Conservation Land Manager opening at Indian Hill Manor

The Smeja Homestead Foundation is seeking an energetic conservation land manager who is aspiring to make their mark in natural resource management to maintain and rehabilitate the historic landscape, farm, conservation areas and archeological sites owned by the Foundation, including Indian Hill Manor and Farm, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Smeja Homestead Foundation is a private operating foundation that owns 560 acres of land located along the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers southwest of Rockford, Illinois.

The Land Manager is responsible for implementing the rehabilitation plan for the manor grounds, developing a model sustainable farming plan for the farm, managing the natural land along the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers, including land being restored to wetland, prairie and riparian forest through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and developing management plans and policies for the archeological site in cooperation with the Ho Chunk Nation and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

For a full job description, click here. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 30, 2022. You can find out more on the Foundation website here.


Director of Land Stewardship opening at Jo Daviess

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is seeking a full-time Director of Land Stewardship, based in Elizabeth, IL. This position is responsible for the stewardship, management, ecological restoration, and maintenance of public access of JDCF’s preserves and conservation areas.

The Director’s time will be split between working on office-based duties at the JDCF office (or remotely) and field-based duties as needed. Responsibilities include supervision of other Land Stewardship Program employees including two permanent staff positions, temporary work crews, and internships. The Director shall also supervise and interface with Land Stewardship Program volunteers. The Director is also responsible for implementing land management plans, ecological restoration plans, leading prescribed ecological burns, maintaining sites for public access and recreation, and managing contractors working on JDCF sites.

This is an exciting opportunity for motivated individual with a passion for conservation and natural areas. The selected individual will have the opportunity to work in a dynamic, results-driven nonprofit organization and create a lasting impact on the landscape of northwest Illinois.

A full job description can be found here: Director of Land Stewardship position description. Application deadline is Sunday, April 17. Cover letter, résumé, and three professional references should be send to


Stewardship Coordinator wanted for Prairie Hills

Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development Inc., headquartered in Macomb, Illinois, has an opening for a Stewardship Coordinator.

This is a full-time professional position that requires managing the stewardship needs of the organization including visiting landowners, working with other staff on new projects and annual monitoring of free-owned properties and easements. Experience in land management including forestry, prairie and agricultural best management practices is preferred.

For more information on the openng and how to apply, CLICK HERE. Applications will begin reviewing on Monday, March 14, 2022.


Sales opening at Bluestem Ecological


Bluestem Ecological Services is looking for a candidate with to grow our Sales Department.

This candidate would offer land management services and consult on restoration, stewardship and prescribed burning needs within their native plant community to commercial & residential property managers, municipalities and land management agencies. This candidate would reach out to prospects to drive sales, follow the sale through job completion, including communicating with clients, prepare work orders & prioritize stewardship tasks.

For details and how to apply, you can go to their website HERE.


Director of Development opening at Jo Daviess

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is seeking a full time Director of Development.

The Director of Development position is a full-time, permanent position responsible for the stewardship and management of the general membership program for JDCF. This position reports to the Associate Director.

JDCF is a nonprofit land conservancy whose mission is to preserve and steward land and water for the lasting well-being of all people and wildlife. We achieve this mission by creating and maintaining parks, nature preserves, and other conservation areas throughout Jo Daviess County. JDCF currently owns 10 parks and preserves totaling more than 1300 acres. We also co-manage three additional parks and preserves in partnership with other conservation organizations.

You can find a full job description HERE and information on how to apply.


Special projects director opening at Jo Daviess

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is looking for a full-time Director of Special Projects located in Elizabeth, Illinois.

The Director of Special Projects will work closely with the Associate Director and Director of Land Conservation to achieve strategic objectives. This position will lead special projects as the “point person” for specific initiatives to advance the mission of JDCF. This position is responsible for providing high-level support to both the Fundraising and Land Preservation programs at JDCF. This involves fundraising for large special projects as well as protecting land in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy.

You can find a detailed job description HERE along with information on how to apply. Deadline to apply is Friday, February 25, 2022.


Executive Director position open at Lake Forest Open Lands

Lake Forest Open Lands(LFOLA) has an opening for Executive Director and is accepting applications through Friday, February 11, 2022.

The Executive Director leads the successful management of LFOLA and the hiring and supervision of all full-time, part-time and seasonal staff as required to achieve the mission and goals of LFOLA.

