The primary role of the Community Outreach Coordinator will be to support and foster strong working relationships with community members, leaders, and partnering organizations to ensure the depth and success of Openlands Forestry programs. This person will primarily focus their time on working alongside neighborhood residents to inform and engage them into the tree planting process from early outreach through planting. A driving outcome for this project is ensuring awareness and a voice in participating in tree planting projects. This position will complete best management practices to connect with the public and provide guidance on where trees can be planted with neighborhood support. We will know that this project is successful when 1) residents in neighborhoods within target neighborhoods are aware and better understand why trees are needed and 2) more residents request and support the additional trees and volunteer at plantings in their neighborhood.
This position works with the Forestry team to increase Openlands visibility and recruit volunteers for Openlands programs and works out of the Openlands Pilsen office located at 2150 S. Canalport, Chicago, IL. This is a full-time position and requires flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Work with Community Arborist and Director of Forestry to develop a strategy for outreach in target areas.
Attend and help promote at community meetings and events where projects could be implemented.
Develop presentations, interactive workshops, and assist with Forestry and community conservation program workshops
Identify and develop partnerships with anchor neighborhood resources/ leaders/ organizations/ individuals within the geographic areas of focus to expand outreach.
Lead all community outreach for tree planting projects including but not limited to canvassing, pavement pounding, neighborhood meetings, and on-site engagement representation during plantings.
Assist in the evaluation of the impact of plantings and subsequent survival rates of trees.
Manage the survey work from canvassing and follow-up volunteer surveys to understand neighbor and volunteer awareness and understanding of project impact.
Assist with translation of press releases and fliers for community conservation programs; organize and participate in public relations events
Participate in cross-departmental committees and task forces as needed
Other duties as assigned
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
Bachelors or Associate degree desirable; a minimum of three years of related work experience
Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills with ability to make effective oral presentations to large and small groups
Strong commitment to customer service with the ability to maintain composure, flexibility, and enthusiasm when working with a diverse range of people and personalities
Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and other desktop publishing tools
Knowledge of Chicago with regular, reliable access to transportation to travel to and from project sites throughout the Chicagoland area. Some project sites may not be easily accessible via public transit. Valid Illinois driver’s license maintained through the duration of employment.
Community organizing experience
Fluent in Spanish speaking and writing
Must be able to lift approximately 50 lbs. and work outside in various weather conditions
Able to walk over three miles/day in various weather conditions
At least 3 years of successful experience with program coordination, community engagement, public outreach and program delivery, preferably in a non-profit setting
Ability to manage multiple assignments with ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position. Please include “Community Outreach Coordinator” in the subject line.
This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.
Smoke- and drug-free environment
Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time. This is a full-time position, non-exempt position.
Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.
Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives. Openlands' vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.