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Project Manager, Tennessee & Georgia Lands and Trails Program

Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land

Chattanooga, TN, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2024
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Project Manager, Tennessee & Georgia Lands and Trails Program

Posted on January 4, 2024

Building on 30 years of conservation and park leadership in Tennessee and Georgia, The Trust for Public Land seeks a Project Manager to lead our land protection work in Tennessee and Georgia in the Lands and Trails Program. The project manager leads transactions to secure trail corridors and protect land, creating close-to-home access to nature and the great outdoors. Through this new trail development and land protection focus, the project manager will work to enhance connectivity and recreational access, improving health, wellness, and economic opportunities throughout Georgia and Tennessee.

To implement this work, the project manager will partner with rural and urban communities, special districts, the States of Georgia and Tennessee, federal agencies, and non-profit partners to identify, acquire, acquire, catalyze, and accelerate the acquisition and development of trails and land protection important to partner communities. In addition to identifying and pursuing public funding for the Program, the project manager will partner with TPL philanthropy staff to foster relations with institutional and individual donors who support this work.

The Lands and Trails Project Manager will draw upon The Trust for Public Land’s national leadership and longstanding regional partnerships, applying best practices for land protection and trail access.

The project manager primarily leads land protection projects within the Lands and Trails Program to meet the organization’s goals for enhancing connectivity and equitable access to trails, parks, and other public lands.


•Build and strengthen organizational collaborations and partnerships with federal, state, county, and local government and non-profit partners with an interest in land protection and trail development, especially around the Chattahoochee RiverLands and the Chickamauga to Chattanooga (Chick Chatt) Trail, and opportunities to establish a community forest program in the Southern Appalachians.

•Independently manage land acquisition projects by overseeing all aspects of the acquisition and conveyance of property, including negotiating purchase agreements and contracts for and reviewing appraisals and environmental assessments; assisting with legal document preparation; managing public review processes; organizing grassroots political support; completing internal approval documents/procedures, maps and photos; and related administrative tasks.

•In partnership with the Tennessee program and TPL philanthropy staff, support a Chick Chatt Trail Steering Committee, a committee of private and public partners designed to provide strategic guidance, advice, connections, and philanthropic resources to advance program goals and projects.

•Collaborate with TPL philanthropy staff to develop and implement operational and capital fundraising strategies for the Lands and Trails Program.

•In partnership with the Georgia program staff and TPL philanthropy staff, manage land acquisition efforts in Georgia, particularly those associated with the Chattahoochee RiverLands and other work along the Chattahoochee River.

•Serve as a regional trail and land protection advocate, evangelizing trails’ essential role in linking communities, enhancing local economies, reducing carbon emissions, and connecting people to nature and the outdoors.

•Manage on-the-ground projects and oversee partnerships to deliver tangible, lasting, measurable results.

•Track budgets, contracts, and other program commitments.


•4+ years’ experience in conservation, outdoor recreation, community engagement, or land use planning.

•Knowledge of and experience with public funding sources for conservation and recreation, including the grant process and experience using public and private grants to fund work.

•Experience working with political jurisdictions (town, city, county, state, and federal) and experience building partnerships and facilitating positive working relationships.

•Experience in public speaking.

•Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

•Ability to travel around Georgia and Tennessee, with occasional out-of-region trips, up to 30% of the time. Evening and weekend work can be expected.


•Excellent presentation skills, both written and oral.

•A passion for active community engagement and outreach.

•Sound understanding of real estate principles and economics.

•Capability to build philanthropic relationships to support TPL’s work with landowners, individuals, and institutional donors.

•Expert knowledge of real estate due diligence and government actual property acquisition review process.

•Facility navigating government land acquisition policies, procedures, funding application processes, and the role of TPL political staff at the state and federal levels. Strong negotiator, able to secure complicated real estate deals.

•Excellent working knowledge of the processes for obtaining public funding for land acquisition and nonprofit budget management.

•Knowledge of planning parks, trails, open space issues, growth management, urban and rural planning and development, or a related field, preferably with a statewide perspective.

•Knowledge of conservation, recreation, land use policy, and funding issues, preferably specific to trails, parks, and land use problems of policy and funding, preferably specific to trails, parks, and open space issues.

•Proven ability to organize and manage multiple projects with diverse and numerous public and private partners and processes to develop programs and use resources of the organization to accomplish more significant initiatives.


As a full-time exempt employee, you will be eligible for TPL’s comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation days, sick days, a personal day, a day of service, and ten+ holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We anticipate the hiring range for this position will be $70,000-80,000 annually. The offer will be commensurate with experience.

Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities in which we live and work. Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged. We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.