This position is responsible for all operations and personnel of the organization including annual finances, advancement and fundraising, marketing and outreach, public relations, board communications, governance, community engagement, land preservation programs, land management and strategic planning for the organization.

For more details and instructions on how to apply, CLICK HERE for the complete job description.


LFOLA’s John Sentell to retire

Lake Forest Open Lands announced President and CEO John Sentell will retire in May, 2022. Sentell has led the highly-regarded conservation land trust for more than 11 years and will remain with the organization in an advisory capacity and continue to serve on LFOLA’s board of governors.

Here’s the news release with the announcement:

“We will miss John’s steady hand, contagious energy and passionate vision leading our organization,”said Fred Wacker, board chair of LFOLA. “John’s dedication during his tenure has brought many successes of which we can all be proud and that will endure for decades.”

During Sentell’s tenure, LFOLA extended its mission to preserve threatened native landscapes and connect people with nature. Notable land achievements include the addition of several high‐priority parcels to LFOLA’s portfolio of nature preserves, including the permanent preservation and restoration of the iconic McCormick ravine and woods along Lake Michigan, the recently acquired 102‐acre Westfork Savanna and completing the land trust’s 40‐year goal to link a 7‐mile protected greenway at West Skokie Nature Preserve.

Over the last decade LFOLA found success in engaging more people to celebrate our unique “conservation community” and proudly promoted the rally cry to “Think Outside” and embrace the wonder of nature. This goal to connect people with nature extended to groundbreaking programs like the Center for Conservation Leadership and the recent blessing of our historic landscapes with Native American partners. The organization also recently completed a nearly $17-million capital campaign to help endow LFOLA’s current nature preserves and to accelerate their ambitious conservation goals into the future.

“As stewards of this fine organization, we know our mission is about the land,” added Wacker. “But just as important are the people that make what we do happen every day. Thanks to John’s leadership and that of our incredibly professional staff, an engaged Board and the support of the community, LFOLA is positioned extremely well for its next chapter of success.” Sentell’s passion for conservation runs deep. While president of LFOLA he also served as a past president of the state‐wide Prairie State Conservation Coalition (PSCC) along with other positions on non‐profit boards and leadership committees in the broader conservation field. Before joining LFOLA Sentell served as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of The Wetlands Initiative, a leader in innovative restoration models and partnerships that advance large‐scale wetland restoration throughout our state.

“It has been a privilege to serve an organization like LFOLA that is recognized at the very highest level and to help to make a meaningful impact that will endure for generations,” added Sentell. “This institution is a true gem and being a part of its legacy has been a dream job for me.”

LFOLA has an active search underway to identify the organization’s next Executive Director. A job description can be found HERE. Interested candidates are encouraged to email a cover letter, résumé, and references no later than Friday, February 11, 2022 to Fred Wacker, board chair.



Executive Director position open at Prairie Hills

Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., an Illinois non-profit corporation and an IRS 501c3 charitable organization located in Macomb, Illinois, is currently seeking applications for the position of Executive Director.
The Executive Director has management responsibility for diverse and complex programs ranging from rural development, economic development/re-development, and natural resources.  Prairie Hills and its subsidiary, Prairie Land Conservancy, are accredited land trusts.
The ideal candidate should possess:

  • Competence in the operation of computers and software applications including database management, word processing, spreadsheet applications, electronic communications, and automated accounting applications.
  • Background in natural resources, agriculture, and non-profit management.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including effective public relations skills.
  • Experience with grant writing and a good understanding of grants administration
  • Experience with record keeping and fund management.
  • Strong leadership skills managing both people and projects.

More information, including the full Job Description and instructions on how to apply, can be found here.

Deadline for applications is March 1, 2022. 


Outreach Volunteer Coordinator opening at Parklands

Parklands Foundation, located in Normal, Illinois, has an exciting opening for an Outreach Volunteer Coordinator.

Some of the duties involved include:

  • coordinate and provide program for requesting groups and organizations
  • communicate with the public through newsletters, press releases, and social media sites

This person should be available to work weekends, have computer skills, and feel comfortable working outdoors all year long.

You can find a detailed job description and information on how to apply at the Parklands Foundation website here. The application deadline has been extended through December 6, 2021

The ParkLands Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1967 to protect, restore, and manage natural lands in the Mackinaw River watershed of Central Illinois—primarily in McLean and Woodford counties.  Our long-term goal is to create a network of conservation land corridors along the Mackinaw River and its tributaries.