Job: Associate Park and Trail Planner – Metro

Job Title

Associate Park and Trail Planner

Company / Organization


Job Description

Metro is dedicated to shaping a better future for the greater Portland region. The work the people of Metro do every day benefits the lives of the people who live here, today and tomorrow. We offer a highly competitive compensation and benefits program. Learn more about the benefits Metro offers.

Metro manages 18,000 acres of voter-protected land across the greater Portland region — from expansive forests to sensitive wetlands, suburban trails to historic cemeteries, beloved destinations to some of our newest nature parks. Metro also coordinates and supports the planning and implementation of a 1,000-mile network of off-street trails for biking and walking. Over the past three decades, voters have passed three bond measures to protect the landscape and three operating levies to make the most of it. This is a time of great transformation, with voter investments translating to significant investments in active transportation, land protection, landscape scale restoration efforts, new parks and trails, infrastructure and visitor improvements, and renewal and replacement projects.

The Parks and Nature planning team is looking for an individual interested in helping to shape and deliver on a vision for nature parks and regional trails. The person in this position will assist with the coordination and delivery of planning efforts. We’re looking for a talented person with a commitment to advancing racial equity and shaping a better future for the greater Portland region. An ideal candidate will approach their work in a thoughtful, inclusive, collaborative manner, will exhibit independent thought, creativity, self-awareness, and excellent public service while incorporating a social equity analysis in their work.

The Associate Park and Trail Planner will be part of the Parks and Nature planning team – a talented and supportive group of landscape architects, planners and project managers. This position will work collaboratively with Metro transportation planning staff, local agency partners and community-based organizations to plan and facilitate the development of safe and welcoming places that meet the needs of the Portland metropolitan regions’ diverse populations. You will help to organize, strategize, and deliver on park and trail site plans, trail alignment studies, active transportation projects, planning analysis as well as property and trail right-of-way acquisition opportunities. Additionally, you will work closely with colleagues at Metro and partner agencies including real estate negotiators, natural resource scientists, transportation planners, GIS developers, land managers, park operations staff, volunteer coordinators, nature education staff and community engagement professionals.

As the Associate Park and Trail Planner you will:
Support the Parks and Nature department’s short term and long-range park and trail planning initiatives.
Provide planning support for the land acquisition program, including natural area land protection and trail right-of-way acquisition across the region.
Assist with complex park planning projects across a variety of scales, i.e. supporting park strategy and system planning, traditional site planning, interpretive planning and/or planning for sign improvements
Assist with advancing the regional trails program; convening and coordinating partners to progress the regional trail system plan vision, representing the regional trails program during the regional transportation system planning efforts, and working on active transportation and regional trail projects across the region.
Facilitate discussions and decision making with staff and stakeholders across multiple disciplines and with a variety of professional or personal expertise and perspectives.
Under the supervision of a principal planner, manage smaller park and trail planning projects and consultant contracts; i.e. analysis and feasibility studies, graphics production, site visitor experience programming, GIS mapping and analysis, bicycle and pedestrian counts, visitor experience data collection and analysis, and sign plans.
Work closely with the planning manager and other Metro staff to understand local agencies’ strategic visions, goals for local park and trail systems and track current projects to facilitate collaboration and alignment between Metro and local agency partners.
Represent Parks and Nature in partner agencies’ park, active transportation and regional trail projects and studies as appropriate.
Work closely with Metro staff and others to analyze and advance racial equity, accessibility and inclusion in all park plans, projects, and programs.
Work with communications team to convene stakeholders, coordinate community engagement and strategic communications for planning projects.
Produce written technical and summary reports and graphics to document information about plans, projects, and processes, and communicate project recommendations and decisions.
Work extensively with Microsoft Office, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online and the Adobe Creative Cloud software.

Attributes for success:
Has a desire to improve the lives of the people who live here, today, and tomorrow.
Ability to juggle multiple projects with varying timelines and navigate competing priorities.
Is culturally competent with a commitment to working with diverse communities in the planning of parks and trails.
Understands the relationship between the built environment and climate justice.
Is passionate about providing superior public service.
Is committed to collaboration in support of short and long-range plans, strategic initiatives, and programs.
Has a desire to learn and grow and support the development of others.
Is self-aware, empathetic of others, reflects on decision-making and exhibits self-accountability.

Diversity and inclusion: At Metro, we’re committed to hiring a workforce representative of the communities we serve, recognizing that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We invest in employees by supporting equitable and inclusive hiring practices, employee policies and training programs.


We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific in your application materials on how your background is relevant.

Minimum qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in science, public administration, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, economics, or a related field; AND
Two years’ experience in public park planning, transportation planning, landscape architecture, regional planning; OR
We will consider any combination of education and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position.
If this statement is true for you, then you may be ineligible to apply:
If I was terminated for cause during any of my employment with Metro, or resigned in lieu of termination, I understand I may be ineligible for rehire for a minimum of 3 years.

Like to have qualifications:
You do not need to have the following preferred qualifications/transferable skills to qualify. However, keep in mind we may consider some or all of the following when identifying the most qualified candidates. Your transferable skills are any skills you have gained through education, work experience, including the military, or life experience that are relevant for this position.

Experience convening stakeholders and managing community engagement processes.
Planning experience working with diverse landscape types and natural systems.
Knowledge of conservation biology principles and practices and the ecological impacts of recreation on wildlife and their habitats
Professional or lived experience engaging with systemically oppressed communities.
Design and construction experience.
Racial and social equity competencies exhibiting a working knowledge of and demonstrated experience in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in trail planning and development projects.


Based on the Oregon Pay Equity Act requirements, Metro’s internal equity review process, and the candidates’ qualifications, the appointment will typically be made between minimum pay range step 1 $73,132.80 to the equity range step 4 $84,739.20 The full-salary range for this position is step 1 $73,132.80 – step 7 $98,092.80 annually.

This position is not eligible for overtime and is represented by AFSCME 3580. It is classified as an Associate Regional Planner. Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.


The application packet: The application packet consists of the following documents. Please ensure that you upload these documents in your online application. Make sure your application is complete, missing any part of these items could result in an incomplete application and will not be moved forward in the recruitment.

A completed online application; AND
A cover letter (single-sided, single spaced, 12-point minimum font size) answering: “Why do you feel your education, skills and experiences have provided you with the ability to succeed in this parks and natural areas planning position?
The selection process: We expect to evaluate candidates for this recruitment as follows. The selection process is subject to change.

Initial review of minimum qualifications
In-depth evaluation of application materials to identify the most qualified candidates
Consideration of top candidates/interviews
Testing/assessments (if applicable)
Reference check
Background, driving records check for finalist candidate (if applicable)

How to Apply

Please visit for more information and to apply