Natural Area and Trails Manager Sarasota County Government Sarasota County Government 42 reviews


Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources

About Our Job

US News & World Reported that Sarasota, Florida is the number 1 place in Florida and Number 18 in the country for best places to live. We need your help to create wonderful multi-modal experiences for residents and vacationing guests travelling in Sarasota.

Are you looking for an opportunity to provide senior leadership and management of the Parks & Recreation Department?

Natural Area & Trails Division is responsible professional work that plans, organizes, directs, coordinates and supervises the use, activities and events; supervises staff, operations and maintenance; ensures environmental stewardship and regulatory compliance; establishes procedures and guidelines and contributes to policy-making; strategic planning; oversees budgets

About Our Job

Under direction of the Division Manager, performs complex and responsible professional work and technical staff assistance in the management and operation of all Natural Areas and Trails (NAT) Division of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; plans, organizes, directs, coordinates and supervises use, activities, programming and events; supervises staff, ensures excellent customer service; ensures safe and clean venues, development and implementation of educational programs and event operations and maintenance; ensures environmental stewardship, directs the management of multiple facilities while protecting the parks, and preserving habitats, wildlife, and amenities; regulatory compliance; development and implementation of goals and objectives, establishes procedures and guidelines and contributes to policy-making; strategic planning; oversees budgets; serves as a resource for and coordinates with other staff, the Division Manager, other governmental agencies and other units across the enterprise.

Job Description:

Budgeting, Staffing & Accountability

  • Manages, directs, coaches, mentors, trains, evaluates, and supervises staff and assists Supervisors within the NAT Division.
  • Prepares, monitors and administers NAT budgets.
  • Makes recommendations on services, staffing and procedures and serves as primary hiring authority for NAT.
  • Coordinates with staff to ensure appropriate prioritization, coordination and scheduling while analyzing and assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of work performed both by staff and contractors.
  • Ensures proper implementation of PRNR Pricing Plan and partnership applications.
  • Ensures participation in and proper collection of data supporting timely completion of performance evaluations.
  • Develops and directs the implementation of goals, objectives, policies, procedures and work standards for park staff, volunteers, contractors, and other partners that operate in or work to build or maintain county managed parks and park amenities and lands. This includes a comprehensive and diverse program of park services, public information and engagement and marketing, recreation program activities, and technological advancements. Manages proactive assessments of fraud awareness, prevention, detection and risk mitigation activities in area of responsibility; oversees financial, compliance, operational and performance audits; reviews audit findings and ensures appropriate controls are established and implemented; initiates disciplinary procedures as appropriate.

Facility/Park Maintenance

  • Coordinates with staff to ensure that a broad range of nature-based programs, activities and outdoor recreation are provided.
  • Utilizes Maximo and the Quality Assurance Team Smartsheets for ensuring proper maintenance of parks, trails, and amenities within NAT.
  • Park management and oversight including regular reviews of assigned parks, trails and amenities to ensure a safe, clean and enjoyable experience for park patrons.
  • Provides for good stewardship of historical, cultural and archaeological resources by promoting awareness and contacts to staff.
  • Provides for good stewardship of protected species (flora and fauna) and habitats by providing staff with appropriate tools such as training and resources.
  • Oversees land and habitat management efforts at natural areas and trails including in-house and contractual management of nuisance vegetation, mechanical vegetation management and habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement.
  • Responds to complaints, investigate problems, and provide resolution to a wide range of issues or problems. Respond in a timely manner to public inquiries and requests for information or services. Coordinate with public agencies regarding proposals for the use of public park lands and amenities for infrastructure improvements or maintenance, marketing and education, and other general government uses of park lands.
  • Respond to the requests for press and public information needs. Attend and present at various public boards, committees, and associations (e.g., County Commission, Parks Advisory and Recreation Council, various municipal park advisory boards.
  • Direct, plan, control, and supervise park operations and infrastructure development and reconstruction, assuring that projects align with the desires of the community, planning and regulatory requirements, permits, and conditions. Review and approve park development designs and proposals that function appropriately and are consistent with construction and maintenance standards. This is work involving participation in team design and permitting meetings, on-site coordination and supervision of contractors and staff, quality control inspections, public workshops and construction and landscape design input from a wide variety of stakeholders and the general public. Work with County, State and other agencies, as necessary. Plan for and implement non-capital park improvement projects and improvements utilizing the cost benefit analysis, alignment with Leisure and Recreation trends, and community needs assessments as appropriate.
  • Manages proactive assessments of fraud awareness, prevention, detection, and risk mitigation activities in area of responsibility; oversees financial, compliance, operational and performance audits; reviews audit findings and ensures appropriate controls are established and implemented.

About You

Minimum Qualifications : A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in recreation, leisure services, education, one of the biological or natural sciences, or related field, and four (4) years of professional experience related to the position. An Associate’s Degree from an accredited college or university and six (6) years of job-related experience. Year-for-year experience may substitute for the college degree. Two or more years of supervisory experience required. Advanced professional certification highly preferred.

Preferred Qualifications : Advanced professional certification in National Recreation and Parks Association Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and/or Natural Areas Training Academy Certified Natural Areas Manager.

Job Competencies : Ability to effectively coordinate and manage multiple programs and/or projects, including budget, reporting requirements and employee/contractor performance; good financial judgment; ability to professionally evaluate work of others; good written and verbal communication skills; ability to prepare clear, concise and complete written reports; public /media interaction skills; presentation skills; intermediate computer skills required related to areas of assignment, including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database applications; appropriate and safe handling of fleet vehicles and equipment, first aid certification, natural resource management experience including nuisance species management, habitat enhancement/ restoration. prescribed fire training and experience.

Subject to Passing Substance Screening: This position is subject to passing a pre-employment substance screening. An applicant who fails to pass a required drug screening test shall be disqualified from employment in any class for a period of five (5) years.

About Everything Else

Pay: $60,174.40 – $79,788.80

Employee Type:

At Will (Budgeted)


  • Enjoy great benefits including Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Flexible Spending Accounts, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Florida Retirement System (FRS) and many, many more!
  • For more information about employee benefits, please click this link or visit for additional information.
  • Utilize our award-winning wellness program including free gyms and classes at multiple Sarasota County Government locations.
  • Enjoy 11 paid holidays, 3 personal days and 16 paid vacation days in the first year of full-time employment with increasing accrual rates with years of service. (That adds up to a possible 30 days off in your 1st year!)

Sarasota County Government is a Tobacco Free/Drug Free Workplace

Sarasota County Government promotes diversity and inclusion in its workforce and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender identification or expression, genetic information, religion, national origin, marital status, age or disability. A job applicant with a disability who requires reasonable accommodation to participate in the application/selection process is requested to make known the need for an accommodation to Human Resources or appropriate county staff members. For assistance with the application, please call 941-861-5741.

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