City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. The mission of the City Parks Alliance is to educate and elevate a diverse constituency to leverage the power of parks in shaping equitable, resilient, and thriving cities.
Our vision is that everyone in urban America will have access to high quality parks and green spaces that are clean, safe, and vibrant.
City Parks Alliance believes that parks and recreation services play a critical role in advancing racial equity. Equity is about fairness: Full and equal access to opportunities, power, and resources so all people may thrive and prosper regardless of demographics. Equity is embedded in all of City Parks Alliance’s work, from our approach to curating our conferences and selection of speakers and community-based stories to our research focus on creating more equitable city-wide systems, to our advocacy efforts to increase investment in urban parks and recreation in neighborhoods of greatest need. We continue to learn and grow as an organization to broaden cultural, racial, and ethnic perspectives on our board and staff. See our organizational values on equity and justice for more about our commitment to advancing these principles.
City Parks Alliance seeks a Program Manager to manage the execution of programs, primarily the biennial Greater & Greener urban parks conference and park study tours. The Program Manager is also responsible for managing the ParkXChange online resource library and supports virtual programs including webinars, peer conversations, skill-building workshops, and other in-person learning opportunities. The position offers an opportunity to join a growing and dynamic organization of urban park leaders in North America.
Greater & Greener is the leading international conference for urban park leaders, city planning and design professionals, public officials, advocates, funders, and local changemakers to explore the role of parks and recreation in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing 21st-century cities. The highly curated and interactive program offers indoor and outdoor sessions, workshops, and tours that facilitate an honest dialogue around community-based solutions, opportunities for cross-sector and peer networking, and tools for building successful park partnerships. The next conference will take place in Seattle in June 2024, followed by Austin in 2026.
CPA’s Park Study Tours are usually offered every other year. The three-day tour, limited to 35 people, highlights public-private partnership models, cross-sector management of parks and public spaces, and community-based innovation. Past tours have taken place in St. Louis, Austin, Cleveland, Toronto, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago. The next tour will take place in Houston in 2025. These tours offer a unique approach to learning, highlighting local stories and leadership as well as the economic, social, and environmental contexts for creating stronger, more equitable urban infrastructure systems.
CPA also offers a portfolio of programs that includes a ladder of engagement, from online tools to intensive place-based workshops, meant to foster stronger cross-sector partnerships that use parks and recreation to address pressing urban issues, from resilience to workforce development.
This position reports directly to the Program Director.
Greater & Greener Conference (60%)
- Manage conference content curation process, including proposal solicitation, session review, communications with proposers, and coordination of the program line-up with advice and guidance from the conference committee and review teams to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are included
- Assist with writing session descriptions to market on the conference website
- Manage speaker and session preparation process
- Manage speaker communications and logistics before, during, and after the conference
- Manage CEU application and approval processes with providers (e.g., APA, ASLA, NRPA, etc.)
- Collaborate with the communications team and provide content to support conference promotion
- Work closely with the conference coordinator to plan and support logistics
- Liaise and advise scholarship recipients to help them get the most out of their conference experience and solicit feedback post-conference
- Assist in staffing board Conference & Research Committee
Park Study Tours (25%)
- Support the Program Director, in collaboration with the local host team, to plan and develop program content for an educationally rich three-day tour program that includes local stories and leadership
- Plan and implement tour logistics in partnership with the local host team
- Assist in the development of tour marketing and summary materials
- Track and communicate with tour registrants to prepare them for the event
- Create multimedia content to capture some of the tour experience for others
- Assist with the city selection process for future tours
- Manage and improve the ParkXChange online resource library, including identifying needs and gaps, soliciting materials from members, speakers, and others, and uploading and tagging material
- Support other CPA programs, such as workshops, webinars, and peer conversations, through program facilitation and providing technical and logistical assistance
- Support membership recruitment and renewal efforts as requested
- Support funding applications and any needed grant reporting
Qualifications and Skills:
- Large event/conference planning experience (1,000+ attendees), especially in speaker coordination
- Excellent planning and process management skills
- Excellent project management skills to meet tight deadlines; strong attention to detail
- Interest or experience working in parks and recreation or related fields such as environmental education, urban planning and design, urban sustainability, community development, environmental justice, etc.
- Excellent writing and communication skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills; flexibility; team player with the ability to work independently (including exercising critical judgment and creating and improving processes) at times with minimal supervision in a remote setting with a small team
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Dropbox, SalesForce, and WordPress and comfort in learning new software
- Experience with event and project management software such as CVENT; knowledge of online learning platforms is a plus
- Ability to travel (approximately 5–10% time, depending on conference year)
- Minimum of 2–3 years professional experience
- Bachelor’s Degree
City Parks Alliance is committed to building a diverse staff and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer.
- Annual Salary: $60,000 – $65,000
- 15 days per year vacation (first three years with increases thereafter)
- 12 days per year sick leave
- 10 paid holidays + 1 floating holiday per year
- Health/dental/vision coverage
- Short-term disability
- Employer contribution to tax-deferred annuity plan after 2 years of employment
- Flexible schedule
City Parks Alliance is located at 1777 Church Street, NW, Washington, DC, but offers options for fully remote work or combined remote and in-person work for those in the DC area. If remote, preference is for Eastern time zone.
To apply for this position, send the following materials as PDF files via email with the subject line “Program Manager” to [email protected]
- cover letter
- resume, and
- writing sample that demonstrates communications skills relating to events
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The preferred start date for this position is late spring 2024.