Job Title: Urban Trees Program Officer
The Chesapeake Bay Trust seeks a qualified candidate to serve as a Program Officer for the Urban Trees Grant Program. The Trust was tapped to administer this grant program by the Maryland General Assembly via the 2021 Tree Solutions Now Act, and its goal is 500,000 new trees planted (and maintained) in urban, underserved areas as defined in the statute within the next eight years.
Duties will include traditional community-based grant program tasks (e.g., identifying new potential grant applicants; assisting applicants with ideas and proposals; soliciting, reviewing, and administering awards to nonprofit organizations, governments, schools, and other entities) as well as designing and executing big picture program elements that solve program challenges, such as innovative applicant recruitment techniques, long-term maintenance at a cost-effective scale, and investigating new procurement models for goods and services to help our lower-capacity applicants/grantees. The position will require frequent site visits to proposed and completed project sites and engagement in the urban trees/forestry community of the region. This person will be a key member of a 25+ person staff and will report to the Urban Trees Program Manager.
About the Trust
The Chesapeake Bay Trust seeks to engage and empower diverse groups to take actions that enrich the natural resources and local communities of the Chesapeake Bay region. The Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by state government in 1985. The Trust currently makes 350-400 grants and other awards per year ranging from $100 to ~$1,000,000+ for projects in the K-12 environmental education, on-the-ground restoration, science, capacity building, and community engagement realms. In the past 15 years, the Trust has increased its grant-making four-fold through various revenues streams under the purview of four Trust departments, with annual awards of over $20 million.
- Serve as a key lead for the Urban Trees Grant Program focused on urban tree planting projects that enhance livability in underserved communities across Maryland.
- Proactively, identify potential applicants to the Urban Tree Program, identify what help these applicants might need to apply and successfully complete a project, encourage them to apply, and provide help as they develop project ideas and grant proposals.
- Reactively, respond to potential applicants who have expressed interest in the Urban Tree Program, and assistance with the application process.
- Lead the analysis and review of grant applications received by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, including assembling external Technical Review Committee(s).
- Prepare grant summary reports and analysis for Technical Review Committees, any funding partners, the Maryland General Assembly, and Board of Trustees.
- Administer Urban Tree grant awards in a wide size range ($5,000 to potentially as large as $1 million), including preparing grant agreements, assisting grantees with project issues, reviewing status and final reports, approving payments, reviewing change requests, and more.
- Identify challenges in accomplishing the goals of the Urban Trees Program, and propose solutions to those challenges
- Participate in/lead existing efforts to address challenges and opportunities in the Urban Trees program, such as technical assistance for potential applicants, availability of tree stock, long-term maintenance, potential carbon credits, and more.
- Represent the Trust at various urban trees/forestry forums in the region, including those led by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and others.
- Develop a suite of professional development activities, which could include participating in (and presenting at conferences, at seminars, at symposia, and/or in publications.
- The successful candidate must have specific experience and track record of success in one of the following two fields:
- Tree planting, forestry and/or urban natural resources restoration initiatives OR
- Engagement of communities in community health and natural resources issues
- Experience engaging underserved communities is a plus.
Candidates must have the following skills, abilities, and/or qualifications:
- Strategic thinking skills: ability to set priorities, balance short-term and long-term objectives.
- Proficiency in managing budgets and contracts.
- Proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite of programs, especially spreadsheet programs.
- Ability to conduct site visits to project locations submitted by grant applicants (personal vehicle and valid driver’s license required to facilitate site visit travel).
- Ability to work independently as well as in group settings.
- Exceptional project management and time-management skills, with the ability to manage and meet tight deadlines.
Position Salary and Benefits
$50,000-$60,000 with an excellent benefits package and opportunities for related professional development through workshops, training programs, and conferences.
The position will involve site visits to urban communities throughout the state of Maryland. Within the first 6 months, the Program Officer will be expected to be in the Trust offices in Annapolis, Maryland, at least 1 day per week on average when not in the field, with remote work possible for the remainder of the week. After the 6-month probation period, the position may be fully remote on non-site visit days.
Application Instructions and Deadline
Applications received by 2/21/23 will receive full consideration, though the position will remain open until filled. Please send a resume and cover letter via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and place job title “Program Officer – Urban Trees” in the subject line of the email. In your cover letter, please address your ability, based on your skills and experience, to accomplish the specific duties of the position as outlined above. Please describe why you would be an excellent member of the Trust team and why you would be an excellent choice to lead this new urban tree initiative. Applicants that do not address these two points in a cover letter but instead simply outline past experience are unlikely to be considered.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from people of color.