District Forester

    • Job Tracking ID: 513080-836506
    • Job Location: Centennial, CO
      Lone Tree,
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: November 22, 2022
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About this Opportunity!


About the position!

District Forester

(Full Time, Non-Exempt)

$57,340 - $71,325 per year

Position Summary:

Under the supervision of the Parks and Open Space Managers, this position is responsible for the oversight and supervision of the District-wide large tree care forestry division which includes the maintenance of trees on open space, parks, greenbelts and forested areas of the District. Responsible for the scheduling, coordinating, directing, assigning and evaluating of annual, monthly and day to day work plans and personnel associated with the District's large tree care program, which includes, but is not limited to: tree pruning, tree removal, stump grinding and includes tree support systems as well as participating in forestry-related special events. Responsible for oversight, direction and planning of the districts entire tree care program; including the District’s nurseries. Must be able to maintain a safe work environment. Provides support and technical assistance for the district Park Maintenance Programs. Prepares and implements a public relations program to protect and preserve the District’s forest resources and related work as required. Must be available for emergency duties after normal working hours and on weekends. May also be required to work weekends, evenings, holidays, and be on snow watch, as well as work shifts deviating from this position’s normal work days and/or with other work groups.

Essential Duties:

  • Schedule, supervises and participates in, the inspection, planting, removal, pruning, trimming and maintenance of trees on District property.
  • Assists assigned personnel in pre-climb tree safety assessment, tree climbing, aerial lift devices, rigging operations, tree felling, cable and bracing, tree identification, cultural requirements, safety procedures, and proper operation and maintenance of tools and equipment. Provides preventive maintenance and simple repairs to vehicles and equipment. Coordinates vehicle and equipment maintenance and repairs with the garage and shop personnel.
  • Exercise good judgement and practice proper safety precautions at all times.
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings, trainings, and orientations.
  • Attend work on a regular, reliable and punctual basis.
  • Supervises the trimming of trees by public utilities for clearance from utility lines and follows all applicable MUTCD, state, local and District rules and regulations. Sets up trail detours and uses traffic control devices as well as appropriate signage to create safe detours and work zones.
  • Hires, trains, schedules, supervises and evaluates assigned staff; provides or coordinates staff training; and works with employees to correct deficiencies.
  • Assists in preparing, enforcing, maintaining and modifying policies and procedures manuals; conduct periodic staff meetings to provide and gather information, answer questions and respond to complaints and concerns, both internally and externally.
  • Assists in the Department’s STAR PR program and shop/facility cleaning.
  • Performs snow and ice removal using snow plow trucks, loaders, blowers, shovels, ice scrappers, de-icing salts, etc.
  • Instructs personnel in forestry practices; inspects trees for pests and disease and schedules spray or treatment operations such as Japanese Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and/or other pest problems.
  • Keeps abreast of developments of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides; diagnoses tree and plant diseases; performs soil analysis to determine treatment needed to promote tree or plant health and growth.
  • Prepares budget requests for forestry programs; supervises maintenance of tree and plant nursery stock; requisition and purchasing of materials.
  • Uses safe working methods in operation of equipment.
  • Performs tree assessments, tree appraisals and tree benefit calculations as needed or assigned.
  • Works with the Communications Department to share information with the public regarding forest resources; preparation, maintenance and implementation of forestry management plan, to include tree trimming and care, site improvement, tree plantings and removals.
  • Prepares and maintains an inventory of tree population by species and age groups within the District and a general survey of trees on private property to protect district assets. Completes annual defective tree inspections as well as inspects trees in District parks, facilities, trails and open spaces. Maintains accurate maintenance and removal records, hardcopy or electronic as well as provide regular status/needs reports to Supervisor. Develops a plan for annual tree pruning or removal of trees within the District.
  • Drafts reports and prepares contract specifications, solicits bids, monitors contract work in the field; administers payments to contractors.
  • May act for the Parks and Open Space Manager in their absence; under the direction of the Parks and Open Space Assistant Director.
  • Must be available as needed for after-hours and weekend work, and be able to respond to emergency calls and carry out Storm Damage Response for the Parks Department and Parks Districts.
  • Supports the relationship between the District, Cities and general public by demonstrating courteous and cooperation when interacting with citizens, visitors, and City staff.
  • Maintains confidentiality of work-related issues, personnel and District information.
  • Maintains accurate time cards and daily activity reports for self. Assists others in work group with filling out time cards, activity sheets and other electronic or hardcopy paperwork.
  • Assists with District related special events, such as the Arbor Day, Adopt-A-Park projects or holiday programs.
  • Uses Purchase Card and completes Purchase Orders in accordance with established procedures. Reconciles Purchase Cards in a timely manner.
  • Performs other job-related duties within the scope as assigned.

