City Forester

City Forester
Organization City of Brownsville
Location Brownsville, Texas
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Jul 31, 2024


The City Forester will review, plan, issue permits and inspect landscaping in the field, ensuring compliance with the City of Brownsville landscaping Unified Development Code (UDC) and other related ordinances. This position works with landscape architects, developers, committees, and citizens to maximize the City’s urban forest. Further, this position works to maintain and preserve the appearance of City property, including parks, right-of-way, and open space. This position reports to the Department Director, Assistant Director of Engineering & Public Works, and Greens Manager and may attend various meetings in support of department objectives and tasks.


  • Safety Acumen
  • Self-Leadership
  • Citizen Value
  • Communication
  • Self-Awareness
  • Flexible
  • Critical Thinking
  • Trust
  • Responsible
  • Ethical


  • Considerable knowledge of the most current principles and practices of arboriculture management, horticulture, construction techniques, irrigation systems, landscape architecture, xeriscape concepts and the knowledge to combine them into an aesthetically coordinated and finished project.
  • Familiar with federal, state, and local environmental and land use issues, ordinances, and guidelines for grant administration regarding urban forestry programs.
  • Considerable knowledge of how to maintain and operate forestry equipment and tools. Including hazards & safety precautions necessary during the operation of these tools.
  • Ability to expand and manage a tree inventory database.
  • Articulate effectively and possess strong written communication skills for developing and delivering presentations and educational outreach to the public, internal and external departments, organizations, and agencies.
  • Efficient organizational skills for maintaining comprehensive records.
  • Accurately read and interpret engineering, architecture and landscaping plans and blueprints.
  • Proficiency with computer software programs (Word, Excel, Teams, etc.) and modern technology. GIS and/or AutoCAD experience preferred.
  • Safety competence and ability for climbing trees to diagnose tree health concerns and pruning.
  • Skillset for performing complex mathematical calculations and measurements.
  • Establish processes and procedures for accurately and effectively verifying onsite that all City of Brownsville landscaping and tree mitigation requirements are met before, during, and (maintained) after completion of construction, whether property development occurs through direct issuance of a building permit or an approved zoning case or plat.
  • Prior to construction and through the platting and zoning process, work with commercial property owners, developers, and design professionals to identify existing tree species onsite and maximize the preservation of the urban forest, assisting them in compliance with tree calculation requirements; Inspect landscaping and verify proper tree protection during construction.
  • Verify correct quantities and calipers/sizes of trees before issuance of a certificate of occupancy (CO).
  • Keep detailed records of all site visits, which includes periodic reporting to managers and/or department directors to demonstrate compliance; Participate on a variety of committees including Brownsville Beautification Committee (BBC).
  • Be prepared to defend compliance requirements of the landscape ordinance at Board of Adjustments hearings, Site Plan Review meetings, and Municipal and State Court hearings.
  • Coordinate tree removal and planting on public lands; provide functional oversight of park operations crews for the purpose of assuring the maintenance and appearance of City lands, and the proper care of their trees.
  • Monitor and evaluate the quality, responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness of urban forestry programs, methods, and procedures; collaborate with others toward their continuous improvement.
  • Coordinate urban forestry activities with those of other divisions and outside agencies and organizations; act as technical advisor to other departments; perform tree appraisals and risk management.
  • Assist the Greens Manager with the daily work assignments and assume supervisory responsibilities in the absence of the Greens Manager.
  • Develop and maintain tree inventories and programs to support the City’s status as a Tree City USA and for the long-term care of the City’s urban forestry canopy.
  • Provide information to citizens concerning urban forestry; develop presentations for neighborhood associations, organizations, and clubs; and represent municipal forestry interests to agencies and the general public.
  • Identify diseased trees, determining the feasibility of preserving specific trees.
  • Attend monthly meetings, provide project support, and collaborate on special events of the Brownsville Beautification Committee (BBC).
  • Administer tree planting programs with the BCC and various volunteer groups and contractors and conduct citywide Arbor Day programs and annual events.
  • Assist in the preparation and management of the Greens branch annual budget.
  • Pursue and secure grant funding related to forestry programs.
  • Performs related tasks as necessary.

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban forestry, forestry, horticulture, landscape architecture, or other relevant field of study.  Four (4) years’ experience in forestry or horticultural work or any work-related experience resulting in acceptable proficiency level in Urban Forestry or related field involving the design and management of forestry and project management for tree planting, landscape, and maintenance.

Special Certifications and License

Valid Texas Driver’s License.

Certified through International Society of Arborists (ISA) preferred.

License irrigator in the state of Texas is preferred.

Certified Texas Landscape Professional preferred.

Xeriscape Certification.

Must possess a Texas Noncommercial Ag Pesticide Applicator Licenses or ability to obtain this license within six months of employment and be willing to maintain it as a condition of employment.

Independence and Judgement

Receives instructions as to work results to be attained; responsible for recognizing moderately complex problems and taking responsibility for resolving them; refers very complex problems to supervisor; otherwise just reports on problem and solution after the fact; results monitored for soundness and judgment.

Initiative and Ingenuity

General guidelines: requires a lot of interpretation and non-standard responses to varied situations; have to figure out where to go for answers (not all sitting there in procedures manual); must take multiple factors into account; some control over priorities.

Supervisory and Responsibility

Regularly assigns and monitors the work for three or more employees; has knowledge of long-term plans and goals for the department.

Financial Responsibility

Calculates amounts due, using some judgment; receives and processes larger amounts (several thousand dollars on one day not uncommon); balances receipts and cash from one or more other employees; monitors budget; brings problems to attention of supervisor; has substantive input into overall organizational budget.

Level and Frequency of Outside Contacts

Frequent contact with the public or other organizations; interactions may require obtaining cooperation of people; courtesy and tact are required when dealing with moderately difficult or sensitive issues.

Physical Demands

Office job with little or occasional light physical effort. Performs light work that involves walking or standing most of the time and involves exerting up to 25 pounds of force.

Responsibility for Equipment and Property

Responsible for use of equipment/property such as office equipment, supplies, etc., which are used in office.

Working Conditions

Frequent travel associated with job; periodic situations that cause stress and tension in the execution of regular duties.

Other Requirements

The City of Brownsville requires all employees to successfully pass a Drug & Alcohol and a physical examination and a Background Check.

ADA Requirements

The City of Brownsville is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ADA requires the City to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Prospective and current employees are invited to discuss accommodations.


The City of Brownsville participates in a generous retirement plan with the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS). Retirement opportunities are available at 5 years of service at age 60 or 20 years of service at any age.  The City has an exceptional employee and family medical, dental and life insurance plan.  Employees may also contribute to deferred compensation plans from 457 Equitable and supplemental insurance plans from AFLAC and Colonial Life. Full time employees have the opportunity to accumulate 10 sick days and 10 annual days per year. Additionally, the City of Brownsville observes 12 holidays annually and two (2) floating holidays.

Application Link