Field Programs Manager

Friends of the Middlesex Fells Published: May 18, 2022
Melrose, MA
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Planning / Land Use / Project Management

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Friends of the Middlesex Fells (FOF), a dynamic and growing non-profit organization working in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to promote the conservation, appreciation, and sustainable enjoyment of the Middlesex Fells Reservation.


FOF is looking for an energetic, passionate, and knowledgeable individual to lead the implementation of our field-based conservation initiatives in the Fells. If you have a background in ecology and/or natural resource management, enjoy working outdoors (sometimes in extreme temperature conditions), experience in land stewardship, and excel at working with volunteers, we want to hear from you.


  • Land Stewardship: Direct the implementation of all on-the-ground stewardship efforts, including invasive plant management, trail maintenance, graffiti removal, and other initiatives.
  • Volunteer Engagement: Engage more than 300 volunteers each year to carry out land stewardship initiatives and partner with other FOF staff to build volunteer leaders capable of leading projects with indirect oversight.
  • Project Management: Partner with the Executive Director to manage land stewardship projects, including initial project budgeting/scoping, coordination with Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) staff, annual calendaring of events, engagement with partners, and reporting of achievements.
  • Communications and Outreach: Develop communications materials to publicize field activities and accomplishments in collaboration with the Executive Director (ED) and other staff.

Specific Responsibilities

Land Stewardship/Volunteer Engagement (75%)

Land Stewardship

  • Under the direction of the ED and in partnership with DCR, plan and implement annual work plans for all field-based stewardship activities, including invasive plant management, trail maintenance, graffiti removal, and other initiatives.
  • Direct invasive plant management efforts, prioritizing the implementation of a three-year DCR partner project that aims to manage invasives to restore meadow, woodland, and wetland-adjacent habitats.
  • Direct the implementation of place-based initiatives that encompass varied objectives including improvements to natural resources, visitor education and experience, and physical infrastructure.
  • Ensure the Fells trail network is well-maintained and safe for visitors through oversight of FOF’s Trail Adopters program, including coordination and reporting to DCR, recruitment of volunteer leaders to assist in program oversight, and regular engagement with volunteer groups to conduct trail maintenance and restoration projects.
  • Coordinate all field activities, including group volunteer projects, with DCR operations staff and ensure compliance with DCR rules, guidelines, and protocols as well as local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with DCR operations, ecology, and other partner staff, partner organizations, outside experts, and partner organizations to further our ecology and land stewardship objectives.
  • Maintain tools used for all field operations.

Volunteer Engagement

  • Educate, train, mentor, supervise, and organize volunteers to support and implement field-based stewardship projects.
  • Partner with the Community Engagement and Operations Manager to recruit and mentor highly-skilled or dedicated volunteers to expand the scope and scale of stewardship efforts in the Fells.
  • Provide direct supervision and outreach to volunteers at weekend work events.
  • Utilize annual events such as Park Serve Day, Coast Sweep, REI National Trails Day, and Tufts partner events to achieve program objectives.
  • Partner with Scouts and others on individual special projects.

Project Management (15%)

  • In partnership with the ED, develop new projects, including researching best practices, engaging with outside experts and science advisors, defining scope and budget, initiating and securing permitting for projects vis DCR’s Green Docket team (if required), and preparing funding proposals.
  • With the ED, collaborate with DCR operations, ecology, and other partners to develop work plans to establish annual project-level priorities.
  • Establish a detailed annual event calendars to coordinate partner engagements, annual events, and group volunteer work parties to meet annual goals and objectives.
  • Document progress in achieving project objectives through written monthly staff reports and in interim and final reports to funding partners as required.

Communications, Outreach, and Other Duties (10%)

  • Support communications efforts by writing blog posts, supporting media outreach, and updating website content to inform the public of the future plans, current volunteer needs, and achievements relating to the field program.
  • Assist the Conservation Committee Chair in conducting its business, including preparing agendas, taking minutes, following up on action items, and recruiting committee members.
  • Assist in organizing materials for and attending outreach events (3-5 events per year).
  • Other duties as assigned by the ED. 

Desired Skills & Qualifications

  • Deep commitment and passion for the conservation and sustainable management of the Middlesex Fells.
  • Professional and/or academic background in ecology, land stewardship (including trail maintenance), habitat restoration, and volunteer engagement.
  • Highly organized and outcome-driven with strong project management skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks and adjust to short or changing timelines.
  • Outgoing people-person with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage work groups successfully, including good communication and teaching skills and a sensitivity to and awareness of individual group dynamics
  • High level of safety-consciousness to ensure field work is conducted a manner that avoids bodily injury and/or damage to property and/or tools, and mechanical capability to operate tools used for trail maintenance and habitat improvements safely.
  • Knowledge of land management best practices for invasive plant management, including ability to identify invasive plants (see for a list of common invasives).
  • Knowledge of local native flora and fauna.
  • Confident public speaker able to effectively represent FOF in community outreach opportunities with the public, partners, and various stakeholder groups/entities.
  • Proven leadership experience in motivating and managing people.
  • Hard working, self-motivated, effective, and able to work in a team setting in either a leadership or supporting role.
  • Have ability to relate to people with different backgrounds and life experiences and exercise cultural humility and inclusion.
  • Proficiency with Google Workspace (Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Calendar).
  • Typewriting speed minimum 50 WPM.
  • GIS experience is a plus.
  • Ability to identify regulated resources and complete wetland delineations is a plus.
  • Experience drafting and submitting Wetlands Protection Act and Massachusetts Endangered Species Act permits is a plus.

Other Job Requirements

  • Must have a valid driver’s license, excellent driving record, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be able to work up to two weekend days per month during the “off” season (December – February), and up to six weekend days per month during the field season (March – November), and several evening events per year.
  • Work requires frequent hiking, standing, bending, lifting, carrying and climbing.
  • Must be physically able and willing to perform all aspects of job in all seasons and be able to move materials and equipment weighing up to 50 pounds.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a part-time, non-exempt (hourly) position. The hourly pay range is $19-24 per hour, depending on experience/skills. Benefits include paid vacation, holiday, sick leave, and professional development to enhance skills and qualifications related to the position.


FOF staff work primarily remotely, but have access to a small shared office space in Melrose, Massachusetts.

Additional Comments

Friends of the Middlesex Fells embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are dedicated to forming a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.  We are an equal opportunity employer and we encourage applications from people of color, LGBTQIA people, people living with disabilities, military veterans and other under-represented populations. Candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted, interviews will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until filled. No phone calls please.

How to Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below to email your materials, with the words “Field Programs Manager” in the subject line.
  • Your application must include a resume and cover letter.
  • Check out our careers page to learn more.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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