Program Assistant for summer youth program

Friends of the Forest Preserves - Chicago, IL


Program Assistant, Forest Preserve Experience Program
Reports to Program Manager
Open until filled | Start Date: April 29, 2019 |
Salary: $19 per hour
37.5 hours per week (full time) from April 29 to June 21, 2019
30 hours per week (full time) from June 24 to July 26, 2019
Monday through Friday for 12 weeks


Mission: We unite people to protect, promote, and care for the forest preserves in Cook County.

Our community advocates for the responsible management of the nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy and engagement, and stewardship of the land. Some of the best natural areas in Illinois are right here in Cook County, right outside your urban backdoor. Join our team and help us ensure they are here for the next 100 years.

Operating Budget: $3,200,000

Summary: The Program Assistant will assist in the preparation, management, implementation, and reporting of the Forest Preserve Experience Program under the supervision of the Program Manager.


  • Provide recruitment, hiring, management, and reporting support for summer high school program for up to 100 youth led by 15-20 leaders.
  • Support crew leaders and assistant crew leaders with daily needs for running program, transportation coordination, transporting equipment, various administrative tasks, and more.
  • Plan, coordinate with partners, and ensure smooth execution of environmental education and experience days.
  • Fill in for crew leaders as needed during the course of the five-week program.
  • Lead a variety of hands-on conservation and restoration projects as well as environmental enrichment activities on-site at different forest preserves in Cook County.
  • Engage teens, promote team-building, and lead by conducting appropriate games and activities.
  • Assist with procurement of supplies and equipment.
  • Provide administrative support for Program Manager.


  • 21 years or older
  • Valid driver’s license for more than three years and clean driving record
  • Working knowledge of spreadsheet, word processing, and digital calendar software
  • Ability to meet at forest preserves in south and west suburbs
  • Experience working with and mentoring diverse youth
  • Ability to maintain safe, productive, and enjoyable work environment
  • Outdoor skills, plant identification skills, and knowledge of Midwestern ecology preferred but not required
  • Ability to effectively communicate to large audiences
  • Current Illinois Herbicide Applicator license, First Aid and CPR certifications or ability to acquire before program start, facilitated and paid for by Friends if needed
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 pounds) and to work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures
  • Flexibility in work hours required

Job Types: Full-time, Temporary

Salary: $19.00 /hour


  • Clean Driving Record: 3 years (Preferred)


  • Driver's License (Preferred)

Employment Length:

  • 1 - 3 months