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Division Chief of Park Services

City Of Alexandria Virginia
Alexandria, VA
$80,766.14 - $142,132.64 Annually
Closing date
Dec 12, 2022

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Job Details

Division Chief/ GS 25

Full time position

Park Services

The City of Alexandria is in Northern Virginia bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington, and Fairfax counties. Once within the original boundary stones that demarked the area of the Nation’s Capital, Alexandria is a part of the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. With a population of approximately 157,600 Alexandria is the sixth largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unique and historic, Alexandria is a place that is experiencing substantial redevelopment appeal and business growth opportunities because of a high market demand for urban living in a quality environment. About one-quarter of the City’s 15.47 square miles has been designated as a national or local historic district.

The City of Alexandria is an independent city with no county affiliation and derives its governing authority from a Charter granted by the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, allowing local governments only the authority expressly granted to them by the Virginia Constitution or by the Virginia General Assembly in the City Charter or in general law. City Council is the governing body, which formulates policies for the administration of the City. The mayor is chosen on a separate ballot and presides over sessions of the Council.

The Department is comprised of four operating Divisions: Park Services, Recreation Services, Cultural Activities and Leadership & Management.
  • The mission of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities is to enrich the City of Alexandria by creating meaningful experiences through public spaces, cultural activities, and programming.
  • The Department’s vision is to improve the well-being of every person in our community by connecting them to each other and their environment.

If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for the Division Chief for Park Services for the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA).

The Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities Department (RPCA) supports the well-being of Alexandria’s residents by ensuring access to a variety of quality recreation, park, and cultural experiences. There are over 900 acres of publicly accessible open space (this includes both 566 acres of publicly owned park land and private land that is open for public use), and approximately 30,000 street trees. The Division works to support a full range of programs, facilities, and parks. The Division Chief manages an assigned operating budget and coordinates project management of capital improvement projects.


FY21 FY22 FY23 Personnel $6,234,643 $6,530,820 $7,564,729 Non-personnel $3,923,206 $4,979,280 $4,793,053 FTE 66.70 66.70 66.70 Yearly CIP $6.30 Million $13.30 Million $17.39 Million

The operating units of the Park Services Division include:

RPCA is hiring for two (2) Division Chiefs to direct the Natural Resource Management , Park Support or Park Maintenance units of the Park Services Division. These positions are one of four (4) Division Chiefs which report to the Deputy Director for Park Services. Staff work is guided by a strategic plan, business plan, and annual work plan. Considerable time and resources are focused on staff training and development. The duties of the incumbent may rotate over time to fully prepare them for continued advancement.

The Division Chief key performance indicators:
  • To maintain a public park, use rate of 90% or greater based on the annual citizen survey.
  • To conduct all leadership activities to maintain an employee engagement score that exceeds the public sector benchmark based on the annual workplace survey.
  • To achieve operational productivity equal to or better than comparable municipal and private sector benchmarks.
  • To achieve a division score of 90% or higher for courteousness of staff based on the annual citizen survey.
  • To maintain project management processes to meet time, cost, and quality targets as determined by stakeholders.
  • To manage financial resources to established annual budget targets.

The Division Chief key work projects FY23-FY24:
  1. Collaborate on the implementation of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
  2. Update and Implement a 10-Year Natural Resources Management Plan.
  3. Develop and Implement a Park & Facility 10-year Maintenance Plan.
  4. Update and Implement a 10-Year Urban Forestry Maintenance Program.
  5. Establish and Implement the Department’s Environmental, Health & Safety Program.
  6. Implement a Facility and Warehouse Maintenance Inventory Control System.
  7. Update and Implement Professional Development Plans.
  8. Collaborate on 10-Year Update of Citywide Park Framework Plans.

Key Work Aspects of RPCA and the City of Alexandria:
As a departmental senior leader, the Division Chief will have both a division assignment to conduct a functional area of work and a strategic team assignment. As a strategic team lead or team member you are in the position of a senior leader of the department. As such, you are tasked with creating an environment of success in the department such that staff are highly engaged to focus on results that support organizational attainment of our mission and strategic plan. Our purpose is to build an organizational cultural “that supports each of us and inspires excellence.”