This job description should not be construed to imply that these requirements are the exclusive duties of the position. Incumbents may be required to follow any other instructions, and to perform any other related duties, as may be required.

Education and/or Experience:

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • A Technical School certification, Associates Degree in Science, or a Bachelor Degree in Science in Urban Forestry, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, or related science degree, is highly desirable.
  • Five (5) years of experience in urban forestry, arboriculture, forestry, or utility tree trimming with a focus on tree climbing, rope use, knots, rigging, felling, bucking and climbing, tree pruning and tree removal, chainsaw use and maintenance, EAB sampling/treatment and tree inventorying.
  • Highly desirable skills and knowledge are: tree identification, ability to use field data collection devices to maintain maintenance records, and the use of developing technology to inspect and maintain trees.
  • Supervisory experience required.
  • Snow and ice removal and mosquito control experience is helpful.
  • A combination of experience and education may be considered.

Licenses, Certifications, and Other Requirements:

  • Must possess the International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist certification or have the ability to obtain within six (6) months of employment.
  • Must possess the Colorado Pesticide Applicator’s License as a Certified Operator in the Forest Pest Control (106) and Ornamental Pest Control (207) categories or have the ability to obtain within one (1) year from the date of hire.
  • International Society of Arboriculture Certified Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) or ability to obtain within one (1) year from the date of hire.
  • Driving is a requirement that includes a current, valid Colorado Driver’s License; CDL Class B with the air brake endorsement, or ability to obtain within three (3) months of hire. Maintenance of a good driving record is required. Must be able to pass a CDL drug screening and health assessment prior to using CDL equipment.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of modern arboricultural principles, standards, and best management practices, operations and activities of a municipal urban forestry program, tree identification, tree biometrics, CODIT, arboricultural knots and rigging systems, work-place and arboriculture safety practices, laws, regulations, and methods of pesticide applications.
  • Skill in the proper use, care and maintenance of Forestry Division assets such as hand, power and motorized tools including chainsaws, tree climbing gear, rigging equipment, aerial lift units, chippers, stump grinders, and snow and ice management equipment, the safe and lawful operation of motor vehicles, snow plows and snow blowers, reading and understanding general and scientific tree reference materials, safely felling trees and in the proper use of pesticides and associated personal protective gear.
  • The ability to learn, understand and follow policies, procedures, and master plan objectives for the District, understand and follow the District’s personnel policies and procedures, the District’s purchasing policies and procedures, the District’s organization and operation structure, as necessary, to carry out assigned responsibilities,
  • The ability to successfully and productively work without supervision within established policies and procedures and regularly exercise independent judgement for daily operations.
  • Ability to train and supervise employees, community service workers, and volunteers.
  • Ability to adhere to safe work practices and procedures.
  • Ability to tie and use arboricultural knots and rigging systems.
  • Ability to read and interpret sketches, diagrams, plans, and maps.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities, weather events, and special work requests.
  • Ability to interact tactfully, clearly, concisely, and appropriately with the public, District administration, co-workers, and other agencies or contractors.
  • Must be highly motivated and take direction well with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbally.
  • Ability to work independently and with a team in a fast-paced and high volume environment with emphasis on accuracy and timeliness.
  • Ability to provide outstanding customer service and get along with coworkers, patrons, and supervisors and interact with employees and vendors in a professional manner.

