Ohio Project Manager

TPL’s Land Conservation Program has delivered nearly 50 years of conservation experience and thought leadership in Ohio. Ohio’s health, quality of life, and prosperity are rooted in its magnificent natural heritage, from its many rivers and great lake to its vast pastoral plains, to its rugged hill country. In NE Ohio alone, TPL has worked to protect more than 2,400 acres in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, including the historic Stephen Frazee House, the Blossom Music Center, and the park’s main entrance. Each year, over two million people visit the park to enjoy its wealth of landscapes and cultural sites. Besides providing access to nature for millions of residents, the national park has greatly enhanced water quality by preventing development along the river.

The TPL Ohio program is at a critical turning point in our existence as we look ahead to our next 50 years pursuant to our goal of protecting Ohio’s natural lands, wetlands, and waterways that provide clean drinking water for residents, restorative habitat for flora and fauna, and vibrant places to recreate and enjoy leisure activities.

Who we are
At TPL, we’re a team of outdoor advocates who believe in connecting everyone to the outdoors. As an ethos, we believe access to the outdoors is a fundamental human need and essential to our health and well-being. ​We’re committed to creating more places that bring us outside—parks, trails, playgrounds, and public lands—and making them available and welcoming to everyone, everywhere, regardless of ZIP code. We also understand that land has meaning; it tells the story of our history. That’s why, through our Black History and Culture initiative, we're working to preserve sites that more fully represent the Black American experience; and we’re an ally and partner to Tribal and Indigenous communities, working in partnership to reconnect them with their ancestral lands.
One hundred million people, including 28 million children, don’t have nearby access to a park within ten minutes of home. We’re determined to change this outdoor equity gap–and as a result, nine million people and counting now have access because of our work. We have miles to go and a plan to get there. We’re inclusive change-makers who believe in connecting everyone to the outdoors. We inspire by paving the way forward and strengthening our connection to nature.
Who you are
You believe access to the outdoors is a fundamental human need–not a luxury for just a few. When you hear about the outdoor equity gap, you want to roll up your sleeves and fix that. If you’re convinced that smiles get wider outdoors and that nature is vital to our health and well-being, then you’ll fit right in with our TPL team. We’re seeking individuals whose resolve is strengthened when met with injustices and challenges. We’re looking for people who are united in the conviction that experiences in nature build relationships and keep us healthy. Since 1972, we’ve grown into a community that’s rooted in our five shared values: belonging, creativity, collaboration, impact, and hope.

Position Summary
TPL Ohio seeks a Project Manager to direct conservation priorities that align with TPL’s national mission and fulfill local priorities outlined in our local work plan. The core responsibility of this role will be to manage transactions to secure trail corridors and protect land, creating equitable close to home access to nature and the outdoors across the state of Ohio.

TPL’s conservation priorities in this region include working with private landowners, public stakeholders and related environmental groups who share our interest in improving the health of Ohio’s natural assets and water resources.

To accomplish this goal, s/he/they will be expected to maintain our standard for equitable, community centered mission fulfillment by drawing on TPL’s expertise in technology and outreach to help communities plan their conservation goals, and using our finance, legal, and transaction expertise to accomplish them.

The Project Manager is a key member of Trust for Public Land’s Ohio team.  S/He/They works to acquire and conserve priority lands that enhance and expand access to our public lands, ensure local residents have close-to-home parks, trails and open space and help rural communities fulfill their visions for the landscapes that surround them. S/He/They uses a broad spectrum of nonprofit land acquisition techniques and sound business practices to produce tangible, lasting on-the-ground results. This position generates support for Trust for Public Land through donations and the successful completion of real estate transactions.

Our land protection work ranges from neighborhood parks to national parks. By employing a can-do spirit and a creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial approach, we have developed a reputation as an organization that gets things done, and does so in partnership with local communities, neighborhoods and partner organizations. The person in this position will have a passion for conservation, a great sense of humor and a true zeal for real estate deals. S/He/They will play a lead role in advancing and accelerating projects that advance Trust for Public Land’s “land for people” mission. 

