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Ohio Parks for People Program Director

Cleveland, OH

The Program Director leads the Ohio Parks for People program. The Program Director is responsible for working with the Ohio State Director, Ohio Director of Philanthropy, staff, Ohio Advisory Board members, donors and partners to develop the overall vision and implementation of the city parks program in Ohio with a current focus on Cleveland.

Implementation of the Parks for People Program requires the Program Director to:  develop and cultivate key working partnerships; lead the creation and management of a diverse range of projects; work to secure public and private funding for program and project launches and operations; and, advance equity, social justice, and nature access through TPL’s on-the-ground projects (parks and green infrastructure), policy change, and increased funding.

The Program Director works closely with key TPL staff from Philanthropy, Marketing, Federal Affairs, Finance, Parks for People, Research and Innovation, and Land Protection to ensure alignment and coordination of the program with the wider goals of the organization.

  • Responsible for strategic planning and visioning, program development, budgeting, overall strategy and ensuring the program emphasizes equity and serves under-resourced communities.
  • Identify and work with TPL national programs and partners to secure multiple sources of public funds for mission delivery and implementation of the program.
  • Identify and work to secure multiple sources of private funds for mission delivery and implementation of the program.  In close cooperation with the OH State Director and the OH Director of Philanthropy, assist in the development of fundraising materials and proposals for foundations, corporations, and individual donors and participate in meetings with potential funders to provide information about the program and its plans.
  • Identify, develop and cultivate high-level partnerships and key relationships with political, corporate, public agency, non-governmental organizations, civic leaders, funders and other partners around parks, schoolyards, green infrastructure, and impacts of our work to affordable housing, climate and walkability. 
  • Represent the parks program internally and externally and help brand our work.
  • Responsible for aligning the parks program with the national Parks for People strategic plan and serve as an effective collaborator within the matrix structure of the organization to bring national expertise and resources to the Ohio Parks for People program including Climate-Smart Cities, Creative Placemaking, Community Health, and Community Schoolyards.
  • Leverage the national expertise in Park / Conservation Finance to identify, build support for and, if applicable, serve as local liaison for park funding measures. 
  • Leverage the national resources of Research & Innovation to bring data and GIS analysis capabilities to meet information needs.
  • Design and implement community engagement processes that ensure equity in participation and that all voices are heard and input is integrated into plans, designs, construction and stewardship. 
  • Primary responsibility for developing strategy, either directly or by supervision of staff and/or consultants, for local governmental, community and public relations; and in conjunction with the OH State Director and Marketing, for local media relations related to the parks program.
  • Responsible for identifying potential land conservation projects to be led by the Lands staff, while implementing the Ohio Parks for People Program.
  • Proven ability to both manage complex projects, programs, and budgets and to create a strategic and coherent vision for long-term leadership in building and/or renovating parks, trails, schoolyards, playgrounds and public spaces.
  • Familiarity with urban planning, particularly park planning, landscape architecture and capital improvements and an understanding of urban environmental quality of life issues including parks and trails, environmental justice, brownfields, walkability, climate change, community development, and housing.
  • Familiarity with advocacy and government relations needed to impact policy and funding. 
  • Excellent leadership, meeting facilitation, collaboration, public speaking, stakeholder engagement and communication skills.
  • Experience in working with community leaders, agency staff, elected officials and local media to promote and implement successful projects.
  • Experience in collaborating and negotiating with diverse groups and interests, including communities of color and historically under-resourced communities – with a preference on prior familiarity, working knowledge, and/or existing relationships with the following:
    • City of Cleveland: Department of Planning, Office of Sustainability, and Capital Projects
    • Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
    • Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
    • Cleveland Metroparks
    • Cleveland Metropolitan School District
    • Cleveland non-profit organizations and community development organizations whose service areas align with our Advancing Park Equity communities (Clark-Fulton, Union Miles, Old Brooklyn, West Boulevard, Kamm’s Corner)
  • Possesses an entrepreneurial spirit, 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, including course work in urban planning, landscape architecture, and land use management. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum 8 years related experience.
  • Frequent independent travel required a willingness to attend evening meetings.
  • Computer Proficiency: Microsoft Office and proficiency with Adobe products a plus

As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for The Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, three weeks of vacation annually plus ten holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 5.5% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the range for this position is $80,000-to $90,000 annually.

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