Sustainable Landscaping Specialist

Website Openlands


The Sustainable Landscaping Specialist is a new position designed to expand the organization’s Lands in Harmony program in Lake County, IL by supporting landscape contractors who seek to increase their sustainable landscaping services. In collaboration with others, this person develops and tests strategies that empower landscape contractors to offer more sustainable landscaping practices that meet the needs of their company and customers while mitigating the effects of climate change, restoring ecological function to neighborhoods, and promoting ecological connectivity among communities.

This person works from home, with regular local travel to various outdoor sites in Lake County, IL, and occasional travel to adjacent counties. This is a full-time non-exempt position that reports to the Director of Lake County Programs. This full-time year-round position offers robust benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurances, paid time off, holidays, and retirement benefits.

Essential Functions 

  • Work with landscape contractors, ecologists, and property owners to develop and test scalable strategies that increase the number of landscape contractors who can sell and provide ecologically beneficial services to their customers.
  • Work with high school decision makers to develop and test strategies that increase the number of campuses that adopt sustainable landscaping practices and that engage students and others within their communities to increase the number of properties within their communities that do the same.
  • In collaboration with others, design and initiate a long-term project that engages target audiences in the measurement of a specific ecological feature and landscaping practice.
  • Track and analyze program data.
  • Manage the contract for landscape and site maintenance at Openlands Lakeshore Preserve.
  • Support management of our online Native Tree and Plant Sale.
  • Assist with development of promotions, resources, reports, proposals, and impact surveys.
  • Complete other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, horticulture, landscape design, or related field
  • Three or more years of work experience in the landscape contractor industry
  • Ability to work with the landscaping industry to design services and resources
  • An interest in gaining knowledge about this region’s ecological needs, native species, and invasive species, and share it with those who care for the suburban landscape
  • Strong skills in oral and written communications, with Spanish language a plus
  • Ability to occasionally work outdoors in inclement weather
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Punctual, organized, motivated, and diligent
  • Ability to use a company-provided computer
  • A valid driver’s license and regular access to a personal vehicle


Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time.

Work Environment

Office is ADA accessible. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer. This role requires manual labor- standing, bending, crouching, lifting. Smoke- and drug-free environment.

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.

About Openlands

Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives. Openlands’ vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.

To Apply 

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why your skills and experience would complement this position to   Please include “Sustainable Landscaping Specialist” in the subject line.

Please note that applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

To apply for this job email your details to