Minnesota Community Schoolyards Program Manager

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors.
Nationwide, TPL is leading a movement to partner with communities and school administrators to transform blacktop or underinvested schoolyards into vibrant, green play spaces, and to open schoolyards to the public after school hours--connecting students and neighbors to the benefits of the outdoors. Nationwide, TPL has transformed over 300 schoolyards. This August, the Minnesota TPL team officially launched the Minnesota Community Schoolyards Program—partnering with an initial 6 schools and communities across the state to plan and develop vibrant, green schoolyards where they are needed most.
The MN Community Schoolyard Project Manager will manage all aspects of the Minnesota Community Schoolyards Program, working in close partnership with our Community Powered Parks and Schoolyards Manager. They will work with schools, communities, non-profits, and institutional partners to envision, design, and construct transformative spaces on school campuses that can be opened for public use after hours. The Project Manager will engage school administrators, residents, students, elected officials, and others to identify, shape, and realize schoolyard projects that meet schools’ and residents’ needs, align with Trust for Public Land’s mission, and can be successfully completed within the constraints of constructability and budget. The Project Manager will also engage in coalition-building to support the growth of a green schoolyards program and public funding in Minnesota. As a vital member of the Minnesota Parks and Schoolyards Team, the Project Manager will support overall parks and schoolyards program delivery.


Schoolyard Program Management- 75%
  • Manage overall implementation of Minnesota Community Schoolyards Program, working in close collaboration with the Community Powered Parks and Schoolyards Manager .
  • Develop and manage relationships with school districts and school staff, local government, and tribal nations, school districts, local representatives, and community leaders.
  • Manage the planning, community engagement, design, and construction of new and existing schoolyards projects.
  • Select, hire, and manage landscape architects, architects, engineers, contractors and other consultants needed to deliver the projects.
  • Develop and manage project schedules, budgets, and contracts.
  • Conduct in-school participatory schoolyard design with students.
  • Build community partner relationships to support overall program implementation.
  • Conduct community outreach and stakeholder engagement.
  • Track project progress and deliverables, organize meetings, and define agendas.
  • Manage project evaluation, grant management, and reporting.
  • Develop graphics as needed, including presentations, boards, flyers, etc.
  • Scope potential funding and develop grant applications in collaboration with TPL’s Philanthropy team.

Schoolyards Program Advancement: 15%
  • Build a coalition of schoolyards advocates and supporters in Minnesota to collectively advance the vision and funding for schoolyards statewide, working closely with the Minnesota State Director and Community Powered Parks and Schoolyards Manager.
  • Work with the State Director and Philanthropy team to build philanthropic support for the program.
  • Help evaluate and identify new projects and partnership opportunities.
  • Collaborate with TPL’s national staff to advance the organization’s initiatives and share information internally.
  • Advance storytelling to highlight community vision, needs, and opportunities.
  • Coordinate with team members to strategize on program development and organizational goals.
  • Work with team members to develop tools and best practices for the program.

Community Powered Parks Program Support – 10%
  • As a core member of the Community Powered Parks and Schoolyards team, support overall parks program implementation by staffing and collaborating on parks initiatives and events.

Desired Experience, Education, and Skills
While no one candidate will have all the criteria specified below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences.
  • A passion for Trust for Public Land’s mission and a passion for social and environmental justice and equitable access to the outdoors
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of design, community engagement, project management, construction management, or related experience
  • A degree in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design/Planning, Parks and Recreation Management, or related profession or a combination of education and work experience
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and communities, and understanding of environmental justice issues in low-income, urban communities
  • Experience working with youth, students, and schools
  • Experience hiring and managing design professionals and construction contractors, providing oversight of independent contractors, budgets, contracts and project schedules
  • Experience in managing complex projects, including the ability to multi-task, develop and manage budgets, meet schedules, and troubleshoot with creative and resourceful solutions
  • Experience in community engagement, stakeholder engagement, community organizing, and working with public agencies, including a demonstrated ability to build trust, motivate, and support community residents to actively engage in change-making activities in their community
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, and support the framework of a national organization
  • Experience with proposal writing and grant management
  • Excellent oral, written, and graphic communication skills. Experience with Illustrator, InDesign, GIS, AutoCAD, Canva or other tools a plus.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish, Hmong, or Somali, is a plus but not required

TPL has moved to a hybrid work model with a mix of in-office, field, and remote work. This position requires in-office work at minimum two days per week at our St. Paul office.

This position requires occasional ‘off-hours’ work including weekend and evening meetings and events.  The position will involve fieldwork and project management statewide including occasional regional travel. Access to reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license is required.

As a full-time, exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, holidays, Summer Fridays, and a 403(b) retirement plan with up to a 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the anticipated hiring range for this position is $70,000-80,000 annually.
Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities, it encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets and experiences to apply.