Minnesota Program Associate

Posted Date: September 17, 2021
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Position Summary:
The Trust for Public Land’s Parks for People Initiative works in cities and suburbs across America to ensure that everyone—in particular, every child—enjoys close-to-home access to a park, playground, or natural area. Parks reduce crime, revitalize local economies, and bring neighborhoods together. They also promote public health, lowering a community’s collective risk of obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses linked to inactivity. Employing a participatory design process, we plan, fund, build, and renovate parks and green schoolyards where they're needed most. We invite the community to work with us to design their parks, ensuring the end result is a much-loved and used community space.
The Program Associate will assist the Minnesota Community Powered Parks Program in a range of activities related to the development and renovation of parks and open space. Project support will include administration, program planning, writing, and assisting project managers in all phases of a project, including community outreach, design, programming and activation, stewardship, and public policy. This position is perfect for an individual interested in developing their community organizing skills and comfortable working on a mix of projects and issues.
This position works 32 hours a week (80% FTE). 
The Program Associate will help project managers implement Minnesota park and schoolyard projects in varying stages of the process from community outreach and concept to construction documentation and construction.

Community outreach and organizing

  • Represent TPL in the project communities
  • Work with TPL staff to develop outreach and communication strategies
  • Identify and engage with community organizations and stakeholders
  • Develop outreach and educational materials (fliers, newsletters)
  • Organize and participate in outreach events (workshops, barbecues, art projects, tabling at events, etc.)
  • Generate and maintain community contact lists
Workshop and meeting preparations and facilitation
  • Assist Program team with graphic displays including plans, materials boards, sketches and details as needed for project, agency and philanthropy submittals
  • Organize workshop logistics including identifying meeting locations, securing refreshments and preparing and bringing other necessary meeting materials and supplies
  • Conduct community engagement and education, including visioning, program development, project planning, and sustainability
  • Conduct phone calls to alert community members to upcoming meetings
  • Facilitate or present at community meetings or workshops
  • Record and summarize community feedback during workshops or meetings
Program Development and Project Management
  • Work with program staff to identify and initiate new projects in Minnesota, with a focus on the Twin Cities metro
  • Represent TPL in the project communities; attend neighborhood meetings to represent TPL
  • Conduct research to assist projects, including design and process best practices, model policies and practices, engagement, and activation.
  • Provide general administration and program support
  • Support grant writing and other philanthropy needs
Experience, Education and Skills Required:
  • A degree in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design or related profession or a combination of education and work experience
  • 1 year of community engagement or related experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience with graphic design and marketing
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust, motivate and support community residents to actively engage in change making activities in their community.
  • Demonstrated cultural competency and understanding of environmental justice issues in low-income, urban communities
  • Understanding of the design and construction process for public spaces. Proficiency in AutoCAD, Adobe CS and Microsoft Office; GIS and SketchUp a plus
  • Ability to work on challenging and complex projects with moderate level of supervision
  • Ability to bring a high degree of flexibility, creativity, vision, and resourcefulness to projects
  • Flexibility with periodic nighttime and weekend community meetings
  • Must be able to engage with diverse community members, elected representatives, and non-profit partners in order to ensure successful park projects.
  • Must be able to work as part of a team and support the framework of a national organization.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish, Hmong, or Somali, a plus
  • TPL has moved to a hybrid work model with a mix of in-person and remote work. Though the position is based out of our Saint Paul office, the Program Associate will engage in field work at various project sites around the Twin Cities metro, and possibly across Minnesota. Access to reliable transportation is required.