The Disney Wilderness Preserve Manager is part of the Stewardship and Field Program Department (SAF) Department of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Florida Chapter. The position is based at the Disney Wilderness Preserve (DWP), Poinciana, Fl. The 11,500 acre preserve is one of four campus preserves that the TNC Florida Chapter operates as part of the Center for Conservation Initiatives (CCI). CCI is a state-wide center of excellence that focuses on supporting conservation through outreach, education/training, science/strategy, and land stewardship initiatives. These initiatives are delivered through on-the-ground programs at CCI preserves, virtual programs, and community engagement. The Disney Wilderness Preserve serves as a critical link in a network of conservation lands that protect Central Florida’s ecosystems and the headwaters of the Everglades System. The preserve is located at the southern doorstep of the greater Orlando Metro Area. It attracts thousands of visitors each year from around the world. DWP requires active land management through prescribed fire, control of invasive species, and habitat restoration to maintain its unique biodiversity. It also provides an innovative research platform in service of TNC’s conservation strategies, science, and state and federal agencies. The Nature Conservancy emphasizes Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice principles (DEIJ) when recruiting and implanting its conservation work.
The Disney Wilderness Preserve Manager provides leadership at DWP to ensure that its focal programs are supported and aligned with achieving CCI’s mission. They supervise the outreach & education, stewardship, and facility leads at the preserve and help develop and manage strategic programs with other CCI preserve managers across the Center. This position helps onsite visitors and neighboring communities understand the ecological and economic importance of protected areas and natural systems and The Nature Conservancy’s role in their conservation through outreach programming. They explain the importance of protecting and conserving flora, fauna, and the benefits to people. They work with the CCI Training & Education Coordinator and outreach staff to develop and implement education and training courses and materials. The DWP Manager ensures that facilities maintenance needs are addressed and coordinates daily facility operations with the preserve staff. They identify and successfully obtain grant funding to support CCI programs at DWP and provide philanthropy, and government relations (GR) support as needed. This position reports to the CCI Preserve Management Director.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
Programmatic Management of the Disney Wilderness Preserve (50%)
- Works with DWP staff and CCI Coordinators to deliver focal initiatives (public outreach, education & training, science/strategy, and stewardship demonstration) through onsite, virtual, and community programs and events
- In coordination with staff, manages DWP’s work plans, activity and use records, and other reporting requirements
- Coordinates visitor use and facilities requests with staff and delegates oversight as needed
- Coordinates with supervisor and SAF Field Program staff to support strategic conservation projects offsite of DWP
- Coordinates with a broad team of onsite and offsite staff to ensure stewardship of TNC’s lands in the central Florida area is supported and achieved
- Serves as a training and education instructor/speaker related to school field trips, training courses, and educational events/activities at DWP/virtually/ and in the community
- Identifies and seeks public grant funding opportunities to support programmatic needs in coordination with supervisor and other CCI team members
- Works closely with the Tiger Creek Preserve Manager on collaborative CCI programs in the central Florida area, as well as sharing TNC resources and staff time for achieving operational needs
- Provides presentations to visiting groups, offsite venues, and professional meetings.
- Develops and maintains partnerships in support of CCI and for the broader conservation work of The Nature Conservancy
- In coordination with SAF leadership and Chapter Philanthropy Dept, assists in fundraising and cultivating relationships with central Florida area residents and other donor relations as needed
- Serves as the contact for marketing and communications events at DWP and works with TNC’s Marketing & Communication staff to promote and increase public awareness of TNC
- Works with supervisor to accommodate government relations requests at DWP
Staff supervision (25%)
- Supervises the Land Conservation Manager for the central Florida region, DWP Outreach & Volunteer Specialist, and the DWP Facility Maintenance Specialist
- Supports and guides their direct reports in their work performance and professional development goals
- Works with direct reports to develop annual objectives and goals and participates with them in TNC’s Performance Partnership process. Establishes clear directions and sets stretch objectives
- Develops a collaborative work environment to foster teamwork, transparency, and accountability
Facility management (15%)
- Responsible for the day-to-day operations and facility management of the Disney Wilderness Preserve.
- Works with maintenance staff to identify priorities and solutions for facility upkeep
- In coordination with DWP staff, develops an annual FY budget proposal for submission to SAF leadership
- Coordinates the DWP’s sustainability efforts, working towards reducing emissions and utilizing sustainable energy sources for all program facilities.
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
- Frequently makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience, and context
Supports SAF and other Florida Chapter Depts as needed (10%)
- Participates as a team member with other staff across CCI to develop programs, ideas, and activities directed at the public, partners, and youth engagement
- Provides support to other chapter priority initiatives as needed.
- Other duties as assigned