The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a six-time National Recreation and Parks Association Gold Medal Award Winner, is seeking a Division Chief to oversee the Park Planning and Stewardship Division at the Montgomery County Department of Parks. The Department has a career staff complement of nearly 800 employees and serves a diverse population of more than one million residents. The Department manages 421 parks on nearly 37,000 acres of parkland with an annual operating budget of over $100 million, and a six-year Capital Improvements Program of over $200 million.
This is an exciting opportunity to join a team that is working to help shape the future of one of nation's largest and most diverse park systems in the nation. In addition to having a world-class park system, Montgomery County, Maryland is a metropolitan destination for technological innovation, world-class higher education, performing arts, hospitality and tourism, and entrepreneurship.
The Chief of the Park Planning and Stewardship Division (PPSD) reports to the Deputy Director of Administration and provides overall strategic direction, planning, organizing, and execution of the Division's mission and goals for the maintenance and development of the County's Parks system. The Chief is responsible for long range master planning for parks and trails, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and resource and data analysis.
We are looking for a multi-faceted and creative leader who can serve a diverse and well-established, but ever-evolving park system. The ideal candidate is a visionary who is highly skilled at collaborating and communicating with stakeholders, including the Planning Department, Planning Board, operations and maintenance staff, elected officials, County residents, and community organizations. The position plays a critical role in balancing the demand for recreation with the need for conservation. This is a highly visible position and there is a high level of expectation to work closely with residents and stakeholders in developing plans and policies that will shape the future of the County's park system.
Examples of Important Duties
- Manages the Division's operating budget of over $5 million and a staff of approximately 50 employees.
- Oversees coordination and management of park and trail planning efforts for area master plans, park functional plans, park master plans, park concept plans, program of requirements for park facility plans and the development review process for regulatory applications.
- Oversees the development and implementation of priorities and strategies for recreational facilities as noted in the Department's Strategic Plan (Vision 2030) and the State-mandated Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan.
- Oversees the expansion and implementation of the Energizing Public Spaces Plan, a program to create more parks and open spaces to serve areas of the County most in need.
- Oversees the coordination of comments and recommendations for regulatory applications submitted to the Planning Department including concept, sketch, preliminary and site plans, we well as mandatory referrals in accordance with the relevant master or sector plans and parks functional plans, to achieve the goals for public parks, open space and recreation as well as stewardship in Montgomery County.
- Oversees the coordination of the stewardship of natural resources on parkland. Major program emphases include natural resource inventory and mapping, white-tailed deer management, nuisance wildlife management, non-native invasive plant management, habitat restoration in environmentally sensitive areas, and the preparation of natural resources management plans.
- Oversees the coordination of efforts to identify, avoid, minimize, or mitigate the negative effects of land-use change on natural resources on parkland. Major program emphases are on the inventory and monitoring of aquatic resources, the environmental review of various development projects affecting parkland, development and implementation of MS4 and pollution prevention programs, and interagency watershed restoration and stormwater retrofits projects.
- Oversees the coordination of the stewardship and interpretation of 117 historic structures and approximately 600 archeological sites.
- Oversees the expanding natural surface trail network from planning and design to construction and maintenance.
- Oversees the Legacy Open Space Acquisition Program that identifies open space lands that should be acquired and interpreted because of exceptional natural or cultural value.
- Meets with citizens, community groups, Planning Board, County Council, and representatives of other departments and/or agencies to advance the Department's work program and advocacy efforts.
- Ensures that the Division's work products and the process within which the products are created are consistent with the Montgomery County's General Plan, Area Master Plans, and Sectors Plans.
- Ensures compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and County laws, regulations, and programs regarding stewardship, resource management, environmental protection, and recreation.
- Plays a lead role in developing strategic plans for the top three park priorities as set by the Planning Board Chair of activating urban parks, trails and athletic fields.
- Ensures that there is diversity and equity in the park planning process.
- Creates and utilizes data-driven approaches to inform various plans and studies.
- Anticipates and quickly responds to emerging trends in recreation and resource management.
- Fosters and sustains a workplace culture based on Diversity and Inclusionary practices.
Preferred Education and Experience:
- Master's Degree in planning, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, or related subjects
- Six years of highly responsible and varied experience in planning, architecture, landscape architecture or engineering that includes supervisory experience in one of these areas
- AICP Certification