City Forester, City of Columbus


Organization : City of Columbus
Job Category : Grounds and Urban Forestry
Job Type : Full Time
State/Province : OH
City : Columbus
Salary and Benefits : $35.78 - $53.66 Hourly

City Forester

City of Columbus

Salary $35.78 - $53.66 /Hr

Deadline to apply:  November 3, 2021, 11:59pm

We are the Forestry Section of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. We oversee the trees in over 500 parklands, and along more than 2,000 miles of City streets. We are tasked to grow our tree canopy while managing existing trees. We promote equity in the urban forest. We grow a portion of our trees at our tree nursery, focusing on local genetic native tree species and harder to obtain species that can work in the public tree lawn. We also play a role in combatting invasive plants in our parks.

Columbus, Ohio, the 14th largest city in the U.S., is seeking an experienced, well-educated forester with strong interpersonal skills, public engagement experience and management experience. 

Current Forestry Section efforts:

  • Forestry will be adding staff to nearly double the current size.
  • We are purchasing new forestry capital equipment and will be adding a new tree crew each year in 2023, 2024 and 2025 to bring our resources from four to seven tree crews, plus support staff.
  • We are increasing contracting to help our internal planting crews to plant trees, remove stumps, and even remove higher-risk trees.
  • We are working on an updated tree inventory, which should be complete by the end of 2022.
  • We are working on an updated tree canopy study to see how the canopy stands compared to the 2015 study to help us adjust efforts; this should be completed by the end of 2022.
  • We are utilizing CDBG and UIRF grant funds to help replant portions of the City of Columbus. 
  • We are developing an equitable planting plan to focus on deficit forest areas of the City, while also addressing tree replacements in areas of the City with better canopy.
The ideal candidate has used forestry best practices to create and implement plans, policies and protocols; has experience managing a large team and; has demonstrated experience effectively advocating for forestry efforts with the public and government agencies.
Duties of the City Forester:
  • Develop and implement the Urban Forestry Master Plan
  • Oversee the City Forestry Program, including tree maintenance operations, tree production facilities and community involvement
  • Oversee the implementation of the Forestry Five Year Operations Plan
  • Develop long-term planning and implementation for the urban forest, including providing guidance for the private sector
  • Provide guidance in development of tree ordinances / tree protection
  • Coordinate with governmental agencies and community leaders to discuss forestry concerns and develop viable solutions
  • Create and incorporate best practices into policies and protocols to guide forestry activities
  • Participate in the City-wide plan review process, advocating for larger tree lawns, better inter-department coordination and the preservation of as many trees as possible before, during and after construction of projects
  • Advocate and foster diversity of tree species in large and small spaces throughout the City
  • Foster education of forestry in the urban environment for residents, agencies, utilities and private businesses

Under general direction, is responsible for leading, planning, managing, and coordinating the City's arboriculture and horticulture planting and maintenance program; performs related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s of science degree in Forestry or closely related field; 
  • Certification as an ISA arborist;
  • 5+ years managing a forestry operation;
  • Strong tree identification skills;
  • Familiarity with tree maintenance equipment, procedures, and safe practices;
  • Familiarity with GIS information. 
Possession of a bachelors degree and three (3) years of managerial experience in forestry management or nursery operations, including two (2) years of experience supervising employees.   Substitution(s):  A master’s degree in forestry, urban forestry, or a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year of the required non-supervisory experience.

Possession of a valid Arborist Certificate or Arborist Municipal Specialist Certificate issued by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) must be obtained by the completion of the probationary period.

Possession of a valid motor vehicle operator's license.

For a complete job description and to apply online CLICK HERE

Test/Job Contact Information

Recruitment #: 21-1530-V1
Employment Type: Full-Time (Regular)
Should you have questions regarding this vacancy, please contact:
Rob Ricer
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
1111 East Broad St.
Columbus, Ohio 43205
P: (614) 645-2348


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