Engagement Director

Wissahickon Trails

Wissahickon Trails is a community-based conservation organization headquartered in Ambler, PA. For 66 years, we have worked to protect and restore nature in the Wissahickon Valley, preserving 1,300 acres of critical open space, building 24 miles of trails for public access, and protecting the health of the Wissahickon Creek. We are seeking a new member of our team who will have the opportunity to impact local environmental conservation and improve the quality of life in the Wissahickon Valley.

Engagement Director

The Engagement Director is charged with creating and supporting avenues for our organization to listen and respond to public input and for the public to learn about the environment and become increasingly engaged in efforts to protect and restore their local land and waterways. They will provide strategic oversight and management for our community outreach, volunteer, environmental education, community science, and nature programs, ensuring that these efforts are aligned and collectively provide sufficient opportunity for people to continue to deepen their engagement with our mission. The Engagement Director will lead and mentor a team of two full-time and two part-time staff.

The Engagement Director is a member of the organizational leadership team and is expected to be a role model for staff of the integrity, innovation, and joy we can bring to our everyday work. We are seeking someone who is eager to contribute to a culture that values relationships, and whose leadership style prioritizes listening to others and serving the best interests and needs of our internal and external communities. This is a full-time, exempt position reporting to the Executive Director. Some work on weekends and evenings is required.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic oversight and management of engagement programs (programs include, but are not limited to volunteer, community outreach, community science, environmental education, and nature programs) ensuring all programs are aligned with our strategic plan, that they are equitable and inclusive, and that they are in compliance with internal policies and state, local, and federal laws.
  • Build relationships with community leaders and organizations. Identify and pursue mutually beneficial program partnerships.
  • Plan and implement an iterative program improvement process; this will include program evaluations and a process for measuring key outcomes for each of our programs. Report on program outcomes on a regular basis.
  • Work with the administrative team to set the annual budget for the department based on a clear and comprehensive understanding of organizational priorities. Oversee the financial activities of the department in collaboration with the Finance Director.
  • Manage and support the Engagement team, ensuring that the team has the resources and skills needed to meet department objectives and key results and all other aspects of their work. Provide regular feedback on staff performance and provide support and opportunities for growth.
  • Secure funding for engagement programs through full-cycle grant management and by collaborating with the Development team on major donor relationships and helping to identify new donor prospects from among our volunteers and program participants.
  • Collaborate with the Conservation team on strategic opportunities to engage people in our conservation work and on public programs and educational opportunities.
  • Collaborate with the Communications Specialist on program-related communications.
  • Provide support and information to the Board as required. Serve as liaison to appropriate Board committees as requested by the Executive Director.
  • Special projects as assigned.

Qualifications, Experience, & Core Competencies

If you meet at least 75% of the criteria below we encourage you to apply:

  • Bachelor degree; Master degree in environmental education or related field is preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in environmental education or engagement. Knowledge of best practices in community engagement strategies, program planning and evaluation and informal education methodologies required.
  • Minimum 3 years of director-level experience at a similar sized organization and managing a similar sized (or larger) team.
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing, reporting, and management for private and government funding entities.
  • Experience with Community Centered Conservation is desirable.
  • Team-oriented with strong relationship-building and interpersonal skills.
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional growth.
  • Ability to manage time and priorities independently while being flexible and responsive to emerging situations.
  • Excellent oral, written, interpersonal, analytical, and organization skills.
  • Must be able to travel independently around the region for programs and meetings.
  • Must pass background clearances.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job, unless the requested accommodations would cause undue hardship. The employee must be able to traverse 1-8 hours at a time outside at schools, community organizations, preserves and trails across the watershed. The employee must be able to use hands, arms, and legs to lift, move, or operate program equipment. The employee is also regularly required to sit or stand at a desk for hours at a time, and stand, walk and operate general office equipment (computer, telephone, file cabinets, copier, fax machine and printer).


This is a full-time salaried position (salary range is $80k-$88k) with a full range of benefits, including paid time off, health (90% of employee and 50% of covered dependents premiums are paid by Wissahickon Trails), vision, and retirement (401k with up to 5% of salary matched by Wissahickon Trails).

About Wissahickon Trails

At Wissahickon Trails, we work to inspire and engage diverse communities of people in protecting, stewarding, and enjoying the land and waterways of the Wissahickon Valley. The board and staff are a collaborative team driven by the belief that people benefit when nature thrives. As a team, we are intentional in the culture we collectively create, where we are inclusive and equitable, hardworking, and kind and thoughtful towards each other. We have a hybrid work environment where staff are in the office Mon-Thurs and Friday staff can work from home. Our office includes a few dogs, there are optional opportunities for socializing outside of work, staff field trips, and lots of laughs.

We value a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse work community and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. Board and staff committees are working to build an inclusive, equitable, and diverse work environment and organization. Please feel free to ask us about this work! E.O.E.

How to Apply

Please submit your CV and cover letter outlining interest and experience to Gail Farmer, Executive Director, [email protected]. To submit your application in the mail: Gail Farmer, 12 Morris Rd, Ambler, PA 19002. No phone calls please. For full consideration, please submit your materials by October 16, 2023.

CV & references emailed to [email protected] or mail to 12 Morris Rd, Ambler, PA 19002; attn: HR.