Director of Stewardship
Willistown Conservation Trust
TITLE: Director of Stewardship
SUPERVISOR: Executive Director
SUMMARY OF POSITION
The Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) is seeking a senior-level candidate for the position of Director of Stewardship (DOS) to advance its land and easement stewardship goals.
The DOS is a leadership position at WCT requiring a dynamic individual with team skills and a dedication to protecting the area’s resources and enhancing their ecological qualities. The position requires an experienced professional with a background and preferred combination of experience in ecology, real estate, planning, landscape architecture, and architectural and civil engineering plan review. The position will require a combination of fieldwork and administrative duties, and is an excellent opportunity to help guide habitat restoration projects while also overseeing easement monitoring and grant management.
Successful candidates will possess the ability to manage multiple projects concurrently across various areas of responsibility including habitat restoration, grant project work, trail improvement projects, easement plan review, and community outreach initiatives. The ability to enthusiastically and clearly express the mission and philosophy of WCT to landowners, community members, and external stakeholders is a must. The ability to build and maintain trust and positive working relationships with these various partners is paramount to success. The DOS will supervise a Stewardship Manager, and work closely with the Executive Director as well as the Land Protection, Bird Conservation, Community Farm, and Watershed Protection departments to achieve WCT’s goals.
Summary of Willistown Conservation Trust’s Stewardship Program
- WCT manages approximately 99 conservation easements that protect more than 2900 acres of land.
- WCT manages 5 preserves totaling 284 acres of land.
- WCT promotes excellent land stewardship practices to private landowners and public entities within its program area and coordinates specific programs and outreach activities to achieve these practices.
- WCT partners with other environmental and community organizations to achieve shared conservation objectives.
- WCT serves as a thought leader in promoting land stewardship best practices in conjunction with bird conservation, watershed management, and sustainable agriculture.
- Particular priority areas include conservation easement management; ecological habitat restoration; improving water quality through land management best practices; invasive species plant management; grassland and woodland management; and the protection and restoration of bird habitat within the Upper Ridley/Crum Important Bird Area.
Managing existing conservation easements including:
- Responding to easement landowner requests for information or clarification of their easements;
- Conducting annual monitoring of eased properties;
- Maintaining correspondence and easement files;
- Architectural, civil engineering, and landscape architecture plan review;
- Regular communication with easement landowners;
- Focus on building and managing relationships with new and existing easement owners;
- Maintaining current knowledge of easement stewardship best practices;
- Attending workshops, seminars, municipal meetings, and other meetings which may take place on weekends and evenings.
Managing preserves and working with public and private landowners to protect and enhance the area’s natural, scenic, recreational, and historic resources and rural character including:
- Providing ongoing land management assistance and education to easement owners and others to encourage proper management of their lands for ecological benefit;
- Managing WCT nature preserves to enhance their ecological and recreational features;
- Managing the Lawn to Meadow Conversion program which is a grant-funded initiative to work with public and private landowners to convert mowed lawn to meadow habitat.
- Continue to grow and develop the Habitat at Home outreach program which provides free consultations to the community to improve habitat on their property with native plants;
- Coordinating land stewardship events, public presentations, and workdays with other staff and WCT volunteers; and
- Writing grant applications to support land stewardship and outreach projects.
- Eight to ten years of experience and/or an advanced degree in land conservation, natural resource management, ecology, landscape architecture or other related fields;
- Supervisory experience and a demonstrated ability to build a goal-oriented team;
- The ability to build positive relationships and communicate effectively with conservation easement landowners and other constituents;
- A demonstrated ability to write successful grant applications and to manage grants received;
- Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously;
- Experience in strategic planning and budgeting processes;
- Knowledge of Windows Office;
- Enthusiasm, a good sense of humor, and a passion for the WCT mission.
PREFERRED OR WILLINGNESS TO LEARN:
- Understanding of conservation easements and their management;
- The ability to read architectural, engineering, and landscape architectural plans;
- Experience in recruiting and managing volunteers;
- Experience in the use of power tools, hand tools, and chainsaws;
- Familiarity with ESRI ArcGIS Pro software;
- Familiarity with Landscape Conservation software;
- Familiarity with Adobe Acrobat.
Salary: This is a senior leadership position. Salary will be commensurate with experience.
Benefits: Excellent benefits package including health, retirement, paid holidays and vacation days.
Equal opportunity employer. Smoke free, dog friendly office.
How to Apply
Send resume and cover letter to: Kate Etherington, Executive Director
Email: [email protected]
Willistown Conservation Trust
925 Providence Road
Newtown Square, PA 19073