Minnesota Program Manager - Community Powered Parks

Position Summary:
The Community Powered Parks initiative works in communities across Minnesota to ensure everyone enjoys access to high-quality, close-to-home outdoor space. Employing a participatory design process, we plan, fund, build/renovate, and activate parks, schoolyards, and public spaces where they're needed most, in strong partnership with community.

The Program Manager 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.

  1. Support Parks and Schoolyards Engagment and Design (50%)
  • Coordinate with partners and community organizers around outreach, meetings and events to strengthen diverse and inclusive representation for the spaces being created.
  • Oversee community and student outreach and involvement around participatory schoolyard and park design.
  • Develop concept plans, renderings, master plans, and other planning documents
  • Assist with communications and graphic displays including websites, boards, sketches, and social media posts as needed for projects.
  • Manage budget, schedule, and vendor contracts to carry out the development of schoolyard and park projects.
  • Advance storytelling to highlight community vision, needs, and opportunities.
  • Support project fundraising needs, including philanthropy and grant submittals.
  1. Research and Project Management (30%)
  • Conduct research including gathering best practices, model policies, successful engagement and activation activities, funding models, and background information for projects.
  • Work with program staff to identify and initiate new projects in the Upper Midwest.
  • Participate in strategic planning efforts.
  • Provide general administration and program support.
  1. Program, Partnership, and Personal Development (20%)
  • Develop and cultivate key working partnerships with the public and private sector.
  • Represent TPL in the community, attend neighborhood meetings and events.
  • Keep abreast of community initiatives, coalitions, programs, and planning efforts.
  • Works with TPL Philanthropy, Marketing, and Conservation Finance staff as needed and appropriate on all projects.
  • Pursue professional learning and growth opportunities.

The Ideal Candidate:
With an understanding of parks, community development, and engagement the ideal candidate will be an
entrepreneurial and enterprising leader with passion for driving growth in programs, services,
and partnerships.

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:
  • Familiarity with landscape architecture, including park planning, capital improvements, materials selection, and construction. Additionally, an understanding of quality of life issues including parks, environmental justice, climate change, public policy, public health, community development, transportation, and housing.
  • Minimum of 5 years of design, community engagement, public policy, or related experience
  • A degree in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design/Planning, Public Policy, Parks and Recreation Management, or related profession or a combination of education and work experience is preferred
  • Understanding of the design and construction process of public spaces. Proficiency in AutoCAD, GIS and SketchUp preferred.
  • Experience with graphic design and marketing. Proficiency in Illustrator, InDesign, Canva, Premiere, or other design tools a plus.
  • Experience with community organizing, coalition building, community capacity building, and working with community leaders, agency staff, elected officials, and local media to promote, fund, and implement successful projects.
  • Experience collaborating and negotiating with diverse groups and interests in Minnesota, including communities of color and historically marginalized communities.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit. Have the initiative, energy, the capacity to lead, mentor and inspire others, and the capacity to be a high performer and a team player, with common sense and resiliency.
  • Proven ability to manage complex projects, conduct research, and engage community, with moderate level of supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust, motivate and support community residents to actively engage in change making activities in their community.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to bring a high degree of flexibility, creativity, vision, and resourcefulness to 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 but not required.
  • TPL has moved to a hybrid work model with a mix of in-office, field, and remote work. This position is recommended for office work at least two days per week.
  • Though the position is based out of our Saint Paul office, the ProgramManager will engage in field work at various project sites around Minnesota. Access to reliable transportation is required. Attendance at periodic nighttime and weekend community meetings are required.

As a full-time employee, you will be eligible for TPL’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, three weeks of vacation annually. 10+ holidays, personal and community service days, paid winter break and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 5.5% company match. The salary range for this role is $65,000-75,000, and offers are commensurate with experience.

The Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities in which we live and work. Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged. We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.