top of page

Program Specialist

Job Location



Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jul 13, 2021

About the job

Apply Now

Job Title: Program Specialist

Salary Range: $52,102-$61,297 (USD) Annually

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit


NRPA is currently seeking a Program Specialist to join our Programs & Partnerships department.

Job Overview

This Program Specialist position is an instrumental part of advancing the organization’s strategic priorities focused on building healthy communities, ensuring equitable access, and climate resilience. The Program Specialist is responsible for assisting with and coordinating key project(s) within NRPA’s climate resilience portfolio. This position will have a passion for subject matter and other key strategic priorities. This position is responsible for providing assistance to the management of grant funded projects and NRPA initiatives including grant planning and execution to meet project goals, grant communications, technical assistance and professional development, management of technology systems, program data collection, evaluation, resource development, and reporting. This position should work collaboratively with members of the resilience team, other Programs and Partnerships Department members and all NRPA staff.

Responsibilities and Duties

Project Coordination

· Coordinate and support grant-funded programs in the NRPA Access and Resilience portfolios centered on park access, equity, climate, environmental justice, and community partnership building in service of the goals outlined in NRPA’s 2021-2023 strategic plan focused on advancing park access and environmental resilience. Core responsibilities include:

· Support grant management, including grantee communications, reporting, resource development and dissemination

· Provide research, including resource identification to support the team delivering training and technical assistance for grantees seeking to improve park access and environmental resilience in communities

· Create and administer electronic surveys, assessments, metrics collection, and evaluations in consultation with NRPA research team, as defined by project scope

· Coordinate park access networks and grantee learning cohorts to steward engagement, resource sharing and active dialogue

· Keep abreast of trends and opportunities in parks and recreation, natural resource management, sustainability and climate change

· Support partnerships with local, state, national and federal organizations to implement project deliverables and enhance NRPA’s Environmental Resilience portfolio

· Attend local, state, and national conferences/meeting to share program successes/challenges and expand knowledge in key subject matter and emerging areas

· Provide administrative support, including scheduling calls for the Advisory Council for NRPA’s economic impact research and other project activities

Communications Support

· Responsible for thought leadership to environmental resilience and park access teams, including writing and deploying of regular communications:

· Develop PowerPoint presentations, brochures, webinars, and marketing materials for project promotion and broad dissemination

· Provide regular updates to NRPA website on programs

· Create other communications for the program in consultation with marketing and communications team

· Serves as a resource with grantees, members, donors, partners and colleagues

Content Creation and Curation

· Research and write original content to support NRPA's environmental resilience and park access portfolios

· Collect and repurpose stories from grantee projects to share broadly through blogs, success stories, magazine, podcasts

· Support the development and dissemination of key resources including professional development webinars and meetings focused on supporting park access, natural resource management, and climate ready communities to advance NRPA’s strategic goals

Budget Management

· Assist with budget management to include processing check requests, tracking MOUs, keeping accurate and organized data

Customer Service

· Exhibit superior customer service with grantees, members, donors, partners and colleagues

Minimum Qualifications:

· High School Diploma + 2 years of continuing education or equivalent required; Bachelor’s degree or industry certification equivalent preferred; minimum of 3-5 years in related field; 3-4 years position specific experience preferred; Association or park and recreation experience preferred

· Passion for parks and recreation, environmental justice, climate, sustainability, asset-based community engagement, natural resource management, government relations, and/or social justice

· General knowledge of environmental subject matter

· Excellent communication (oral, written) to effectively communicate with individuals at all levels, including members, partners and donors

· Excellent organizational, time and project management skills including the ability to organize, coordinate and prioritize activities efficiently and effectively.

· Experience using and/or willingness to learn project management software.

· Interest and willingness to facilitate meetings, trainings and professional development opportunities, and present on behalf of NRPA at conferences, meetings

· Demonstrates an understanding and passion for learning more about diversity, equity and inclusion concepts, is able to represent those in external relationships, and ensures that they are reflected in the programs and activities they are responsible for

· Excels in dynamic, fast-paced work environment

· Self-directed and detail-oriented with a collaborative and professional team spirit to contribute to a collegial, team-oriented environment

· Willing to travel up to 20 days per year to local, state-wide or national conferences, meetings, grantee site visits, etc.

Required Materials and Application Process: Applicants without the following required materials may not be considered for this position:

· Resume

· Cover Letter detailing your background and description how your experience and education would make you a successful candidate for this position (limit 2 pages).

Applicants will first be evaluated on the completeness and qualifications of application materials. Qualified applicants will then be invited for a phone screen and selected applicants will be invited to a Zoom interview. Finalists will be required to submit references for a reference and background check.

Who May Apply:This position is open to all qualified applicants.

NRPA values diversity, equity and inclusion and we are committed to integrating these core values more deeply into all elements of our daily work. NRPA is an equal opportunity employer and highly encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, ethnic minorities, new Americans (immigrants and refugees), LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, native people, and veterans.

Discover the Benefits at NRPA!

To promote healthy lifestyles, at work and away, we have established programs like Teleworking, FlexTime Schedules, 37.5-hour workweek, Employee Assistance Programs, Educational Assistance Programs, Lunch-and-Learn sessions, and more. NRPA also offers a competitive Heath benefits package, generous PTO program where employees accrue 26 days of paid time per year, parental leave, and retirement and savings benefits.

bottom of page