Material and Equipment Used :

Aerial lifts. chip trucks, pick-ups or stake-bed trucks with manual or automatic transmissions, snow plow trucks, ATV’s, Utility vehicles, or Outfront mowers with snow plows, trailers for towing equipment or materials, tractors and Skid Steers with various implements, hand tools such as various pruning saws, rakes, brooms, saw sharpeners, screw drivers, hammers, etc., electrical power tools such as drills, circular saws, jig saws, saw sharpeners, parts cleaners, etc., motorized tools such as chainsaws, chippers, stump grinders, backpack blowers, snow blowers, etc., pesticide application equipment including high or low pressure sprayers and backpack sprayers, pesticides and De-Icing salts, ropes, pulleys and rigging systems, personal computers, smart or flip cell phones, hand-held data collection devices, and GPS tools and software. This position will drive a District vehicle and/or a personal vehicle for business purposes.

Working Environment :

This position requires strenuous outdoor work such as climbing trees with rope and saddle and working off the ground in trees or using aerial lift devises in possibly adverse conditions, such as tight working quarters, extremes in temperature, in precipitation, with ultraviolet radiation exposure, and in unlit or low light, early morning or night-time activities.

Physical Requirements :

Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in a field environment; to walk, stand, and sit for prolonged periods of time; to frequently stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, crawl, climb with both legs and arms, reach, twist, grasp, and make repetitive hand movement in the performance of daily duties; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull/drag objects weighing up to 50 pounds unassisted; climb stairs and ladders; work in uncomfortable positions for short periods of time; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull/drag objects weighing up to 75 pounds unassisted. Ability to tolerate exposure to dust, fumes, and odors. Operate assigned equipment and vehicles while exercising good hand/eye and foot/eye coordination; and to verbally communicate and exchange information, or hearing and listening for receiving and interpreting information and warning signals. This position requires strenuous outdoor work such as climbing trees with rope and saddle and working off the ground in trees or using aerial lift devises in possibly adverse conditions, such as tight working quarters, extremes in temperature, in precipitation, with ultraviolet radiation exposure, and in unlit or low light, early morning or night-time activities.

This list is not all-inclusive and represents examples of the work environment and physical demands.

We’ve Got You Covered!

South Suburban pays:

  • 90% of the employee-only medical insurance cost
  • 68% of dental & vision insurance cost
  • 100% short-term & long-term disability cost
  • 100% life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance cost

South Suburban offers:

  • FSA options for additional medical expenses

Happy Employees Are the Best Employees

  • South Suburban provides an employee assistance program at no cost that includes: counseling, financial planning, legal assistance, and much more!
  • Our Employee Wellness Program gives covered staff the ability to reduce their medical premium by $360 annually

Take Time Away to Do What You Enjoy

  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • 4 personal days per year
  • Earn 11.5 paid vacation days per year
  • Paid sick leave to rest, recover, and take care of yourself

We’ve Got Your Back

  • Up to 8% 401(a) Employer contribution/match that vests after 3 years of service
  • Diverse trainings to grow your professional and personal skillset
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program that covers up to $1,800 per year

Play Where You Work

  • Employee engagement is a priority at South Suburban. Staff gatherings have included: pictures with the Stanley Cup, Chili Cook-Off, Ice Cream Social, Shuffleboard Tournament, Employee Appreciation Luncheon, just to name a few
  • Monthly wellness challenge opportunities and staff recognition honors

We LOVE Our Facilities and So Will You:

  • Free daily admission to recreation centers, tennis courts, ice rinks and swimming pools
  • 50% off food at South Suburban restaurants
  • $5 to $10 for nine holes of golf at four different courses

To view a complete listing of the District’s most current benefit package, please visit

About Us

Our mission is to foster healthy living through stewardship of the environment, parks, trails, and open space by providing recreational services and programs.

We serve residents in Bow Mar, Columbine Valley, Centennial west of I-25, Littleton, Lone Tree and Sheridan and unincorporated portions of Douglas, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties. We operate four full-service recreation centers, golf courses, outdoor pools and restaurants, two ice centers and miniature golf courses, and a BMX track, a sports dome, batting cages, an entertainment center, a hotel and a nature center. In addition, we maintain nearly 3,800 acres of developed and open space land, including 119 multi-purpose athletic fields, more than 100 parks, nearly 80 miles of trails, 60 playgrounds, 56 tennis courts, and the 880-acre South Platte Park.