Urban Agriculture Director

  • 1515 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and opportunities in more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the United States and one of the largest employers in Southeastern Pennsylvania. As an employer, the City of Philadelphia operates through the guiding principles of service, integrity, respect, accountability, collaboration, diversity and inclusion. Through these principles, we strive to effectively deliver services, to resolve the challenges facing our city, and to make Philadelphia a place where all of our residents have the opportunity to reach their potential. 

Agency Description

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of over 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental, and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the City’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other, and to fun, physical, and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.

Job Description

This is a grant-funded position and is only guaranteed for 1 year. Continued employment beyond this time frame is subject to the availability of funds.

Farm Philly is the Urban Agriculture Program for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation which seeks to support youth and community projects centered around growing food on parkland as well as building resources for growers across Philadelphia.  Through diverse programs such as the Junior Farmers Program, the Community Gardens Network, the Community Propagation Program and the Carousel House Farm, FarmPhilly connects Philadelphians to the natural world and healthy activity through empowering communities to grow their own food. 

Reporting to the 1st Deputy, the Urban Agriculture Director will direct the development and implementation of a Citywide urban agriculture plan and oversee the diverse FarmPhilly program areas. The Director will work closely with various City departments and external partners, serving as a strategic thought partner to implement a comprehensive urban agriculture strategy building out city wide resources and programs through the Farm Philly Program as well as new initiatives.

Essential Functions:

Project Management

  • Oversee the o strategic planning process for Philadelphia’s urban agriculture program, including the management of a $125,000 consulting contract to develop Philadelphia’s urban agriculture plan.
  • Support consultant(s) and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to build consensus among diverse stakeholders working toward a common goal.
  • Organize, facilitate, and manage the coordination of steering committees and advisory committees engaging in the urban agriculture planning process.

Leadership &Management

  • Direct the implementation of Philadelphia’s urban agriculture plan, including day-to-day operations and fiscal management of programs and policies recommended in the plan.
  • Provide project support and management to seasonal staff working for the FarmPhilly Program.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations and fiscal management of the FarmPhilly Program.

Strategic Partnerships

  • Partner with other departments that influence urban agriculture (Office of Sustainability, Planning Commission, Health Department, landholding agencies, etc.) to advance urban agriculture plan recommendations and grow City services in support of this initiative.
  • Facilitate inter-agency recommendations, communications and resource-sharing on the topic of urban agriculture.
  • Work with the Office of Sustainability, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Water Department, and Department of Public Property on EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, soil assessments for potential garden and green stormwater infrastructure projects.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in City Planning, Environmental Studies, Public Health or related field; Master’s Degree Preferred.
  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience advancing urban agriculture with a preference in city planning experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
  • 5+ years’ experience in community engagement with preference working with farmers and gardeners. Applicants well versed in cultural competency are highly encouraged to apply.
  • Experience with and/ or knowledge of food policy, food systems and urban agriculture research preferred.
  • Strong organizational, communication, planning, and interpersonal skills are required.
  • Bilingual preferred; Fluent
  • Equivalent combination of education and experience that includes a bachelor’s degree also considered.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Urban Agriculture Literacy – Knowledge of emerging environmental and social trends related to urban agriculture. 
  • Project Management - Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.
  • Written Communication - Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.
  • Oral Communication - Expresses information to individuals or groups effectively, considering the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately. Successfully navigates different sectors and professional environments and can engage with various levels of leadership, from neighborhood activists to corporate CEOs. 
  • Database Management Systems - Knowledge of various database management systems and software to control the organization, storage, retrieval, security, and integrity of data.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Develops and maintains effective relationships with others; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.
  • Facilitation Skills – Skills and experience in moving varied groups along the planning process, conflict resolution, and consensus-building. Effective collaborator and team player.

Additional Information

This is a grant-funded position and is only guaranteed for 1 year. Continued employment beyond this time frame is subject to the availability of funds.

Successful candidate must be a City resident within six months of hire

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age,disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to [email protected] phila.gov. For more information, go to: Human Relations Website at: http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations