Local recruitment: River Health & Resiliency Organizer

Prairie Rivers Network

Illinois, USA 🇺🇸



At Prairie Rivers Network we protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, we protect and restore our rivers, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our lands, and transform how we care for the earth and for each other. Our programs confront many of the root causes of environmental degradation in Illinois while addressing the sources and impacts of climate change. Learn more at www.prairierivers.org

Climate change has increased the risks that communities face, including more frequent and more damaging floods, stressed water supplies, and the loss of biodiversity. Waterfront communities in particular are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Much of our infrastructure is already old and was not built to withstand the extreme conditions the next century will present. To prepare for the future, we must strengthen our communities by adopting a more holistic approach that works with, rather than against, natural systems. Prairie Rivers Network seeks to promote and implement nature-based solutions that can restore wildlife habitat, better manage flooding, and foster thriving communities.

Pollution and decades of mismanagement have degraded our rivers and streams. Yet these waterways continue to supply the lifeblood and opportunity for a renewed Illinois landscape with healthy wildlife habitat and thriving communities. A growing movement calling for nature-based solutions and climate-smart agriculture, an ambitious new Illinois State Water Plan, and the historic financial investments made available through recent legislation all add up to an incredible opportunity for Illinois to take the lead in turning vision into reality, building a climate-ready world that benefits the people of our state. That’s where YOU come in!


At a time of great need for transformative change to heal past wounds and implement a new vision for caring for the world and each other, Prairie Rivers Network seeks a River Health & Resiliency Organizer to advance nature-based solutions in Illinois. This role will educate, engage, and activate community members interested in nature-based solutions, build abundant and higher quality habitat to address the biodiversity crisis, and clean up our rivers and waterways supporting downstream communities. This role will primarily build and organize in the Quad Cities region in 2023 before expanding this work into other Illinois river towns in the coming years. The River Health & Resiliency Organizer will be joining the team of one of the most-effective and respected environmental advocacy organizations in Illinois with a 55+ year history of successes.

This is a remote work-from-home position that will ideally be located in or near the Quad Cities region of Illinois (Rock Island, Moline, East Moline), with the ability to travel monthly to Champaign. Champaign-based applicants willing to travel to the Quad Cities region multiple times a month will also be considered. This position will work collaboratively with the PRN team and our partners at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).


Advancing Nature-Based Solutions in Community

  • Educate the public, community leaders and decision-makers about the benefits of natural river, wetland, and floodplain functions and their impacts on the Quad Cities region.
  • Build power for nature-based solutions by establishing and engaging a network of stakeholders in the Quad Cities region who are supportive and actively calling for advancement of nature-based solutions to address community concerns.
  • Organize and help facilitate conversations and events in the Quad Cities region to increase awareness of the Mississippi River Project and inform NWF’s upcoming climate vulnerability assessment of the Quad Cities. (ex. climate vulnerability assessment from Texas)
  • Work with PRN and NWF teams to select, engage, and nurture community-based partnerships to help advance nature-based project(s) in the Quad Cities.
  • Share relevant information from Prairie Rivers Network and NWF pertaining to nature-based solutions along the Illinois River and in other key communities with the NWF team and other community partners.
  • Attend the annual Mississippi River Retreat and other community events.

River Restoration, Habitat and Wildlife Protection

  • Support PRN staff with community feedback and knowledge to help assess social vulnerability related to flood risk management policy and engagement with levee and drainage districts to support floodplain reconnection and restoration.
  • Support PRN staff with community feedback and knowledge to help establish and protect contiguous habitats that allow for the uninterrupted movement of plants and wildlife—north-south riparian corridors will be critical migration routes for climate adaptation.
  • Support PRN staff with habitat campaigns like 30Ă—30/Illinois is Beautiful and Indigenous Land Management efforts as it pertains to the Quad Cities region.


  • Support and distribute the findings from NWF’s upcoming climate vulnerability assessment of the Quad Cities.
  • Support a creative and effective communications strategy to advance program work through storytelling. Leverage Prairie Rivers Network’s website, social media channels, podcasts, press releases, LTEs, newsletter articles, and public speaking engagements to drive the nature-based solution narrative.
  • Represent Prairie Rivers Network at meetings, events, panels, and forums to build support for program goals and Prairie Rivers Network’s mission.
  • Work with members, volunteers, interns, and partners to advance program goals and the mission of Prairie Rivers Network.

Fundraising and Organizational Advancement

  • In partnership with the Executive Director and PRN team, assist with grant research, writing, and reporting as needed.
  • Together with the Executive Director and PRN team, assist with member and major donor relations through participation in fundraising and outreach events and communications.
  • As needed, work with PRN team members to assist in developing Prairie Rivers Network’s program work and goals to advance our mission.


The ideal candidate will have–

  • Experience building and leading community organizing issue campaigns including building long-lasting relationships with diverse stakeholders and partnerships critical to the success of the campaign;
  • Understanding of the historical and future challenges facing river towns in Illinois;
  • A passion and excitement to the mission of creating social change and fighting environmental injustice to improve lives, communities, and landscapes in Illinois river towns;
  • Strong written and public speaking skills and ability to communicate research and technical issues to lay audiences;
  • Experience implementing social media campaigns, and/or knowledge of working with media;
  • Experience and/or knowledge of the legislative and administrative policy making process;
  • Have a genuine interest in and understanding of the goals, priorities, and programs of the organization;
  • Understanding of one’s own cultural identity, views about differences, and the ability to learn and build on varying cultural and community norms including working across lines of race, immigration status, ethnicity, language, class, gender, and other identities and experiences;
  • Commitment to equity, inclusion, and collaboration as organizational practice and culture;
  • Willingness to travel and work evenings and/or weekends; and
  • Ability to work independently and manage time efficiently to set and achieve goals.


The River Health & Resiliency Organizer is a full-time professional position with a starting salary of $40,000 -$60,000 (depending on experience).

We believe staff is more effective in a work culture that values a work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling.

Benefits include:

  • 15 vacation days
  • 12 general paid time off days
  • 11 paid holidays plus winter break from Dec 24 through Jan 1
  • 403(b) retirement pan with 5% employer match
  • Up to 12 weeks parental leave (4 weeks paid; 8 weeks unpaid)
  • 100% employer paid health insurance for the individual employee
  • Employee assistance program


A remote telework schedule is expected. Prairie Rivers Network closely follows CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 and proof of vaccination will be required to join Prairie Rivers Network.


We want to get to know you. We value great writers with creativity and inspiration. Tell us why you really want to join our team.

Interested candidates should email their cover letter, resume, and writing sample (grant application, press release, or whatever makes you shine) to: jobs@prairierivers.org.

Subject line of your email should be “River Health & Resiliency Organizer Application” and attach your cover letter, resume, and writing sample with the file name consisting of “Last name, First name Resume/Cover Letter/Sample.”

Please: no phone calls, drop-ins, or paper applications.


Applications will be considered until the position is filled. We will acknowledge, by e-mail, receipt of each application within 5 business days.

Prairie Rivers Network is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice in all aspects of our work and organization. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law.

We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.




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