Washington State: Urban Forestry Tree Equity Planner

Posted on September 16, 2023
Washington State: Urban Forestry Tree Equity Planner
Position description:

The Urban Forestry Tree Equity Planner will be responsible for oversight and delivery of all aspects of a two-year workplan for this initiative between American Forests and the Washington Department of Natural Resources including being primary staff support to the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative. This two-year project position will utilize and further evolve technical and strategic methods developed by American Forests to help advance the Washington DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program vision. Located in DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program within the Forest Resilience Division this position will directly work with American Forests, DNR’s Policy team, cities statewide, tribes, and community organizations. Informed by data driven spatial prioritization tools and other information sources, this position will identify communities, develop localized strategies, and provide expert consultation to local partners to increase tree equity - catalyzing change that can be measured by the Tree Equity Score Analyzer over time.

The successful candidate will possess the passion, imagination, and leadership skills necessary to pursue Tree Equity on a statewide scale, while also demonstrating the organizational skills and attention to detail necessary to manage complex relationships, financial plans, and programs simultaneously. The successful candidate will also share our vision that creating a healthier Washington begins with the perspectives and meaningful engagement of those most impacted by environmental injustice. Work will be at the intersection of many competing interests and accountability will be to reducing environmental and health disparities at the core of your work product.

In coordination with Executive leadership from American Forest and DNR, develop a statewide Tree Equity Collaborative, in close collaboration with the Washington Community Forestry Council, which will include local leaders to provide guidance to our work to increase Tree Equity in Washington, to leverage the insight and resources of additional partners, and drive the effort out into the field.

  • Provide strategic vision and direction for the establishment and sustained operations of the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative.
  • Provide day-to-day leadership and staff support for all members and stakeholders of the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative; effectively anticipating and responding to the different needs and interests of coalition partners.
  • Develop and maintain the Tree Equity Collaborative’s collective work plan.
  • Strategically identify and cultivate partnership opportunities that contribute to advancing the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative’s goals and expand the collaborative’s network.
  • Record meeting minutes of Tree Equity Collaborative meetings and oversee necessary follow up on all action items and progress tracking.
  • Nurture relationships with diverse constituencies in cities and towns throughout the state to foster awareness of the Tree Equity Collaborative, and a culture of knowledge exchange for urban forestry in Washington.
  • Facilitate and support tree equity goal setting by collaborative members for their geography and connect how these community-driven tree equity goals contribute towards implementation of DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry program goals statewide.
  • Facilitate coordination between the Washington Tree Equity Collaborative and the Washington Community Forest Council, American Forests staff, DNR Policy team, and DNR Urban and Community Forestry program.

Develop and implement a strategic program of work to increase Tree Equity in Washington

  • Learn and integrate American Forests’ Tree Equity change model in pursuit of Washington DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry goals.
  • Develop a coordinated Tree Equity program work plan between American Forests and DNR that is thorough, realistic, and strategically aligns across different organizations and areas of activity.
  • Develop and administer a Washington tree equity program two-year financial implementation plan for the MOU; combining public and private resources specifically dedicated to moving forward project goals.
  • Secure and leverage resources to increase Tree Equity in cities across Washington State. This may include but is not limited to grant writing.
  • Work with local elected officials and administrators to provide both technical and resource support relative to developing urban forestry policy, project, and funding proposals to increase tree equity.
  • Informed by data driven spatial prioritization tools and other information sources, identify communities, develop localized strategies, and provide expert consultation to local partners to increase tree equity.
  • Develop a tree equity monitoring plan that includes metrics and utilization of the Tree Equity Score Analyzer to measure progress towards collective goals over time.
  • Develop workforce development and career pathway programs for statewide urban forestry community of practice in Washington to overcome systemic barriers to entry and retention in the field including pre-employment training, mentoring, and direct job placement and support.
  • Manage contracts and grant agreements as necessary.
  • Seek opportunities for and help facilitate formation of local and regional partnerships to accomplish urban forestry projects.
  • In support of DNR’s Policy team lead, pilot a reforestation carbon project through American Forest’s Reforest America Carbon Program and conduct reforestation needs and pipeline assessments;

Tree Equity Communications

  • Develop a media and communications strategy for promoting Tree Equity in Washington and celebrating successes including planting and tree care events with communities and community organizations as showcases.
  • Work closely with DNR and American Forest’s Communications teams in highlighting work by writing articles, blog posts, doing interviews and assisting with social media and video content.
  • Strategically identify aspects of the work to highlight and particular audiences to cultivate.
  • Deliver conference and public presentations that report on the work accomplished, successes achieved, and best practices developed.
  • Communicate with constituents: reminders of educational events, responding to requests for informational materials, executive management informational requests, etc.
  • A bachelor’s degree in urban forestry, natural resource management, environmental science, environmental justice, landscape architecture, environmental engineering, city planning or another related field AND At least two years of experience in urban forestry, natural resource management, environmental science, environmental justice, landscape architecture, environmental engineering, city planning, or another related field.
    OR An equivalent combination of education and/or experience.
  • Experience successfully managing and administering grants, contracts, or other partnership agreements.
  • Experience and skills in customer service.
  • Experience of effective oral and written communications and can convey messages clearly and persuasively,
  • Experience in public facing initiatives, community, stakeholder, and partner outreach and engagement to meet a specific objective including public speaking skills. 
  • Demonstrated experience responding to and interacting in a positive, responsive, cooperative, collaborative manner with the public and other professionals (both inter-organizational and interdisciplinary).
  • Proficient with computers and Microsoft Office applications including Excel and SharePoint.
  • Experience working with underserved or historically marginalized residents, neighborhoods or communities; firm understanding of social and environmental justice issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and supporting an environment that honors diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental justice practices.
  • Perform assigned duties in a manner consistent with applicable laws, regulations and public records retention and requests are followed.
  • Highly self-motivated, interdisciplinary thinker with a passion for urban resilience and social equity.
  • DNR Core Competencies: 
    • Personal Accountability 
    • Value Others 
    • Compassionate Communication 
    • Inspire Others 
    • Commitment to Excellence 
desired qualifications:
  • Master’s degree.
  • Deep knowledge of urban and community forestry.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial skills to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to achieve an outcome driven vision.
  • Grant writing and development experience.
  • Skills and experience with general forest health issues such as insects, diseases, invasive species, drought, wildland fire, etc. and general UCF knowledge of tree
    inventories, canopy analysis, urban forest management plans and tree plantings

The Department of Natural Resources is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply: Click Here.