Saratoga PLAN’s Conservation Project Manager efficiently and effectively advances land protection and stewardship projects as part of a collaborative professional team of staff and external partners. The Conservation Project Manager contributes to the lasting health, well-being and vitality of the environment and rapidly growing communities throughout Saratoga County, New York.
This position’s primary duties include due diligence for real estate transactions resulting in permanent conservation of farmland properties, natural areas, and trail corridors; consulting with landowners and advising communities on conservation options and tools through a variety of communication media; grant writing and grant management; monitoring conserved lands and resolving trespass and violation issues; GIS cartography and analysis; coordination of volunteers; and serving as an educational resource for open space preservation for partnering entities and the public.
This role is a good fit for you if:
- You are passionate and articulate about the essential role conservation plays in your life and the quality of life in your community.
- You are resourceful, solution oriented and love problem solving.
- You build lasting, trusting relationships and have a collaborative, service-oriented approach to project management.
- You are highly organized and able to keep many balls in the air while maintaining meticulous detailed records for complex projects.
- You work well in teams and independently.
Guided by the Conservation Plan and Business Blueprint, the Conservation Project Manager works closely with the Conservation Director, other staff, the Board of Directors, volunteers, donors, interns, and community partners to manage land and trail projects through all phases – planning, resource gathering, implementation, documentation, and ongoing stewardship.
- Consult with landowners, municipalities and other organizations regarding conservation options and succession planning for farms, natural areas, trails, and open spaces through public presentations and confidential conversations.
- Evaluate properties for conservation values and priorities, options, and funding opportunities.
- Structure and oversee land conservation and trail projects including mapping and analysis, site planning, budgeting, easement and contract drafting, negotiating terms of easements, acquisitions and partnerships, review of title reports and completion of pre-acquisition due diligence, including contractual services by surveyors, appraisers, attorneys, title companies, and environmental inspectors.
- In close consultation with Conservation Director and collaborators, plan, budget, track and report on land conservation and stewardship initiatives and projects.
- In collaboration with Conservation Director, other staff and funders, prepare grant applications and donation solicitations for conservation and stewardship projects, track awarded funds, and prepare comprehensive project status reports.
- Play a supporting role in donor relations and community engagement programs, including providing visual and narrative content for external communications about land projects, or leading tours and walks.
- Serve in a supporting or lead role, as assigned, for community groups, such as the Conservation Committee, Conservation Colleagues, Countywide Trails Committee, Palmertown Partners, Farmers for a New Generation New York, Land Trust Alliance, American Farmland Trust, municipalities creating farmland protection plans, and other collaborators working together to advance open space protection, recreation, and farmland conservation.
- Assist with mapping and conservation planning for PLAN and partner projects.
- Monitor nature preserves and conservation easements.
- Map and develop property baseline documentation reports and updates.
- Map and develop management plans for fee-owned nature preserves and trail easements.
- Manage trail building and trail maintenance projects, including coordination of effective and meaningful volunteer engagement such as trail stewards and community forest management teams.
- Promptly alert Conservation Director and Executive Director to violations and trespasses and other risks to organization and assist with reaching resolutions.
Relevant natural resource non-profit or conservation experience, including managing internal and external collaborative projects, programs, and teams.
- Undergraduate degree in related field (conservation, environment, natural resources management, ecology, land planning, etc.).
- Proficiency with GIS and GPS.
- At least 2 years’ successful experience in real estate transactions for undeveloped land and conservation easements desired.
Skills and Competencies
Strong skills in project planning and execution.
- Production of high-quality work products.
- Meticulous attention to detail and record-keeping.
- Demonstrated ability to use GIS and GPS to display and analyze spatial information, and to evaluate conservation values of properties and land.
- Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to develop and maintain diplomatic relationships at all levels including with landowners, communities, government agencies and the not-for-profit sector.
- Proficiency with a variety of software including Microsoft Office 365 Online suite of products.
- Ability to demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors consistent with policies and values of Saratoga PLAN and the Land Trust Alliance, and adherence to land trust standards and practices.
- Ability to perform strenuous physical activities such as hiking in steep terrain as well as long hours at a computer.
About Saratoga PLAN
Saratoga PLAN (preserving land and nature) is an established, accredited nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to preserving the rural character, natural habitats, and scenic beauty of the Saratoga County region so that these irreplaceable assets are accessible to all and survive for future generations. The lands that Saratoga PLAN conserves are ancestral homelands of the Mohican, Mohawk and Abenaki people.
PLAN is respected as an effective, credible and trusted organization which helps landowners, communities and partners accomplish their conservation goals for farmland, wildlife habitats, water resources, and trail systems through land protection and community planning. Saratoga PLAN helps communities create plans that balance growth with conservation to sustain the Saratoga region’s “quality of place” and its environment, economy, and public health, ensuring that the county remains a great place to live, work, visit, and farm. To learn more, visit www.saratogaplan.org.
Saratoga PLAN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.
PLAN has a highly motivated, small and growing team and is an equal opportunity employer. This is a new position beginning July 1, 2022, and may evolve over time, depending on the organization’s needs. Job responsibilities, workload, and hours may vary. We’re looking for someone who is flexible and is willing to fill in the gaps when needed. This position reports to and works closely with the Executive Director and conservation team. This is a full-time salaried position requiring a minimum of 40 hours per week, and occasionally requires weekend and evening work. The starting salary is in the 50s and depends on experience and skills. Health, dental, vacation, holiday, and retirement benefits offered.