Job Detail

Community Outreach Forester - Part Time

Location: Harrisburg, PA
Salary: COMPENSATION & BENEFITS The City of Harrisburg offers a competitive wage for this part-time FLSA exempt position with an hourly rate up to $25.00 an hour. (commensurate with experience and qualifications).


The City Forester/ Certified Arborist is a (part-time) management-level position that is jointly responsible (with the City Arborist) for the overall management of all trees, shrubs, and flowers located in City rights-of-way and public parks, to include supervision of maintenance of long-term care. The Arborists are responsible for the development and implementation of the City’s tree management plan, guiding the planting, pruning and removal of trees within the public right-of way. Employees in these positions must have professional training, knowledge, skill and ability in executing industry accepted pruning standards and tree risk assessment, as well as safety requirements for arboricultural operations. This position is responsible for overseeing the establishment and early care of newly planted street and park trees throughout the City, and in engaging the public in learning about the benefits of trees and helping to care for them. It involves organizing and coordinating biannual community tree planting events. The position also bears responsibility for maintaining and regularly updating the City tree inventory, and for establishing an annual work plan based on the results of ongoing assessments of the City’s trees. Work is performed in conjunction with the Parks Maintenance Manager. Assignments are received and administered orally and in writing. This is a management, FLSA-exempt position.


Work is performed in City parks and playgrounds, and along City streets where street/ shade trees exist. It may involve the use of chainsaws, hand tools, small power tools and other equipment required to perform the duties of this position. Employee may be exposed to dust, dirt, fumes, vibrations, noise, hazardous chemicals, adverse work and weather conditions. Employee must be willing to work outdoors and in all types of weather. Duties are typically performed from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays up to a maximum of 30 hours per week; however, hours of work may vary depending on the season and employee may occasionally be required to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays.


Plan and oversee all strategic and hands-on activity regarding plans for new street tree plantings– identifying and assessing planting sites, selecting and purchasing trees, and overseeing their establishment and ongoing care in the first several years. Build a volunteer work force to help plant, tend, and prune young trees throughout the city, Including regular continuing education opportunities for participants and a means of recognizing volunteer contributions. Offer training opportunities for volunteers to ensure the development of structurally sound trees. Develop instructional materials and public outreach materials and programs to educate the public about the value of trees and the importance of proper care. Work in partnership with the city Communications Office and local media outlets to promote city greening efforts. Establish a regular presence on social media pertaining to trees and tree care in the city, providing brief timely articles and photos about subjects of public interest. Provide advice to residents regarding proper care of their trees as requested and promotes tree preservation. Maintain networking relationships with other departments and outside entities necessary for completing city tree work. Gather and analyze information, determine recommendation and prepare reports. Determine operating procedures and recommend operating policies.  Conduct inspections of the City’s newly planted trees to evaluate their need for work. Submit application materials for city-wide greenspace, grants, and manage and oversee the use of secured grant funds.  Work with IT on GIS mapping of greenspace. Work with the Law Bureau to enforce City legislation pertaining to the Shade Tree Ordinance. Coordinate operations with other City functions and government agencies. Coordinate unit operations and obtain the materials and equipment necessary to complete assigned projects and objectives. Advise employees and provide/supervise training on proper tree pruning techniques. Assure safe work practice. Complete all assignments in an efficient, consistent and timely manner. Maintain regular, punctual and predictable attendance, report to work and remain at work in a productive condition which includes not being under the influence or impaired by the use of alcohol and/or drugs.


Performs other related duties as required or assigned.


  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, the benefits of trees and the need for additional tree cover.
  • Ability to organize and initiate hands-on and classroom tree-care learning opportunities for the public among diverse city populations.
  • Ability to engage underserved communities in the establishment of tree cover in their neighborhoods.
  • Ability to develop a more in-depth educational program to sustain the enthusiasm of dedicated tree care volunteers (“Tree Tenders.”)
  • Attention to detail necessary to coordinate large community tree planting events involving grantors, property owners, tenants, corporate groups, volunteers, and city staff.
  • Thorough knowledge of tree identification and species characteristics, and ability to assess the health/vigor.
  • Thorough knowledge of the operations, equipment, procedures, tools and materials used in tree planting, establishment, and early care
  • Thorough knowledge of arboriculture, plant pathology and entomology as applied to tree maintenance.
  • Ability to establish and administer street/shade tree management policies and procedures.
  • Ability to develop and write reports.
  • Ability to effectively communicate oral and written instructions to various personnel.
  • Ability to develop and implement shade tree management plans.
  • Ability to assist Maintenance Manager with overseeing, directing, coordinating and scheduling the work activities of personnel as related to trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.
  • Considerable knowledge of public administration principles and practices as applied to the operation of assigned programs.
  • Ability to perform work that requires physical dexterity on a daily basis.
  • Ability to perform job functions around moving machinery, including chainsaws and chipper machinery.
  • Ability to be exposure to market changes in temperature and humidity, including severe weather conditions. Ability to be exposed to dust fumes, gases and noisy conditions.
  • Ability to be exposed to biting and stinging insects and poisonous vegetation present in and around trees and tree debris.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effect working relationships with supervisors, subordinates, co-workers, vendors, contractors and the general public.


College degree in forestry, urban forestry, arboriculture, landscape architecture, horticulture, environmental education and interpretation; or a related field plus two (2) years of experience in tree care, or college degree in the social sciences with an emphasis on community engagement and environmental justice, with the completion of ISA Arborist Certification; or a high school diploma or equivalent supplemented by training in arboriculture and tree maintenance, forestry, urban forestry or horticulture, plus four (4) years of increasingly responsible experience in tree maintenance services, including at least one year in a supervisory capacity, and two years working in community development, or an equivalent combination of education and qualifying experience substituting on a year-for-year basis.


Maintain or ability to obtain Arborist Certification through the International Society of Arboriculture within six (6) months of hire. Maintain or ability to obtain certification as a Municipal Specialist through the International Society of Arboriculture within one (1) year of hire. Possession of and the ability to maintain Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture herbicide and insecticide licenses for the application of pesticides. Valid PA Commercial Driver’s License, Class B preferred, but not required. Valid PA Driver’s License Class C, required.

Employer Info

City of Harrisburg, Bureau of Human Resources The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. City Government Center 10 N. 2nd Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 255-6475


  • Any
  • Municipal

Back to Job Listings