Under the general supervision and direction of the Conservation & Experiential Programming Management Team, assumes responsibility for all aspects of the District’s overall recreational offerings, including, seasonal events, outdoor adventure recreation, campground programming in one of three—North, Central or South – zones in the county. Provides planning, implementation and evaluation of nature based programs and partnerships in the specific zone and for program sties in the zone. Works with all members of the Conservation and Experiential Programming Department to develop a comprehensive programming plan, that includes direct program, partner programming, school based programming and a variety of community engagement activities for the assigned zone. In addition is responsible for assisting with the development of a recruitment process and supervision of year-round and seasonal staff. Serves as a District liaison to the community and programming partners, and other contractors providing recreation programming. In addition, performs delegated tasks in managing the delivery of recreational programs and services throughout the District and exercises initiative and independent judgment in the general management and supervision of assigned duties.
Assists in the creation, planning, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive recreational program, which includes year-round events and recreational activities.
Manages and/or monitors program staff and overall staff at District campgrounds.
Assists and supports special events, activities and programs and collaborates with other recreation staff to develop interagency coordinated programs.
Establishes and maintains liaison with community groups and organizations to identify and assess community needs, develop and modify programs, initiate action and guide implementation to improve services and establish effective marketing plans to increase program participation.
Serves as a committee member or project team member to create or modify zone based recreational programs, fee structures, policies and related ordinances through a consensus agreement.
Makes recommendations to develop or modify nature based programs budgets and allocates resources in accordance with the principles and practices of program based budgeting.
Assists and supports the development of reports on all nature based program activities and the campground operations to include daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal operational data.
Plans, schedules, coordinates, and assigns work and establishes goals and priorities for employees.
Initiates and recommends disciplinary action for employees as necessary.
Resolves problems encountered by employees during the course of their employment.
Implements safety standards and develops procedures to ensure compliance.
Recommends and coordinates safety, maintenance and repair functions of programming equipment with the other departments.
Provides input and assist in leading the development of District policy and planning as they relate to department programs, services and operations.
Conducts and supervises special studies and projects relative to trends, current and/or projected usage, and other aspects of recreational planning, programming and operations.
Performs other duties as required or assigned which are reasonably within the scope of duties described.
Establishes and maintains excellent communication with program partners, campground management staff and managerial team, maintenance staff, police staff, patrons and other key stakeholders.
Drives to various District facilities on a regular basis.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics
Knowledge and interest in recreation trends, specifically, new concepts related to outdoor and adventure recreation and camping activities and operations
Ability to supervise, plan, assign, coordinate and direct the work assignment of support staff.
Commitment to community processes and working in partnership with other entities.
Competence with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel (in a Windows environment); familiarity with design capabilities of Microsoft Word and other design software.
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, capable of meeting tight deadlines, and working calmly under pressure.
Ability to communicate well, including the ability to clearly articulate thoughts and ideas and prepare documents that are coherent, grammatically correct, and professional.
Ability to work without supervision, to be flexible, to work well in groups, and to communicate with people from various disciplines and communities.
Knowledge of local organizations relevant to specific program area and the ability to understand and implement elements of community-based programming. The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee's normal line of work.
Ability to expand and adapt to changing departmental needs.
Ability to effectively coordinate, train and supervise full time and seasonal staff engaged in various operational and programming activities and services.
Ability to work outdoors in inclement weather.
Ability to work a flexible schedule, including extended hours, weekends, evenings, and holidays.
The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee's normal line of work.
Medical, Dental, and Vision Coverage
Basic Term Life Insurance
Pension Plan and Deferred Compensation Program
Employee Assistance Program
Paid Holidays, Vacation, and Sick Time
You May Qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)
For further information on our excellent benefits package, please click on the following link:
When applying for employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, preference is given in the application process to honorably discharged Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than 180 consecutive days or during War Time. To take advantage of this preference, a Veteran must:
Meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
Identify themselves as a Veteran on their employment application by answering Yes to the question “Are you a military veteran?”
Attach a copy of their DD 214, DD 215, or NGB 22 (Notice of Separation) at the time of application by uploading it as part of your application. If there are multiple DD 214s, DD 215s, or NGB 22s, please submit the one with the latest date. Coast Guard must submit a certified copy of the military separation from either the Department of Transportation (before 911) or the Department of Homeland Security (after 911).
Veteran must provide original applicable discharge papers at time of interview.
General District Employment Requirements
PROOF OF EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES WILL BE REQUIRED AT TIME OF INTERVIEW.
MUST BE A RESIDENT OF COOK COUNTY OR ESTABLISH RESIDENCY IN COOK COUNTY WITHIN SIX (6) MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT AND REMAIN A RESIDENT AT ALL TIMES DURING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DISTRICT.
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is an equal opportunity employer and ensures against discrimination in employment on the basis of a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military discharge status, source of income, housing status, or gender identity.
Must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental education, natural sciences, environmental sciences, education, outdoor recreation, business administration, urban planning, communications, arts management or a substantially similar area from an accredited college or university and four (4) or more years of work experience in education, nature education, outdoor recreation programming, arts programming or other not for profit programming,
Must possess an associate’s degree in education, early childhood education, recreation, environmental sciences, other sciences or a substantially similar area from an accredited college or university and six (6) or more years of work experience in education, nature education, outdoor recreation programming, arts programming or other not for profit programming.
Must possess current valid driver’s license.
Possession of two (2) or more years of work experience with specific titles in youth development and/or community outreach or public engagement.
About Forest Preserves of Cook County
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, with more than 69,000-acres, is the largest forest preserve district in the United States. It receives an estimated 40 million visits each year, providing an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities. Within its boundaries are rare habitats that offer plant and animal diversity on par with the rainforests of the world. This natural heritage offers something for everyone:
Oak woodlands and savannas
Migratory fly-ways that afford spectacular birding
22 dedicated nature preserves
40 managed lakes and ponds
7 major waterways that can be canoed or kayaked and offer glimpses of waterflow and shorebirds
300 miles of marked trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing
Scenic spots for painting, photography or quiet reflection