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Community Schoolyards Grants Manager - Remote

Remote, Remote
Trust for Public Land works equitably to connect people to the health and climate benefits of the outdoors by conserving land, creating parks and trails and transforming schoolyards. As a national leader in the schoolyard movement, TPL has worked with schools and communities to transform nearly 300 Community Schoolyards™ projects in places where they are needed most.  Community Schoolyards™ projects include nature-based solutions such as rain gardens, street tree planting, habitat gardens and increased natural shade. As communities across the country adjust to changing climate conditions, our work to protect students and communities from extreme heat and flooding has never been more important. Our process strengthens social resilience, fosters a sense of belonging and lifts student agency through active engagement, participatory design and stewardship. Having witnessed the profound impact of these schoolyard, we are working to make vibrant Community Schoolyards™ standard across the country by advancing policy, convening partners and helping school districts to prioritize outdoor learning, recreation and the school's role as a community hub. Providing resources and funding to support other non-profit organizations and school districts to advance Community Schoolyard projects is an important tactic for achieving scale. This position will work with the Community Schoolyard Team and the Government Relations team to stand up a grants program. 

Trust for Public Land’s Government Relations team is a group of experienced government relations professionals that seek federal policy and funding solutions to advance the conservation, park equity, and environmental justice fields. The Federal Relations team works with numerous political stakeholders from Congress, to green group coalitions, to federal agencies, to the White House, to ensure equitable outdoor access, defend public lands, appropriate funding for key programs, and win federal funding for community-led projects. Historic legislation such as the Great American Outdoors Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and Inflation Reduction Act are investing in, and addressing, long-standing conservation and environmental justice needs in historically underserved communities. TPL’s $10 million award from the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forest Program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, is one of these key investments that will increase equitable access to trees and green spaces in urban, suburban, and rural community schoolyards nationwide. 

Position Summary
Trust for Public Land (TPL) seeks a Community Schoolyard Grants Manager to oversee and secure grants to advance Community Schoolyards, including funding from the U.S. Forest Service. Trust for Public Land was selected by the U.S. Forest Service as a pass-through partner to advance the Inflation Reduction Act’s Urban and Community Forest Program. TPLs role as a pass-through partner is to oversee and support local efforts to increase tree canopy in and around schools in disadvantaged communities.

The successful candidate will lead the planning, coordination, implementation, tracking, and evaluation of the Forested Community Schoolyards Program and all grants made through this program. This role will be critical in helping to advance the Community Schoolyard Movement through increased tree planting and nature-based solutions at schools, resulting in a cooler environment, improved air quality and flood mitigation in the communities with the greatest need.  The Community Schoolyard Grants Manager will oversee the successful implementation and completion of all grantee projects, resulting in Community Schoolyard tree planting, workforce development, heat island reduction and successful tree stewardship programs in communities across the country.

Situated within the Center for Strategic Leadership as part of the National Community Schoolyards Initiative team, the Community Schoolyard Grants Manager will lead the implementation of TPL's Urban and Community Forestry grant, and other national grant programs secured through public and private sources. By harnessing and distributing public and private funds we seek to catalyze climate resilience in the communities with the greatest need at schools. 

The Community Schoolyard Grants Manager will be responsible for oversight and relationship management of grantees, management of a community of practice for shared learning, providing direct technical assistance to grantees, co-development of grantees’ and TPL's communications and storytelling opportunities, management of TPL's grant with the USFS and other partners, collaboration with other regranting partners, coordinating activities across TPL's internal teams, and tracking progress and results. The Community Schoolyard Grants Manager will be responsible for overseeing the successful implementation and completion of all grantee projects, tracking progress toward deliverables, reporting, evaluation, and subgrant closeout. Candidates will work with TPL's Land and People Lab, Federal Relations, Finance, Legal, 10-Minute Walk, and Field Programs.

Essential Functions
Program Management (80%)
  • Manage TPL’s Urban & Community Forestry grant and overall program performance, including tracking grant deliverables, timeline, budget and expenditures, subgrant progress and financial performance, reporting, etc.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Core Team to ensure TPL’s federal grant compliance, representing the Federal Relations, Community Schoolyards, Land and People Lab, Finance, and Legal teams.
  • Working in partnership with the Federal Grants team, establish and manage the reporting structure for grantees, ensuring timely and regular progress and financial reporting from each grantee.
  • Work with the Federal Grants team to develop and implement trainings, templates, and reporting structures to ensure grantee compliance with federal regulations.
  • Lead and manage the regular federal grant progress and financial reporting for TPL’s Urban and Community Forestry grant.
  • Manage grant recipients through regular meetings and deploy reporting mechanisms to track progress, identify technical assistance needs from recipients. Secure support from TPL’s subject matter experts, working together to address and overcome challenges, and ensure successful project implementation and completion.
  • Procure and manage professional services and consultants to support program delivery and grantee project implementation.
  • Ensure activities advance goals of the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forest Program while also advancing community needs and goals.
  • Convene team of TPL urban forest experts to curate best practices in design, planting, volunteer engagement and tree care.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Communications team, consultants, and grant recipients to identify and create storytelling and promotional materials to uplift best practices, grantee wins, and program impact.
  • Assist the Sr. Director, Community Schoolyards Initiative in supporting and regularly convening the program’s Advisory Committee.
  • Manage Schoolyard Catalyst Grants
    • Identify and apply for Federal grants to support Community Schoolyards at scale
    • Develop grant RFP
    • Review proposals and prepare required reports for public and private grants.
Technical Assistance (15%)
  • Create and lead the Community Schoolyard Forestry Community of Practice
    • Create peer learning opportunities related to urban and community forestry, community schoolyards, and workforce development;
    • Develop shared resources, such as webinar series, workshops, and tools
    • Identify individual needs of grant recipients and coordinate TPL’s subject matter experts to provide direct, 1:1 technical assistance to grantees.
    • Participate in TPL’s internal Schoolyard Working Group and external Schoolyard Peer Learning Network.
Thought Leadership (5%)
  • Represent TPL in webinars, national conferences, media, and in meetings with key partners about the program.

  • A passion for Trust for Public Land’s mission and for social and environmental justice is essential
  • Background in urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, landscape architecture/design, planning, or related field preferred
  • Minimum of 5-8 years of project management, grant management, and/or nonprofit management desirable
  • Experience implementing meaningful community engagement practices in low-resource communities
  • Ability to effectively build and maintain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders in the public and private sectors across geographies
  • Works independently and as part of a team
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent time management and project management skills 
  • Proficiency overseeing multiple projects at once
  • Strong attention to detail with the ability to follow through on deliverables, meet deadlines, and facilitate the efforts of the full team to do the same
  • Experience working with schools, school districts, parks departments or municipal partners
  • Experience with landscape design and construction management including oversight of independent contractors, budgets, contracts and project schedules
  • This position will require travel throughout the country. This position is expected to spend time visiting grantees and building relationships with project partners in person. At least one month's worth of travel is anticipated annually

  • Experience managing or applying for federal grants
  • Proficient in computer applications, such as Microsoft Suite, Outlook, and Teams
  • Experience with grant writing and grant management
  • Experience with capital project management
  • Fundraising and marketing skills are a plus

As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, sick leave, holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience. The anticipated hiring range for this position is $80,000-90,000.

The Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities we serve.  Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged.  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’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.


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