Community Arborist

The primary role of the Community Arborist will be to facilitate community tree plantings and maintenance with TreeKeepers, neighborhood leaders, volunteers, and corporate groups.

This is a full time, non-exempt position and requires flexibility with seasonal work on weekends and occasional evenings.

Essential Functions:

  • Coordinate community tree grants and other tree plantings. Conduct community meetings, informational sessions, and site visits for planting groups to explain planting process, property owner responsibilities, and technical advice about proper tree selection and tree planting process.
  • Coordinate tree species selection, contractors, file permits, and material orders for tree planting projects
  • Lead plantings, work days, and events; prepare, track, and report all necessary event information
  • Coordinate tree stewardship events, both in the office and in the field.
  • Implement data collection operations on plantings, tree care, inventories, and surveys
  • Assist the TreeKeepers Program Manager in leading workdays, teaching courses, and developing continuing education opportunities for volunteers.
  • Assist in and perform tasks involved in the operation and care of hand and power arboriculture tools and equipment.
  • Respond to citizen inquiries and maintain working relationships with community groups.
  • Drive vehicles and operate other motorized equipment incidental to the performance of duties.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or, a certificate from a horticulture or botanic program containing college‐level courses in addition to experience with at least 3 years planting and caring for trees
  • ISA certification or ability to become certified within 3 months of employment
  • Ability to identify Midwest and urban tree species and associated pests, diseases, and environmental factors that affect young trees
  • Instructor level competency of pruning trees with hand tools
  • Volunteer organizing experience; Spanish speaking a plus
  • Computer literacy including ability to use programs such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds occasionally and ability to stand, crouch, and perform various types of manual labor; willing and able to work outdoors all year round
  • Valid Illinois Drivers License and reliable transportation. This license must be maintained for the duration of employment.


Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time.

To Apply:

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to   Please include “Community Arborist” in the subject line.

Please note that applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Work Environment:

Office is ADA accessible.

This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer.

This role requires manual labor- standing, bending, crouching, lifting.

Smoke- and drug-free environment

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws.

Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.

About Openlands:

Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.

Openlands’ vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.