Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, RTC’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
RTC seeks an enthusiastic transportation maven, trail planner, and /or energetic community organizer for a multiyear, term-hire Project Manager (PM) for implementing the Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Plan (or Active Plan), a blueprint for a 428-mile trail network that will link the rich natural, cultural and historical resources of the region—thereby creating a unified identity for outdoor tourism, promoting healthier lifestyles and generating a new sense of community pride for all residents of the area. This is a full-time, multi-year, term position.
The Active Plan is a collaboration of local government officials, community members, the school of public health, and many more stakeholders to drive economic development, tourism, positive health and environmental outcomes, and improved active transportation options in the fast-growing Lower Rio Grande Valley along the U.S.-Mexico border that features immense cultural and historical resources.
This is an excellent opportunity for someone who thrives on juggling multiple deadlines and wearing many different hats at once, and who can operate with minimal in-person supervision and work well with multiple stakeholders, all to drive forward the amazing vision of the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s Active Plan.
This position will be located in Cameron County, Texas, and will report to a senior member of the Trail Development team in Washington, D.C.
Specific responsibilities include the following:
Create and execute an annual implementation plan to advance the Active Plan’s objectives in collaboration with the existing Active Plan Committee, RTC staff, local projects leaders and partners.
Build upon the Active Plan Committee to develop a robust coalition of project stakeholders that collectively advocate for the project and its vision. This includes:
- Identifying and cultivating community and business leaders, and partner organizations, to serve as liaisons/spokespersons for the project
- Establishing a governance structure for the group to support plan implementation
- Preparing for and facilitating community engagement, workshops and community meetings—and analyzing results and input
- Representing the project and the organization before a variety of public audiences (identifying community needs and crosswalking how the trail network might address those needs)
Close gaps in the existing trail network, with a focus on:
- Conducting ongoing field work and outreach to gather GIS data and info on current conditions of trails, rail corridors and other bike infrastructure
- Utilizing that data, work with local partners, RTC Trail Development staff and external consultants to develop conceptual trail plans (as needed), and implement strategic land acquisition planning
- Identifying and cultivating appropriate partners from the economic development, tourism, local government and public health sectors to support filling priority gaps in the network
Working in collaboration with the coalition and RTC’s policy team to grow and diversify financial support by securing public and private dollars to implement the Active Plan, including:
- Seeking creative funding streams to support the plan at the local and state level
- Partnering with RTC’s fundraising team to develop funding proposals and associated budgets
- Leading implementation of grant deliverables and reporting out on programmatic outcomes and impact
Build public awareness and use of the trail or trail project in collaboration with RTC’s communications staff and local leaders, including creating and implementing a communications plan for the project
Qualified candidates will have a proven track record within one or more of the following areas of work: trail planning; bike-ped/transportation planning; urban planning; landscape architecture; public policy/administration; active tourism, natural resource planning; project management; or economic development.
The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker with the ability to manage multiple tasks and a widely varied workload. Specific skills and attributes include the following:
Excellent skills in building and maintaining collaborative and strategic relationships with a variety of stakeholders, such as local and state government officials and agencies; transportation, planning, economic development, conservation and health organizations; and community-based nonprofits.
Strong people and group-facilitation skills and experience with coalition building
A solid understanding of the process of moving a trail plan from concept through to the design-build phase
Advanced PM skills and experience, including: ability to take multi-faceted projects plans from conception through to completion and the ability to develop/manage complex budgets
Outstanding oral and written communication and strong interpersonal skills; ability to work at all levels of the organization
Excellent presentation and facilitation skills, with demonstrated ability to develop strategic approaches for stakeholder involvement and meeting facilitation
Proficiency in GIS and Excel (required)
Conversational Spanish (fluency preferred)
Valid driver’s license
The following qualifications are preferred:
Experience using the Adobe Creative Suite or other design software a plus
Bachelor’s degree or above in Urban Planning or a related field
Local travel required, including some evenings and weekends, with occasional travel to Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.
How to Apply
Please use one form of transmitting your résumé. No phone calls please, unless contacted for an in-person interview. Recruiters, please do not contact our offices.
Mail, fax or email cover letter and résumé:
Human Resources Manager
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20037