Calumet Conservation Corps Crew Manager

Friends of the Forest Preserves

South Holland, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $26.71 per hour
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Conservation Corps Crew Manager, Calumet Region

Reports to: Associate Director, Conservation Corps

Start date: ASAP

Pay rate: $26.71/hour

Schedule: Full time, 36 hours per week

  • Typically 9 hours/day; 6:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday-Thursday. Schedule changes regularly, based on season, weather, and other requirements. Friday and Saturday work is sometimes required.


Mission: We unite people to protect, promote, and care for the forest preserves in Cook County.

Our community advocates for the responsible management of the nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, engagement, and stewardship of the land. Some of the best natural areas in Illinois are right here in Cook County, right outside your urban backdoor. Join our team and help us ensure they are here for the next 100 years.

Friends is an organization that gets things done with our members, volunteers, staff, board, and partners. We believe in work-life balance and are here for the marathon, not the sprint (not that we don’t sprint on a regular basis).

Operating Budget: $3,750,000


Friends of the Forest Preserves (FOTFP) seeks a Crew Manager to lead our Calumet Conservation Corps Crew, based in South Holland, Illinois.  Conservation Corps members work year-round to remove invasive species and restore native habitats throughout the forest preserves in Cook County.  Participants gain valuable skills and certifications that could lead to a long-term career in natural land management or other environmental jobs. We are seeking a Crew Manager to provide strong leadership in achieving the training and ecological restoration goals of the program. 


  • Manage and supervise 5-member crew to work on variety of indoor and outdoor conservation projects in Forest Preserves of Cook County
  • Work independently to fulfill restoration work orders and project responsibilities, including, but not limited to, year-round field work, supplies procurement, tool and vehicle maintenance, scouting, walkthroughs, and follow up treatment
  • Train and lead crews for field work, herbicide application, prescribed burning, and mechanical control of invasive species using motorized equipment (brush cutters, chainsaws, mowers) and hand tools
  • Assist with educating crew in ecological restoration and local ecology concepts
  • Develop weekly crew schedule, training, and reporting
  • Evaluate and document crew work activities and performance through compiling weekly work log data, taking and uploading crew photos, and assisting with writing quarterly and annual work progress reports
  • Interview, screen, hire, and onboard all new crew members 

Required qualifications:

  • 21 years or older with clean driving record
  • At least 3 years practical experience working with crews to conduct ecological restoration 
  • Excellent working knowledge of restoration best practices and plant identification
  • Strong commitment to creating a culture of safety, teamwork, and learning
  • Current Illinois Herbicide Applicator license or ability to secure one within 45 days of hire
  • Current Basic First Aid and Adult CPR certifications
  • Excellent leadership, communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to create an inclusive working environment for a diversity of team members and partners
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 lbs.) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures
  • Comfortable driving a heavy-duty pickup truck (training provided)
  • Flexibility for schedule changes due to trainings, burn season, and weather

Beneficial qualifications:

  • Experience with technical report writing
  • Staff management/supervisory experience
  • Experience teaching in classroom and/or field setting a plus
  • 300 hours of chainsaw experience
  •  150 hours of brush cutter experience
  • 570 hours of herbicide experience
  • S290 certification and Burn Boss certification
  • Experience using GPS Units


  • Health and dental insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and $100,000 of life insurance
  • 403b retirement account with 3% match starting at 1 year of employment
  • 3 weeks of vacation
  • 2 weeks of sick time
  • 11 paid holidays plus 2 additional paid days of winter break

To apply: Submit cover letter, resume, and two references via the Friends’ website at https://fotfp.org/who-we-are/jobs/. Incomplete applications may not be considered. Please NO calls, faxes, office visits, or emails.

Friends of the Forest Preserves strongly encourages people of all identities to apply. We strive to include people of every race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, and/or sexual orientation. Friends is an equal opportunity employer, in addition to observing all legal protections of special status, promoting diversity in the conservation community.


When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Restoration
Tags Conservation Corps, Wildland Firefighter