Assistant Crew Leader

The primary role of the Assistant Crew Leader is to assist the Forestry Crew Leader with running the Forestry Field Crew, conduct urban forestry maintenance activities throughout the Chicago area and assist with community plantings and maintenance with TreeKeepers, neighborhood leaders, volunteers, and corporate groups for the success of Openlands urban forestry programs. This is an 8-month temporary position (March-November) and requires flexibility with work on weekends and occasional evenings.


Minimum requirements:

  • Work experience or education in arboriculture, horticulture, urban forestry, biology, environmental science, landscaping or a closely related field
  • Ability to lift up to 50+ pounds repeatedly and ability to stand, crouch, and perform various types of manual labor
  • Tolerant to working outdoors in inclement weather and other environmental factors;
  • Valid Illinois Driver’s License. This license must be maintained for the duration of employment
  • Ability to drive large vehicles (non-CDL) both in the city and on local highways.
  • Willing and able to work in all neighborhoods of Chicago and surrounding communities
  • Has a cell phone for a means of reliable communication
  • Availability to work on all Saturdays for plantings during April-May & September-early November

Essential Functions:

  • Assist in tree planting events in the spring and fall by setting up equipment, unloading trees, placing trees, digging holes, planting trees, leading volunteers, etc.
  • Assist with and lead workdays/events involving watering, pruning, weeding, and mulching trees.
  • Drive vehicles and operate other motorized equipment incidental to the performance of duties
  • Perform tasks involved with the operation of tools and conduct tool maintenance.
  • Work in all Chicago neighborhoods. Workday begins and ends at the Openlands field site in Pilsen.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Characteristics:

  • Hands on, direct experience in the care of young and mature trees. ISA certification a plus
  • Ability to identify tree species commonly found in the Chicago region
  • Volunteer organizing experience; Spanish speaking a plus
  • Experience working with and leading groups of youth
  • Ability to effectively manage activities calmly and professionally
  • Ability to work effectively under minimal supervision
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Positive, flexible attitude
  • Enthusiasm for trees, nature and connecting Chicago region residents to the natural world

Compensation: $16/hr.

Seasonal Employment:  March 4 – November 8, 2019.

Work Schedule:  Tuesday-Saturday, April-May & Sept-Nov; Monday-Friday, March & June-Aug.

Time:  35 hours/week.  7am-3pm.


To Apply:

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to JobApps@Openlands.org.   Please include “Assistant Crew Lead” in the subject line.

Please note that applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws.

Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.


About Openlands:

Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.

Openlands’ vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.