Forestry Advocacy Intern

The Forestry Advocacy Intern will gain experience in all areas of our urban forestry and advocacy work, gaining high-level resume- and portfolio-building experience at a leading Chicago non-profit. This position reports to the TreeKeepers Program Manager and Manager of Governmental Affairs.

Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, please visit

Anticipated Opportunities:

  • Learn tree biology, identification, pests and diseases, and other subjects by becoming a certified Openlands TreeKeeper through attendance at the TreeKeepers Course being held at Garfield Park Conservatory on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in June (eight classes in all).
  • Coordinate & respond to our network of TreeKeeper advocates
  • Build online resources repository for TreeKeepers & urban forest advocates
  • Advertise & organize an advocacy workshop for TreeKeepers & urban forestry advocates
  • Help convene volunteer Urban Forest Advisory Board for City of Chicago
  • Research & write advocacy alerts for urban forest-related topics
  • Other responsibilities as they develop, based on interest areas and organizational needs

Minimum requirements:

  • Collegiate coursework in forestry, policy, community development, &/or environmental science.
  • Strong planning, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal & relationship-building skills that sustain interest & engagement.
  • Ability to communicate high-level concepts concisely and persuasively.
  • Ability to critically listen and understand multiple, varying opinions.
  • Willingness to work in all neighborhoods of Chicago and surrounding communities
  • Ability to engage communities of diverse racial, ethnic, & socioeconomic compositions.
  • Comfort taking initiative under limited supervisory direction.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications.
  • Must be punctual and responsible

Compensation: free tuition to the Summer TreeKeepers Course.

Position Commitment: To be determined, but no less than 20 hours/week

Start Date: To be determined, but no earlier than May 21, 2019 or later than June 3, 2019

End Date: To be determined, but no earlier than August 1, 2019 or later than August 30, 2019

Interested applicants should send a cover letter including why your skills and experience would complement this position and resume to and include Forestry Advocacy Intern in the subject line. No calls please. Openlands is an equal opportunity employer.