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Jan 21 / BARD CEP

Conservation Director, Friends of the Forest Preserves – Illinois

Organization: Friends of the Forest Preserves

Position Title: Conservation Director

Location: Chicago, Illinois


o Salary commensurate with experience.

o Benefits include: 3 weeks of vacation, 10 paid holidays, 2 personal days, 10 sick days; retirement with 3% match after 1 year; health, dental, short- and long-term disability insurance; and $100,000 of life insurance coverage.

Application Deadline: Position open until filled

Description: Mission: Friends of the Forest Preserves works to protect, restore, and promote the forest preserves of Cook County for the benefit of people and nature. Friends of the Forest Preserves is an independent non-profit organization advocating for the responsible management of the nearly 69,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through of the nearly 69,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, intern programs, community outreach, and ecological restoration. Some of the best natural areas in Illinois are right here in Cook County, right outside your urban backdoor, for all of us to enjoy. Join our team and help us ensure they are here for the next 100 years.


The full-time Conservation Director position serves to help facilitate the restoration, enhancement, and recreational opportunities on forest preserve lands by directing Friends’ ecological restoration and diverse internship programs while also working collaboratively with other organizations and volunteers. The Conservation Director will manage the Internship Programs to engage high school age youth and adults in hands-on conservation work. The Conservation Director also serves as a key player within the organization by working in collaboration with the President and Development Staff on projects that help to sustain and build the organization’s long-term viability. Additionally, this person has the technical background to develop, manage, and monitor ecological restoration projects on forest preserves lands.

Intern Programs

Estimated Actual Time: 75%

o Oversee range of internship programs (currently 4) for youth and adults with 5 to 80 participants.

o Supervise and support crew leaders.

o Conduct networking to recruit program applicants.

o Manage budgets and administrative aspects.

o Conduct minimum of two monthly visits to work sites to assess work progress.

o Ensure botanical training and technical expertise is provided to members and leaders.

o Facilitate work progress in partnership with FPCC ecologists.

o Order program tools and supplies and conduct inventories as needed.

o Facilitate site meetings and communications with Nature Centers, Stewards, and FPCC Ecologists.

o Develop final reports with assistance from Crew Leaders.

Ecological Restoration Project Responsibilities

Estimated Actual Time: 15%

o Develop, manage, and administer all aspects of ecological restoration projects including plant monitoring, quality assurance plans, budgets, grant reporting, work progress, and contractor performance.

o Relay information regarding projects to volunteer stewards, donors, other environmental organizations, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission staff, and FPCC Resource Management staff for all sites on an on-going basis.

o Meet with project partners and donors as needed.

Events, Fundraising, and Other Responsibilities

Estimated Actual Time: 10%

o Assist with and attend all FOTFP events.

o Research grant prospects and develop project proposals in partnership with other FOTFP staff.

o Work in partnership with Friends staff, board, and volunteers on variety of other projects and programs as needed.


o Highly interested and committed to open space preservation and local conservation issues.

o Minimum of 7 years experience in conservation and/or program management.

o Self motivated, eager, and dependable.

o Excellent verbal, written, administrative, and organizational skills.

o Excellent interpersonal skills and experience working as a team player with people of different races, ages, and backgrounds.

o Access to car and ability to drive occasionally to select locations within Cook County.

Friends of the Forest Preserves believes in work-life balance; we are here for the marathon, not the sprint (not that we don’t have to do that once in a while).

How to Apply: No calls please.

Mail or email resume, cover letter, salary requirements, and three professional references to:

[email protected] or Benjamin Cox, President

Friends of the Forest Preserves

542 S. Dearborn St., Suite 400

Chicago, Illinois 60605

Women, minorities and seniors are strongly encouraged to apply.

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