  • Assumes primary responsibility for identifying, negotiating, documenting and closing real estate transactions with the assistance of Legal and Finance staff.
  • Explores potential projects by contacting landowners, nonprofit organizations, local elected officials, community leaders and municipal, county, state and federal public agency staff.
  • Assumes primary responsibility for securing interim financing and permanent public funding for land protection projects through existing or new public and private funding sources.
  • Develops and implements strategies for acquisition of priority properties and their conveyance to public agencies or other permanent stewards. 
  • Manages transactions, which involves researching and completing all phases of projects from initial outreach and landowner negotiation, supervision of appraisers, surveyors, and other consultants, to ultimate sale and conveyance to a public agency or non-profit partner.
  • Identifies areas in which TPL's interim protection strategy is needed for the preservation of open space lands of critical local, regional, or national importance; develops and maintains portfolio of potential projects; responds to inquiries by individuals, groups, agencies, etc…
  • Generates revenues for TPL through transactions and/or fundraising in the private sector.
  • Identifies and secures project funding from multiple sources. Good working knowledge of processes for obtaining public, private, foundation, and corporate funding. Captures contacts for TPL database and maintains landowner relationships for fundraising purposes.
  • Builds public awareness and understanding of TPL through outreach events, leading meetings, public speaking engagements, fundraising efforts and creating a public presence for TPL.
  • Collaborates with national-level Federal Affairs and Conservation Finance teams and local staff and partners to advance policy, funding and other legislative priorities.

  • May be involved in programmatic work, such as the coordination of a land acquisition program covering multi-parcel deals.
  • Work in partnership with the Ohio State Director to broaden TPL’s visibility in market by projecting TPL as a vested conservation leader and subject matter expert on conservation real estate transactions.
  • Work in partnership with Ohio Philanthropy staff to engage current and emerging Ohio donors to source philanthropic support of TPL’s transactions and broader conservation work, and work with other TPL staff to support fundraising in the public and private sectors.
  • Function as a front-facing figure on TPL’s DEI priorities by seeking land conservation projects that represent value impact opportunities to elevate TPL’s national initiatives: Black History and Culture Initiative and Indigenous Communities.
  • Other relevant duties as necessary.

  • Interacts with external professionals whom are involved with the purchase and sale of land, including public agency staff, non-profit partners, surveyors, lawyers, planners, appraisers, landowners and elected officials.
  • Should be comfortable with public speaking and with representing TPL to the public at outreach events.
  • Works independently with occasional guidance from supervisor.
  • Works with Federal Affairs, Conservation Finance, Marketing, Philanthropy, Legal, Finance and Field Support teams.

  • Bachelor's degree preferred.
  • A Minimum of 3-5 years direct land protection project-related or equivalent land trust or non-profit experience.
  • Direct experience with land acquisition projects preferred.
  • This position requires moderate to heavy travel.  Evening and weekend work should expected.

  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Proficient in computer applications.  MSOffice Basics, Internet.
  • Demonstrated understanding of real property and tax law, land use planning techniques, environmental assessments, titles and government land acquisition policies/procedures. Politically astute and sensitive.
  • Demonstrated success managing key Ohio stakeholder relationships in conservation. Experience with National Park Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife is a plus.
  • Familiarity with key Ohio conservation funding programs. Proven experience with the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program and Ohio EPA – Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program is a plus.
  • Active membership in local and statewide professional conservation organizations preferred
  • Strong, entrepreneurial negotiator, able to secure complicated real estate deals. 
  • Able to analyze and explain potential tax benefits and financial forecasting.  Management of contracts.
  • Able to work on complex projects with moderate level of supervision.
  • Able to initiate and participate fundraising efforts.

As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for TPL’s comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation days, sick days, a personal day, day of service and ten + holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match.

We anticipate the hiring range for the position is $80,000-95,000. The offer will be commensurate with experience.