Operations Coordinator

Friends of the Forest Preserves

Chicago, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $55,000 per year
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Operations Coordinator

Reports to: Associate Director of Conservation Corps

Start date: ASAP

Pay rate: $55,000

Schedule: 32 hours per week (Full-time) 

Monday - Thursday, occasional Fridays and Saturdays


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 Conservation Corps program trains people in habitat restoration techniques and basic job skills, while accomplishing important goals for ecosystem recovery at forest preserves throughout Cook County, Illinois. 

The Operations Coordinator plays an important role on the adult Conservation Corps leadership team, ensuring smooth and accountable operations of four crews working across the County. They help ensure the achievement of habitat restoration and capacity building goals, with emphasis on field operations, safety, and mentorship. 


  • Support the Conservation Corps program team to fulfill daily requirements related to habitat restoration, equipment, training, and safety
  • Assist with training and mentoring crew members in technical skills to complete field projects, while educating on topics of ecological restoration and local ecology concepts
  • Support communication and collaboration with partner organizations
  • Oversee fleet, equipment, and tool management 
  • Fill in as crew manager of crews as needed and serve as point of contact for Conservation Corps when needed
  • Conduct site audits to assess progress on work orders
  • Contribute and execute ideas for program improvements and strategy
  • Participate in relevant team meetings and organization-wide initiatives

Required Qualifications:

  • 3 years of field experience
  • Experience working with field crews
  • Practical working knowledge of local habitat restoration field techniques, best practices, and plant identification
  • Approximately 400 hours of chainsaw experience, 200 hours of brush cutter experience, 570 hours of herbicide experience 
  • Current Illinois Herbicide Applicator license, Current Basic First Aid and Adult CPR certifications Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Crew Member certification or S130/190 certification Experience using GPS and ArcGIS
  • Current Strong commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive work environment
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 lbs.) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures
  • Flexibility for possible schedule change due to trainings, burn season, and weather
  • Knowledge of chainsaw, brushcutter, tool, and vehicle maintenance


  • Health, dental, short- and long-term disability, and $100,000 of life insurance coverage
  • 403b retirement account with 3% match after 1 year
  • 4 weeks of vacation/personal time
  • 2 weeks of sick time
  • 11 paid holidays

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 Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship