Forest Preserve Experience Program – Crew Leader

Job Announcement

Job Title: Forest Preserve Experience Program – Crew Leader

Reports to: Program Manager


Mission: Friends of the Forest Preserves is the voice of a diverse community inspiring and organizing people to protect, restore, and expand the forest preserves in Cook County. Friends is an independent non-profit organization with more than 2,000 members and thousands of volunteers, advocating for the responsible management of the 70,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, conservation corps programs, community outreach, and volunteer empowerment.  

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).  

Location:South or west suburbs of Cook County


  • Co-supervise, coordinate and mentor a team of approximately 14 high school youth (ages 14-19) in a 5-week summer program focused on work, education, and training
  • Responsible for planning and leading a variety of hands-on ecological conservation and restoration projects (such as invasive species removal and litter pick-up) within different areas in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
  • Responsible for planning and leading educational activities as well as team building exercises and games
  • Demonstrate safe tool usage and teach basic invasive plant identification to their crew members will ensure safety procedures are followed
  • Evaluate and document crew attendance, work activities and performance through compiling weekly work log data, taking and uploading crew photos


  • 21 years or older 
  • Ability to meet at forest preserve locations in south or west suburbs of Cook County
  • Must be able to attend a mandatory training June 18 thru 21 in addition to the entire length of program
  • Experience working with diverse groups of youth and strong interest in working with and mentoring youth
  • Ability to foster strong work habits, environmental ethics, leadership, and team unity
  • Experience teaching in a classroom and/or field setting a plus
  • Ability to maintain safe, productive, and enjoyable work environment
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Outdoor skills, plant identification skills, knowledge of midwestern ecology is preferred but not required 
  • Current basic First Aid and adult CPR certifications or ability to obtain before training start date
  • Current Illinois Herbicide Applicator license. FOTFP will help facilitate testing opportunities for this license but a license should be acquired before program start date. FOTFP will cover the cost of the license. 
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 lbs.) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures

Dates of Service:
Local Program Training: June 18 thru 21, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Program Dates: June 24 thru July 26, 2019 (5 days a week for 5 weeks) 
Special Program Event: August 1, 2019
Crew Leaders work 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday 

$18 per hour; 25 hours/week (part-time)
Paid training: 8 a.m. thru 4 p.m., June 18 thru June 21 (30 hours)

For more information and to apply

Please NO calls, faxes, office visits, or emails (other than emails presenting resume and cover letter). Send a brief cover letter, resume, and two professional references to Melissa Horther, Program Manager at


Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

Women, minorities, and seniors are strongly encouraged to apply.

Friends of the Forest Preserves is an equal opportunity employer that considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or sexual orientation (in addition to observing all legal protection of special status). Friends is an equal opportunity employer promoting diversity in the environmental community. 

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