Urban Forester

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
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Location: Washington County,
About the Job

Join the dedicated team of the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program at the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) as an Urban Forester. This position works with municipal staff, tree board and committee members, volunteers, residents, partner organizations, and other natural resource professionals including nursery growers and arborists to promote and support proper tree selection, planting, and care throughout Vermont. The primary duties are to support coordination and technical assistance towards an initiative to plant 5,000 trees in Vermont’s downtowns and village centers.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Working with program staff and municipal partners to coordinate the Vermont Community Canopy free tree giveaway program twice a year, including staffing tree pick-up events in communities;
• Designing, promoting, and offering tree planting and maintenance workshops for participants of the Vermont Community Canopy program and responding to inquiries from municipal staff and volunteers who are planting trees;
• Developing and implementing a technical support program for households participating in the Vermont Community Canopy program that need assistance with tree planting;
• Developing a monitoring program to track trends in tree survivability and health in partner municipalities, including the municipalities that have participated in the Vermont Community Canopy Program since its inception in 2017;
• Designing and providing opportunities for technical assistance in tree selection, site assessment, tree planting, and tree maintenance to urban tree planting grant recipients;
• Designing and providing tree stewardship opportunities including tree planting and pruning workshops, tree inventory activities, tree warden and municipal staff trainings, and municipal tree planning and policy development; and
• Developing resources such as instructional videos, guidance documents, and website content to support tree selection, site assessment, tree planting, tree care, and planning for vibrant urban and community forests.

An ideal candidate will have arboricultural experience and knowledge. If not already a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture, candidates should be willing to apply for the credential within one year. Candidates should have experience of working independently and as part of a team. Strong communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with individuals and groups are critical to this position, as is the ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with community partners, municipal staff, forestry professionals, co-workers, and partner organizations. In addition, the position requires skills in project management, meeting facilitation, public speaking and presentation development, and field-based data collection tools and software.

Candidates must be willing to travel and to work some weekends and evenings. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation currently operates in a hybrid working environment, supporting remote work as well as work days in the office. Permission to participate in telework is applied for on an individual basis. The position’s duty station is located at FPR Headquarters in Montpelier with the option to work out of the field office in Essex, VT when needed.

Employer's Approach to Diversity, Equity, & Belonging

In 2020 the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program added a new priority strategy to its guiding strategic action plan: to increase access to the benefits of tree and urban and community forests for all Vermonters by applying a lens of environmental justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across programming. Since then, our staff has met monthly to focus on this strategy, identify ways to enhance or alter programming through this lens, and learn together. Three specific actions that Vermont Urban & Community Forestry has taken are:
1. Developing our program's guiding principles towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. These are available here:vtcommunityforestry.org/guiding-principles-towards-justice-equity-diversity-and-inclusion.
2. Working with the LBGTQIA2S+ Allies of Windsor in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation to have a LGBTQ+ Pride Tree planted and dedicated on the lawn of the Old Constitution House State Historic site in Windsor. More information here:
3. Supporting a graduate student from the University of Vermont to spend a year focused on black ash trees in Vermont: the current location of black ash, the expected ecological impact of the loss of black ash due to the invasive emerald ash borer, the cultural implications of the loss of black ash for the Abenaki people, and the logistical challenges surrounding preservation of black ash trees for basket-making and future study. More information here:vtcommunityforestry.org/projects/black-ash-project.

Equal Opportunity Employer
The State of Vermont celebrates diversity, and is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect and meaningful inclusion that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The State does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, membership in an employee organization, family medical history or genetic information, or family or parental status. The State’s employment decisions are merit-based. Retaliatory adverse employment actions by the State are forbidden.

Wage or Salary
Hourly rate: $25.43/hour.