Recreation Manager Naturalist

Alexandria, VA
$63,295.44 - $84,784.96 Annually
Jun 02, 2023
Jun 22, 2023
Full Time
Recreation Manager II Naturalist

Buddie Ford Nature Center

Full Time Position

The City of Alexandria is in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh-largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. Approximately, one-quarter of the square miles in the city have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead.

If you are interested in working for the vibrant city of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for Recreation Manager II Naturalist for the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA).

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 public and private land that is open for public use), 51 program recreation and park facilities, hundreds of classes, an Arts Center, and a City Marina. The Department is comprised of four operating Divisions: Recreation Services; Leadership and Management; Cultural Activities; and Park Services. These four Divisions work to offer the full range of programs, services, facilities, and parks.

In pursuit of our RPCA's vision, this Manager connects the Alexandria community to nature through oversight of the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center - the City of Alexandria’s only nature center and sole provider of environmental education programming. The Manager leads a team of approximately eight employees consisting of full-time and part-time/seasonal staff to successfully manage the nature center operations and rentals, on-site classes and camps, and off-site environmental educational programs. To achieve strategic objectives, the Manager manages an operating budget totaling approximately $550,000.

Major areas of responsibility include:
  1. Grow our operations and impact through the leadership of a team of environmental educators and recreation leaders, including strategic planning, hiring, training, employee engagement, and coaching.
  2. Grow our facilities through the management of the Nature Center, including nature-themed community spaces, party rentals, visitor hours, native environment exhibits, and live animal collection.
  3. Grow our services through innovation and analysis of Nature Center free and fee-based classes, camps, and events, ensuring that program objectives are met, and exceptional customer experiences are provided.
  4. Grow our services through outreach and expansion of nature-based interpretive and educational programs and partnerships, including community engagement at schools, parks, and events, ensuring that program objectives are met including fulfilling Virginia’s Standards of Learning.
  5. Grow our facilities, services, and operations through the projection, management, and efficiency of operating budgets and revenues.
The Manager is part of the Recreation Services Division Management Team and is involved in division leadership. This includes attending division and department meetings and serving on division, department, and/or city cross-functional committees and work groups. Some operational work is completed collaboratively with other divisions, such as the Department of General Services, RPCA Human Resources, and the Park Services Division. The Manager is provided with opportunities to attend professional trainings and be involved in professional organizations.

What You Should Bring
Each member of our team is accountable for the exceptional delivery of services to the community. You will work to meet the needs of our community in a fun, safe, and orderly manner. To best serve in this position, you will bring good knowledge of the following:
  • Natural and biological sciences, including the theory, principles, and practices of interpretation, conservation, and environmental education
  • Native flora, fauna, geology, and ecology of the local area
  • Developing and presenting creative interpretive programs for children and adults
  • Interpersonal work relationships, teamwork, and employee supervision
  • Facility/program management techniques

You should possess independent judgment and initiative, enthusiasm, flexibility, diplomacy, excellent oral and written communication, and emotional intelligence. Your mission and vision must align with those of the Department.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Four-Year College Degree in biology, environmental education, or closely-related field; three years of experience working in a nature center, interpretive natural setting, or related natural science program; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

Completion of Master's Degree in biology, environmental education, or closely-related field; four or more years of progressively-responsible experience in conservation education work as a Naturalist, park ranger, science teacher or outdoor/ environmental education instructor in a natural area, school or camp setting.


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

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