Society of American Foresters

Northwest Regions

Community Tree Program - Project Specialist

City of Tacoma
Tacoma, Washington

The City of Tacoma is recruiting for the position of Community Tree Program Project Specialist. This position located in the Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability (OEPS), plays a key role in furthering the City’s ambitious tree planting goals in partnership with the community.

 In OEPS, we strive to achieve an exceptional quality of life for every generation and leave a legacy of stewardship. We work together to achieve lasting and equitable prosperity; build safe, healthy, vibrant communities; and minimize our negative impacts in order to conserve the natural resources that sustain us. In the urban forestry work group, we recognize that caring for Tacoma's urban forest is an integral part of growing a sustainable, safe, healthy, and vibrant city, for all Tacomans.
The Community Tree Program Project Specialist duties generally includes performing studies of trees and green infrastructure across the City, conducting community outreach, and developing and implementing community-facing programs to meet our tree canopy goals. Specifically, this position will be supporting the City's Grit City Trees and Tree Coupon programs, assisting City departments with tree planting projects, and developing innovative ways to assist the community in greening our neighborhoods.

The below links provide an overview of the urban forest program, the City’s Environmental Action Plan, and some of the exciting programs Community Tree Program Project Specialist will be involved in:

The applicant selected for this position will initially be working remotely during restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, will ultimately be co-located with a group of dynamic and creative sustainability staff, scientists, engineers, and technicians all housed at Tacoma's Center for Urban Waters facility, situated adjacent to Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway in downtown Tacoma. For more information on the unique Center for Urban Waters professional environment, visit the following web site:
To apply, visit Career Opportunities | ` (  

 Primary position responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting community engagement, including developing community engagement plans for urban forestry and other environmental programs; this may require working off hours, evenings and weekends
  • Preparing recommendations/business cases for program delivery to managers, directors, and elected officials, utilizing feedback from the community
  • Coordinating community events and field work, including procuring trees and materials, mobilizing tree delivery and pickup
  • Developing and updating the City's community tree mapping tool for priority neighborhoods
  • Providing geospatial analytical support, researching industry trends, and developing standard metrics for tracking and reporting on tree planting
  • Overseeing the management of the trees at the City’s plant holding facility (nursery), including directing maintenance tasks, keeping an up to date inventory, and ordering supplies as necessary
  • Managing the urban forestry email, website, and phone account
  • Supporting projects associated with the City's Urban Forest Management Plan, Green Tacoma Day/Arbor Day celebrations as well as other programs and initiatives including volunteer tree plantings and tree maintenance activities
  • Developing planting plans, and assisting with construction plans review and development
  • Developing reports, presentations, and analysis
  • Performing other related duties as assigned

If you have the attributes and skills detailed below, YOU may be the person that we are searching for! 

  • Effective communication - both verbal and written, including the compilation of reports, presentations and records
  • Excellent customer service - helping and responding to changing customer needs, keeping a positive personality, and finding enjoyment in working with a diverse group of customers and co-workers
  • Strong personal motivation and drive - an energetic and committed self-starter
  • Well organized and accountable - creative and organized thinking skills and project management, who enjoys working both in the “big picture” as well as drilling into details
  • Ability to research, analyze, and interpret data - effectively identify, collect, organize and document data; use facts to draw logical conclusions and make proper recommendations; prepare clear, concise, and comprehensive written reports
  • Convey professionalism - conduct all assignments in a professional and timely manner; work with confidentiality and discretion; read, interpret, and abide by applicable ordinances, rules, regulations, policies and procedures
  • Be agile - adapt, be flexible, and ready to change to meet the needs of our diverse community and partners.


  • Investigate and recommend projects.
  • Initiate needs assessment and other studies to determine project areas.
  • Develop project proposals including actions, goals, and probable costs; supervises the implementation of the project on occasion; conducts evaluation of the project.
  • Provide technical assistance in preparing unit program and line-item budgets.
  • Act as official department or division representative on pertinent boards, panels, and committees.
  • Provide information to groups and the public concerning projects; speak before groups on occasion.
  • Write reports and prepare documents as necessary.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

In the Environmental Services Department we believe everything we do supports healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound, leaving a better Tacoma for all.

The focus on healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound defines the core values of the Environmental Services Department and our clear focus on: Customers, Employees and Operations with the three following statements:

  • Customers - Partner with the community on customer-valued services to meet the diverse needs of Tacoma neighborhoods
  • Employees - Foster safe culture built on trust, conversation and equity
  • Operations - Operate using best practices and innovation to meet changing environmental and community needs.



City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress.  One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.  


An equivalent combination to:

Graduation from high school AND  considerable experience in design, implementation and evaluation of projects. Some college is desirable.


  • Experience in designing, implementing and evaluating urban forestry projects
  • Two (2) years of public engagement or customer service experience
  • Two (2) years of analytical, geospatial analysis, and/or database management

Valid Washington State driver's license.

ISA Arborist Certification is desired (but not required for hire).

Knowledge & Skills

Considerable knowledge of the purpose and objectives of the program unit.
Considerable knowledge of community and private organizations and resources.
Working knowledge of project planning and evaluation procedures.
Working knowledge of information gathering techniques, particularly those associated with community forums and opinion polls.

Develop ideas into feasible projects.
Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Meet schedules and time lines.
Work independently with little direction.