requirements

  • BA/BS Degree or Significant Qualifying Experience 
  • Experience with or knowledge of organic gardening/sustainable agriculture
  • Experience and/or interest in education and working with children
  • Commitment to the mission of the VEGI Program and La Puente Home, Inc.
  • Knowledge and interest in working with diverse groups of people
  • Willingness to commit to at least two years with the program
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proven leadership ability, public speaking and event planning
  • Strong organizational skills, project and multi-task management
  • Proficient Spanish speaker
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite and Google Workspace

Wages and Benefits

$44,000-$47,000 depending on experience


Compensation this position is : salaried, 35,568* - 50k Application instructions
this job's deadline has passed
DeadlineApril 04, 2024

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