Conservation District Manager / Grants Administrator

Kent Conservation District

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 50,000 to 60,000
Deadline Jun 30, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years


Title: Conservation District Manager / Administers Grants

The Kent Conservation District is currently accepting applications for a conservation leader. To assist with achievement of its financial goals, as well as providing support for the day-to-day operations of the District.

KCD manages an annual budget of approximately $725,000, a significant portion of which is grant-funded. For more information, visit www.KentConservation.org.

Status: Full-time (40 hours per week), FLSA Exempt
Salary: $50,000 – $60,000 a year, depending on training and experience. Benefits include mileage and expense reimbursement for business-related expenses, and use of a personal vehicle; paid vacation and sick leave. Numerous training opportunities. No insurance but a quarterly stipend is available. Eligible to apply stipend toward Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) of Michigan services.


The Kent Conservation District (KCD) is a governmental entity focused on protecting and preserving the natural resources of Kent County. As a local, special purpose unit of government, KCD is governed by a locally elected, five-member board of directors. The guiding philosophy of Michigan Conservation Districts is that local people should make decisions on conservation issues at the local level, with technical assistance provided by government.

KCD is co-located and assists the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Through the Conservation Technical Assistance Initiative (CTAI) program, KCD employs a soil conservationist and an engineer. Through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant, KCD employs an additional engineer. These positions meet the Farm Bill related technical assistance needs in our area. Soil and water conservation practices installed include: cover crops, alternative tillage practices, agri-chemical containment facilities, steam crossings, grassed waterways, grade stabilization structures, forest conservation, irrigation management plans and so much more. The USDA NRCS cost-share program provides thousands of federal dollars to support conservation efforts on private working lands in Kent County.

Our efforts include working directly with local watershed associations and other NGOs, educating landowners on adoption of agricultural best management practices and risk reductions through the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance program, oversight of Kent County’s Invasive Species Strike Team (run on grants and for-hire treatments) and assistance with habitat plantings.


The Administrator is responsible for the consistent achievement of KCD’s mission, business operations, and financial objectives. This includes overseeing staff, securing and managing grants and budgets, fostering strategic partnerships, and enhancing community engagement.



  • Supervise a diverse team of 6 full-time, 4 part-time, 2 seasonal staff, and approximately 50 project-based volunteers.
  • Oversee all operational aspects including grants, budgets, work plans, and programs.
  • Develop and manage the annual operating budget and risk management with Board guidance.
  • Ensure compliance with state laws governing conservation districts and manage human resources functions.

Strategic Leadership:

  • Serve as the point of contact for the MDARD Conservation Programs, administered in accordance with the Michigan Conservation District Law.
  • Develop and implement a strategic business plan with the Board of Directors.
  • Lead staff and volunteers to achieve the goals of the various projects.
  • Foster a collaborative environment to maximize resources and support staff development.
  • Manage existing partnerships and develop new strategic partnerships.
  • Raise the community profile of KCD to support development efforts.
  • Serve as KCD’s spokesperson and oversee the development of an annual funding plan (including four yearly plant sales).

Grant Management:

  • Identify and prepare grant applications and administer their financial oversight including quarterly reports for 10 current grants.
  • Administer MDARD grants, including operational, MAEAP, and CTAI grants.
  • Oversee the implementation of conservation practices under the Farm Bill in accordance with NRCS guidelines.

Administrative Duties:

  • Conduct day-to-day business, supervise staff, provide customer assistance, and maintain correspondence.
  • Prepare monthly budget reports and maintain financial accounts according to MDARD guidelines.
  • Conduct public presentations and meetings.
  • Maintain all records of financial transactions in accordance with the general accounting principles and for bi-yearly GASS audit to ensure MDARD and grant requirements.


  • Minimum of three (3) years of executive-level leadership experience in a non-profit, educational, or governmental organization.
  • Experience managing a similar-sized organization with a budget of $300,000 to $800,000.

Proficiency in fund accounting, grant application and management, and financial reporting.

  • Strong management skills to build, inspire, and lead diverse teams.
  • Experience supervising a staff of multiple full-time members.
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and project management skills.
  • Experience with MS Office, website, and social media management, and experience with QuickBooks or similar accounting programs.
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to pass a federal background check.

Preferred Skills:

  • Retail sales and marketing.
  • Familiarity with agriculture, conservation, and natural resource management.
  • Working knowledge of federal and state environmental policies.
  • A bachelor degree in a relevant field.


  • Effective working relationships with Board, staff, donors, volunteers, and partners.
  • Achievement of grant funded objectives, plant sale and for-hire fund management.
  • Adherence to operational and annual MDARD business plan goals.
  • Timely completion of all assigned tasks including quarterly grant reports.
  • Preparation of monthly board meeting packets (profit and loss, balance sheet, public record minutes sent to MDARD).
  • Enhancement of conservation and educational resources to further environmental stewardship.


Primary work is based in an office setting co-located with USDA NRCS. The role involves attending meetings, conferences, and events both locally and within Michigan, periodically (weekly to monthly) requiring field site visits and traversal of uneven ground on farms and various natural areas assisted by KCD.


Through Indeed.com interested candidates should submit a resume, three work-related references, and a letter of interest. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2024.

Kent Conservation District is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate based on race, sex, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $50,000.00 - $60,000.00 per year


  • Flexible schedule
  • Paid time off


  • 8 hour shift
  • Weekends as needed


  • Microsoft Office: 3 years (Required)
  • Administrative experience: 3 years (Required)
  • grant writing and reporting: 1 year (Preferred)

Ability to Commute:

  • Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (Required)

Ability to Relocate:

  • Grand Rapids, MI 49525: Relocate before starting work (Required)

Work Location: In person


Please send a cover letter and resume to KCD Board of Directors, email address is KCD@MACD.org. Please include how you would manage grants or any experience with grant writing.

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

Category Admin & Leadership, General / Stewardship
Tags Outreach