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Senior Program Manager, New York Community Trails Program

New York City, NY

Building on more than 44 years of conservation and park leadership in New York, including acquisition of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail system from CSX in the 1980s, conservation buffers around the Appalachian Trail and other long-distance trails, and the ongoing planning and development of the QueensWay and Long Island Greenway projects, the Trust for Public Land seeks a New York Community Trails Senior Program Manager.  The Senior Program Manager will lead the New York Community Trails Program to plan, create and improve trails that connect communities and provide local residents and visitors with access to nature and the great outdoors, and drive policy and funding to strengthen trails. The Senior Program Manager will also work with TPL’s conservation team to identify opportunities to expand trail corridors through conservation and acquisitions. Through this new statewide New York Community Trails Program, the Senior Program Manager will work to enhance connectivity and recreational access, improving health, wellness, and economic opportunities throughout New York State with a focus on the greater New York Metropolitan Area.

To implement this vision, the Senior Program Manager will partner with rural, suburban, and urban communities, New York City, counties, the State of New York, federal agencies and non-profit partners to identify, catalyze and accelerate the planning, design, development, and construction of priority trails. The Senior Program Manager will draw upon Trust for Public Land’s national expertise in open space and trail development and longstanding New York relationships, applying best practices from top trail planners and builders, as well as from creative placemaking, real estate, and other professional experts.  With the State Director and other colleagues in the field program, the Senior Program Manager will work with city and state greenways coalitions, advance the State Greenways Plan, and help develop the emerging NYC Greenways Master Plan.

  • Oversee the planning, design, construction, and funding of existing trail projects, including the ongoing Long Island Greenway and QueensWay projects.
  • Execute a statewide discovery process to identify the best opportunities to leverage the organization’s reputation and resources to set trail project priorities and accelerate trail funding, planning, design, and construction.
  • 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.
  • In partnership with the New York state director, director of philanthropy, and New York Advisory Board members, provide strategic guidance, advice, connections and philanthropic resources to advance program goals and projects.
  • Serve as a statewide trail advocate for 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 Trust for Public Land in the media, at public meetings and events and with current and prospective donors and other supporters.
  • Collaborate with Trust for Public Land’s national trail initiative, field program and research teams, as well as other core organizational functions, to advance priority trails projects and program goals.
  • Manage on-the-ground projects and oversee partnerships to deliver tangible, lasting and measurable results.
  • Seek public grants and track budgets, contracts and other program commitments.
  • Work with our philanthropy team to raise private funds for the trail program and projects.

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s preferred, in planning, landscape architecture, natural resources, sustainability, outdoor recreation or a related field.
  • At least 5-7 years’ experience working in land use planning and development, public space design, alternative transportation, or state or local government.
  • Knowledge of and experience with public funding sources for conservation, recreation, and transportation, including the grant process and experience using public and private grants to fund work.
  • Experience working with communities and jurisdictions at all levels (town, city, county, state and federal), and experience building multi-stakeholder partnerships and facilitating positive working relationships and collaborations.
  • Experience in public speaking.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to travel around New York, with occasional out-of-state trips, up to 20% 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.
  • Experience with fundraising and donor engagement, cultivation and solicitation.
  • Proven ability to organize and manage multiple projects with diverse and numerous public and private partners.

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 hiring range for this position is $80,000-90,000.

The Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities it welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets. 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 are the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.


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