RPCA Strategic Plan - Each senior leader is expected to implement the mission, vision, values, and the three strategic themes as determined through the department strategic plan, division business plan, and the budget process. It is expected that all decisions will be made considering the values and strategic themes.

Statement of Workplace Excellence - Every RPCA staff member has the right to a safe, healthy, efficient, and pleasant working environment where all organization members adhere to the highest standards of behavior, personal integrity, and truthfulness. Each staff member demonstrates full support and acts on deploying workplace excellence.

Shared Leadership Approach - We continually strive to gain the maximum amount of discretionary effort on the part of our staff members. All staff members are collectively responsible for our organizational community and have leadership roles. Everyone is a decision maker within his or her job. We invite participation in solving organizational issues and constantly improving our operations. We share a leader-to-leader model.

Customer Service Guarantee - We are committed to delivering a consistently superior customer experience to all who participate in our programs or visit our parks and facilities. Service will be:
  • Responsive - respond in a timely manner to all residents and customers both external and internal. We own the request we receive and do not shift the responsibility.
  • Professional - represent the department in appropriate appearance, decorum, and communication.
  • Courteous - Treat everyone with respect. Treat everyone fairly. Treat everyone with dignity.
  • Accountable - Demonstrate a bias toward action. Ensure follow-up and follow-through with appropriate results.

Our most valued assets are engaged staff members and customers.

High Performance Organization
RPCA commits to building and sustaining a high-performance organization (HPO). This ensures a clear and consistent strategic direction. We continually focus on improving all aspects on internal and external operation. We also strive through workplace excellence and shared leadership to inspire staff to outstanding outcomes. Every job in the organization has elements of team leadership, management, and task accomplishment. HPO is team based.

What You Should Bring
Each member of our team is accountable for the outstanding delivery of services. You will bring your expertise on parks and recreation, employee engagement, high performing organizational culture, and change management; you will have a demonstrated ability to collaborate with employees throughout the department and City of Alexandria; your personal mission and values align with those of the organization and can analyze, synthesize and make data-informed professional recommendations. You will deliver work products that meets the high standards of excellence determined by residents and visitors.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Four (4) year college degree in recreations or related field; four (4) years of related professional experience in the recreational field, which shall have included demonstrated supervisory experience and experience in planning, coordinating, and marketing revenue and/or non-revenue producing programs.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s Degree in landscape architecture, urban planning, natural resources, or related field and/or is a certified Landscape Architect, Certified Arborist, Certified Project Manager or Certified Grounds Manager with five (5) years of progressively responsible organizational supervisory and leadership experience in project management, grounds management, urban forestry management, and/or natural lands management activities or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.


This position requires successful completion of a criminal records background check and drug screening prior to employment.


The City of Alexandria is an award-winning, innovative, and progressive local government that brings together elected leaders, residents, businesses, and staff to foster a thriving community.  We are an independent, full-service city, providing the services typically operated by both counties and cities in areas such as public safety, transportation, human services, parks and recreation, planning, and administration. We offer a wide range of exciting career opportunities in a variety of fields, with the resources and expertise to succeed.  In Alexandria, employees are our most important asset, and we work hard to create and support a culture that delivers excellence through the shared values of respect, integrity, teamwork and continuous improvement.

Our employees have access to excellent medical, dental, vision, life insurance and other benefits.  Alexandria provides a defined-benefit pension and offers six weeks of paid parental leave to employees who become parents through birth, adoption or foster care.

We offer a robust wellness program, interdepartmental rotation program, tuition assistance funding and professional development program that helps employees obtain the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience to enhance their professional and personal growth.

With a population of approximately 160,000 and a land area of 16 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Located on the Potomac River across from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is known for its beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture, charming waterfront, high-tech economy, vibrant retail and restaurant corridors and diverse neighborhoods. We are a unique and historic community, and we continue to innovate for the 21st century.

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