Green Schoolyards Coordinator

The primary role of the Green Schoolyards Coordinator is to work directly with school and community members to facilitate the design and support for the ongoing use of redesigned schoolyards through Space to Grow: Greening Chicago’s Schoolyards. The ideal candidate for this position has strong project management, communication, and facilitation skills.  This is a nonexempt, full time position and reports to the Manager of Green Schoolyards of Openlands.

Space to Grow, a program managed by Openlands and Healthy Schools Campaign, is transforming Chicago schoolyards into green spaces that address the city’s stormwater management and basement flooding needs while providing students, their families and the broader community with opportunities for active play, and space for physical education, outdoor learning, gardening, environmental education, and art.

Essential Functions:

  • Organize, coordinate, and facilitate the school community design process at Space to Grow schools, working with each school’s Space to Grow Committee, school staff, consultants, and partners.
  • Create and implement outreach plans for each school.
  • Document school and community feedback at every meeting (written and photos) and communicate with Space to Grow partners.
  • Facilitate small and large group meetings to encourage dialogue, achieve consensus, and share goals.
  • Develop presentation and meeting materials
  • Represent the school-community interest in the design process; coordinate and communicate with Space to Grow partners.
  • Maintain relationships and engage with a variety of individuals (teachers, parents, administrators, community members) and community-based groups relevant to each school.
  • Develop and support school Garden Teams in coordination with the Space to Grow Committee.
  • Coordinate and facilitate workshops, garden work days, and events.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Bachelors or Associate degree preferred
  • Fluent in Spanish speaking and writing
  • Ability to work on diverse teams and with a diverse range of people
  • Excellent facilitation, communication, negotiation, project management, and organization skills
  • Ability to build in trust in groups for a common goal; familiarity with public school community dynamics a plus
  • Familiarity with edible and native gardens a plus
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Google Drive and Apps, and familiarity with Trello or a similar tool is a plus
  • Knowledge of Chicago, valid Illinois driver’s license maintained through the duration of employment, and reliable transportation is required
  • Must be able to lift approximately 25 lbs. and work outside in gardens in various weather conditions

Work Environment

  • Loop office is accessible but travel to community locations that may not be accessible is required
  • The work schedule will periodically shift based on the requirements of the program. Some events will occur in the evenings or on weekends and the candidate must be able to work during these events
  • This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer
  • Smoke- and drug-free environment

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.


Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time.

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  Please include “Green Schoolyards Coordinator” in the subject line.

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.


About Healthy Schools Campaign:

HSC is a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies and programs that support schools in creating the conditions of health for all students. HSC’s key strategies are to empower school stakeholders to be agents of change at the school and district levels, advocate for district, state and federal policies and build the capacity of schools, school districts and educational agencies to better support student health.