Careers in the Plant Sciences

Chicago Region Trees Initiative Community Specialist

The Morton Arboretum - Lisle, Illinois, United States

Position Title: Chicago Region Trees Initiative Community Specialist
Position Type: Term Federal
Application Review Begins: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Application Deadline: Saturday, August 10, 2024
Institution: The Morton Arboretum
Department/Division: Chicago Region Trees Initiative
Field (e.g., systematics):
City: Lisle, Illinois, United States
General Information: The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), a regional coalition of organizations, working together to improve the health of the urban forest in the Chicago region, was founded by The Morton Arboretum, a world-renowned nonprofit dedicated to the study and growth of trees. We are seeking two experienced individuals who can join our team to help build strong community relationships through outreach and engagement of community leaders and staff. These individuals will need to be able to write and manage grants, including implementation of projects at the local and statewide scale. They should have a strong interest in environmental policy and working directly with government entities across the state to help with the management of their trees. The successful candidates will need to be able to relay complex topics and strategies to a wide range of audiences in small and large group settings in a clear and concise way through written and oral expression. The CRTI is seeking people who are well organized and self motivated to help our team succeed. This is a hybrid-eligible position.


Position Summary: Implement the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) Community Program, providing education, outreach, activities, and grant administration to public landowners and managers to improve the health of the urban forest and quality of life in the Chicago region. Responsible for communication and database resources development and management, for designated constituents. Represent CRTI to partners and constituents to foster and facilitate improved health and sustainability of the urban and community forest and advance the mission of The Morton Arboretum. Specialize in grant management and municipal policy advising. Funding for this position is restricted and expected through September 2028 with a potential for extension.
Qualifications/Requirements: achelor’s degree required, Masters degree preferred, in the areas of forestry, horticulture, or natural resource management. 3+ years related experience preferred, with grant management, municipal law and policy, and experience with community and civic organizations and processes highly preferred. International Society of Arboriculture certification preferred. Excellent verbal and written communication skills required with prior experience presenting in front of an audience preferred. Familiarity with GIS mapping and analysis preferred. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Constant Contact, Salesforce, social media, web content development, and Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors: Effective time-management skills and a positive and flexible approach to the job. Strong collaborative and communication skills especially in terms of cultural awareness. Ability to nimbly manage complex tasks and concurrent projects. Customer service oriented with the ability to relate effectively with persons internal and external to the Arboretum.

Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

Physical Demands: Requires some physical activity: limited lifting and carrying (up to 40 lbs.), walking over uneven terrain, regular local travel by car, truck, or train.
Work Environment: Office environment and various venues for community events. Occasional outside work is required including digging, pruning, and planting of trees.
Equipment: General office equipment, digital camera, shovel, wire cutters, pruners, Arboretum truck and trailer.
Schedule: Work requires occasional evening and weekend hours.
Responsibilities: Essential Functions:

Responsible for managing the CRTI’s relationship and grant funded activities related to major funding opportunities such as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or USDA Forest Service grants.
Implement and manage large scale grants and grant outcomes including competitive subaward processes, data collection and reporting, policy document review and advising, related CRTI tracking, and the IDNR Community Accomplishments Reporting System (CARS) contact database.
Solicit and write grant and funding proposals.
Coordinate outreach, engagement, education, and activities to public landowners and managers to improve community participation in improved urban forestry policy, advocacy, and skills, and provide resources related to urban forestry grants and special funding. Prioritize and manage special projects related to community activities for CRTI.
Review tree ordinances, create formal CRTI recommendations around tree ordinances, and assist with community tree ordinance updates as needed.
Assist in implementing the community goals and objectives of the CRTI Master Plan and CRTI Community Program.
Provide support and coordination for the Trees and Green Infrastructure Work Group to ensure CRTI goals and objectives are achieved.
Conduct research for projects as needed. Compile, organize, and present data in print and verbal communication.
Oversee the collection and input of community based data and contacts in the CRTI database. Organize and maintain community based CRTI files and records.
Frequently work on projects and activities that take place outside of the seven county region.
Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning, and make the Arboretum exceptional.
Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Serve in a supervisory capacity of one or more employees, providing leadership guidance and communicating the organization's goals. This includes:
Hiring, training, coaching and developing team members, by providing recognition and feedback, and evaluating performance
Ensuring that team members adhere to the Arboretum’s policies and procedures, and maintaining a safe and compliant work environment
Building and maintaining positive working relationships with team members, colleagues, and other partners to foster a collaborative and supportive work environment
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment.
Compensation Range: $55,000-$57,000/yr
Contact Name: Holly Larson, jobs@mortonarb.org