Urban Forestry Community Organizer

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

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

  Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

  Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

  Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

  Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

  Benefits - We care about your well being.

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

PPR’s Urban Forestry Unit is responsible for maintaining trees in the park system, managing contractors for street tree planting and maintenance, responding to tree emergencies in parks and on city streets, and partnering with Philadelphia residents to promote and support tree planting and stewardship on public and private land. 

The Urban Forestry Community Organizer will report to Community Forestry Manager coordinate efforts and work with staff across PPR’s Urban Forestry Unit including the Street Tree Office and the TreePhilly Program.  with a range of urban forestry partners across the city to build and strengthen PPR’s community-based urban forestry efforts in priority neighborhoods.  This position requires an energetic, self-motivated and organized person who can work independently as well as collaboratively.  The ideal candidate will advocate for the value of trees, connect residents with the urban forestry programs that work best for their community, and provide technical support for strategic efforts at the neighborhood level.  The Urban Forestry Community Organizer will work with partner agencies and organizations across the city and region, including: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks Alliance, School District and Philadelphia Water Department.

Essential Functions

The Community Organizer will be responsible for:

  • Stewarding relationships with community members and organizations in priority neighborhoods;
  • Coordinating with PPR and urban forestry partners across the city and non-profit sectors;
  • Advocating for tree planting and stewardship at the neighborhood level, including street trees, yard trees and trees on private property.
  • Acting as liaison between residents and City or non-profit programs that support tree planting and stewardship;
  • Providing communities with technical assistance for strategic urban forestry planning, including tree inventories, assessments, and plans;
  • Organizing tree planting and stewardship events in partnership with community groups;
  • Supporting community forestry events like the annual Arbor Day celebration;
  • Developing informational and educational materials to support advocacy efforts at the neighborhood level;
  • Actively participating in the Philadelphia urban forestry community, including attending conferences, trainings, and meetings;
  • Supporting grant writing, implementation and reporting for community forestry efforts.


Education and Experience

  • High School Diploma or Equivalency;
  • Preferred: Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Forestry, Horticulture or Plant Science
  • Two years of experience working in economically and socially diverse communities and community groups;
  • Two years experience working with trees or plants in a public setting.
  • Valid PA driver’s license;
  • Preferred: Familiarity with the City of Philadelphia and its neighborhoods.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in an office setting;
  • Ability to communicate both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to work across cultural lines;
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs and work outside in all weather conditions (heat, cold, rain, etc);
  • Ability to safely use arboriculture hand tools such as shovels, pruners, and hand saws;

Additional Information

Salary Range: $40,000 (commensurate with education and experience)

Please submit a cover letter and resume with your application. Applications without all documents will not be considered.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is subject to the provisions of the Child Protective Services Law which requires FBI criminal history background check as well as the Pennsylvania State Police criminal history background check and Pennsylvania child abuse background check as a condition of initial employment.

Did you know?

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • Employees are eligible for a 25% tuition discount program (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • We offer comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • Our wellness program offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Employees receive paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options are available 

Successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia 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] For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations/Pages/default.aspx