Job Details

Tribal Community Schoolyard Associate Director

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Close Date:



Trust for Public Land


Santa Fe, NM

Skills And Qualifications:


A passion for Trust for Public Land’s mission and a passion for social and environmental justice is essential.

Background in landscape architecture/design, architecture, civil engineering, construction project management, non-profit project management or planning preferred.

Experience in community engagement, stakeholder engagement and community organizing with Tribal communities.

Minimum of 5-8 years project-management or non-profit management experience desirable

Works independently and as part of a team

Strong written and oral communication skills

Excellent time management and project management skills

Proficiency overseeing multiple projects at once

Attention to detail and deadlines

Experience working with students and schools

Experience with design and construction management including oversight of independent contractors, budgets, contracts and project schedules

This position requires significant travel throughout the country. It is expected that this position will spend considerable time in remote communities building relationships with project partners and resident leaders. At least one week of travel every month is anticipated.


Proficient in computer applications

Experience with grant writing

Fundraising and marketing skills are a plus

Duties And Responsibilities:

Trust for Public Land has a long history of working with Tribal and Indigenous Communities. Over the years, we have collaborated with 70 tribes and Native groups to protect 200,000 acres of ancestral lands. As a national leader in the green schoolyard movement, TPL has created nearly 300 Community Schoolyards™ with families. We recently transformed an elementary school in Chiloquin, Oregon, where half of the students belong to the Klamath Tribes

Through our Schoolyards Initiative, we are working to make vibrant Community Schoolyards™ standard practice across the country. Nowhere is this work more important than in Indigenous communities, where vacant school grounds exacerbate health and environmental disparities and fail to reflect Native American cultures. We have launched a groundbreaking national partnership with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and Tribal Nations to remake schoolyards into outdoor centers for celebrating Indigenous cultures, practices and ways of knowing. 

With community at the center, TPL commits to improving equity, health, community and climate outcomes.  Together with underserved communities, we create innovative parks, schoolyards, trails and land projects that meet local needs. Through our six initiatives we advance policy, research and best practices that enable scalable and equitable action.

Position Summary

We seek to hire an Associate Director to manage a portfolio of Tribal Schoolyard projects and to inform the direction of this important program.  The Tribal Community Schoolyard Program works at the intersection of both the Community Schoolyard Initiative and the Tribal and Indigenous Initiative. Projects will manifest in all regions, with an emphasis on the Southwest and Great Plains, TPL’s Intermountain West Region.

Our Parks for People program in Colorado & Southwest works in partnership with communities to design and build parks, trails, and schoolyards in neighborhoods that need them most. Our engagement strategy (Community Outreach and Resident Experts -CORE) centers community voice, whereby we co-design outdoor spaces with communities to ensure every park, trail, and schoolyard we create reflects community priorities and aspirations. The Tribal Community Schoolyard Program will work alongside the Parks for People program in Colorado & Southwest to amplify community-centered outcomes. 

This program has the potential for growth both within the Initiatives and within the Intermountain West Region.    Qualified candidates will be able to position the program for greatest impact. 


Project Management (75%)

The Tribal Community Schoolyard Associate Director will be responsible for overseeing all project management activities associated with implementing the BIE portfolio, starting with three schoolyard projects at the Santa Fe Indian School, the Rock Creek Grant School and the Coeur d’Alene Tribal School.  

Work with tribal and indigenous organizers, who are resident experts to lead;

Develop and strengthen relationships with schools, teachers, tribal elders, tribal leaders and residents.

Coordinate outreach, class lessons, meetings and events to strengthen diverse and inclusive representation for the spaces being created.

Oversee community engagement and student led participatory design to ensure schoolyard meets the needs of the school and greater community.

Work with the Schoolyard Initiative Team and the Colorado & Southwest Community Schoolyards Director to lead;

Development of nine schoolyard projects, starting with the first three.

Take primary responsibility for all day-to-day project needs including oversight, decision making and partner coordination through project completion.

Provide regular updates and clear communication to BIE, Tribal partners and TPL staff and funders about the program.

Develop relationships with community representatives, tribal nations, government agencies, city and town staff, non-profit partners, the arts and cultural community, neighborhood leaders, and residents to implement community-driven schoolyard projects.

Be responsible for managing all aspects of design, and construction of projects including supporting tribal organizers and community partners in coordinating community meetings and events, creating outreach materials.

Develop and manage project budgets from concept through construction, including procurement and management of design consultants and associated invoicing.

Identify and apply for public grants, including an array of federal grants. Support Tribes and Tribal Schools in writing and reporting on grants.

Program Direction (25%):

Work with the Schoolyard Initiative Director and Communications Team to develop and implement strategy to increase public awareness and movement building to amplify the importance of scaling Tribal Community Schoolyards throughout the country.

Work with the national Schoolyard Initiative and the Land for People Lab to develop project management resources, curriculum, teacher training, evaluation plans and best practices to scale schoolyard and park development with tribal communities.

Work with the national Schoolyard Initiative Team and the Government Relations Team to advocate for enabling policy and broader funding priorities to support tribal sovereignty. 

Build public awareness and understanding of TPL’s multiple functions in Tribal and Indigenous Communities

Salary And Benefits:


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