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Florida Gulf Coast Program Director

Tampa, Florida

Building on more than 48 years of conservation and park leadership in Florida, The Trust for Public Land seeks a Florida Gulf Coast Trail Program Director to design and lead a new Florida Gulf Coast Trail Program. The program will secure and expand trail corridors, creating and improving trails that connect communities and provide local residents and visitors with access to nature and the great outdoors. Through this new trails program, the Director will work to enhance connectivity and recreational access, improving health, wellness, and economic opportunities throughout Florida’s gulf coast.

To implement this vision, the Director will partner with rural and urban communities, special districts, the State of Florida, federal agencies and non-profit partners to identify, catalyze and accelerate the design, development and construction of priority trails to complete the Florida Gulf Coast Trail.  In addition to identifying and pursuing public funding for the Program, the Director, in collaboration with TPL philanthropy staff, will foster relations with institutional and individual donors who support this work to secure both operational and capital support.

The Florida Gulf Coast Trail Program Director will draw upon The Trust for Public Land’s national leadership and longstanding Florida partnerships, applying best practices from top trail planners and builders, as well as from creative placemaking, real estate, and other professional experts.

The Director will hold primary responsibility for directing and managing the Florida Gulf Coast Trail Program to meet the organization’s goals for enhancing connectivity and equitable access to trails, parks and other public lands.

We are open to candidates being located in the larger SW Florida region. 

  • Build and strengthen organizational collaborations and partnerships with federal, state, county and local government and non-profit partners with an interest in connectivity, pedestrian and bicycle mobility and trail design, development and construction – especially around the Florida Gulf Coast Trail.
  • In partnership with the Florida program staff and TPL philanthropy staff, manage a Florida Gulf Coast Trail Steering Committee, a committee of private and public partners, designed to provide strategic guidance, advice, connections and philanthropic resources to advance program goals and projects.
  • Collaborate with TPL philanthropy staff to develop and implement operational and capital fundraising strategies in support of the FGCT.
  • Serve as a statewide trail advocate, evangelizing about the important role trails play in linking communities, enhancing local economies, reducing carbon emissions, and connecting people to nature and the outdoors.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the program and The Trust for Public Land in the media, at public meetings and events and with current and prospective donors and other supporters.
  • Create and manage social media outreach strategies to increase public awareness and advocacy.
  • Collaborate with The Trust for Public Land’s national program teams, as well as other core organizational functions, to advance priority trails segments and program goals.
  •  Manage on-the-ground projects and oversee partnerships to deliver tangible, lasting and measurable results.
  • Track budgets, contracts and other program commitments.

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s preferred, in landscape architecture, planning, natural resources or a related field.
  • 6+ years’ experience working in conservation, outdoor recreation, community engagement and/or land use planning.
  • Knowledge of and experience with public funding sources for conservation and recreation, including the grant process and experience using public and private grants to fund work.
  • Experience working with political jurisdictions (town, city, county, state and federal), and experience building partnerships and facilitating positive working relationships.
  • Experience in public speaking.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to travel around Florida, with occasional out-of-state trips, up to 30% of the time. 

  • Excellent presentation skills, both written and oral.
  • A passion for active community engagement and outreach.
  • Knowledge of park, trails and open space issues, growth management, urban and rural planning and development, or a related field, preferably with a statewide perspective.
  • Knowledge of conservation, recreation and land use policy and funding issues, preferably specific to trails, park and open space issues.
  • Proven ability to organize and manage multiple projects with diverse and numerous public and private partners.
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