Land preservation is urgent in New Jersey, predicted by Rutgers University to become the first “built-out” state in the country. Fortunately, New Jersey was the first in the United States to have a State open space program that began in 1961. D&R Greenway matches public funds with strong private fundraising and a Revolving Land Fund to enable our #1 priority: Land Preservation.
D&R Greenway is a creative, solutions-oriented land trust that preserves land in suburban, rural and urban communities. Preservation includes fee acquisition, easements and facilitations to government agencies. Our land preservation strategies benefit from financial advisors who assist in tax planning tools that ensure a win-win for everyone. Our President & CEO has 30 years of experience in land preservation and is a member of the Land Trust Alliance Leadership Council.
We are seeking a proactive, experienced professional who will work with our team of experts to effectuate preservation of conservation lands, local farms and community lands with public access.
Located in Princeton, New Jersey in a ca. 1900 renovated barn, D&R Greenway has preserved more than 20,500 acres and 300 properties since our founding in 1989. We were among the first 10% of land trusts in the nation to be accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2012, with reaccreditation awarded in 2017.
The Director of Land Preservation is responsible for proactively identifying land preservation opportunities and managing land transactions to achieve D&R Greenway’s core mission of land preservation. This staff position is directly responsible for landowner negotiations, determining transaction structure including funding, and processing technical details to achieve closing.
The Director of Land Preservation works closely with the President & CEO to set priorities and strategies to meet D&R Greenway’s land preservation goals. Management responsibilities include creating and maintaining systems for ranking and tracking acquisitions. This includes ensuring compliance with land trust standards and practices required for accreditation.
- Set annual target for land preservation that maintains and surpasses D&R Greenway’s current level of achievement.
- Identify individual properties to be preserved.
- Negotiate land preservation deals. This includes meeting with landowners and their advisors to educate them about land preservation methods and benefits, preparing proposals, and negotiating to secure agreements for fee simple purchase and conservation easements.
- Work with technical, legal and financial advisors to prepare contracts and related documents that support acquisitions.
- Initiate and maintain regular communications with public agencies and with nonprofit partners. Key agencies include New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Green Acres Program, and county and municipal governments.
- Prepare funding applications for public agency funding to support acquisitions and land stewardship.
- Work with conservation stewardship team to enable baseline documentation.
- Provide information and communicate with sellers, realtors and buyers of conservation easement lands.
- Maintain communication with a network of professionals including attorneys, financial advisors and local officials in support of D&R Greenway’s mission.
- Promote D&R Greenway through public presentations and by attending events as requested.
- Provide information for D&R Greenway’s promotional and educational materials as requested.
- Work with the President & CEO, and with the Land Preservation Committee, to identify land preservation targets, set priorities, and design and implement land preservation strategies.
- Identify financial and technical resources needed to achieve land preservation and stewardship goals prior to acquisition.
- Identify and pursue funding sources in collaboration with D&R Greenway staff.
- Work with Conservation Stewardship team to identify conservation goals to be included in management plans for acquired lands during the acquisition process, and in accordance with Land Trust Accreditation requirements.
Administration and Management
- Assure compliance of land preservation operations, including practices and record-keeping, with Land Trust Alliance Standards & Practices and with requirements of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
- Manage an outreach and record-keeping system for land preservation activities, including regular communication and follow-up with landowners.
- Assist with preparation of related annual and special budgets in collaboration with D&R Greenway staff.
- Schedule, attend and keep minutes for the Land Preservation Committee.
- Prepare reports for Board and committees as requested.
DUTIES OF THE JOB:
- Must be available to work flexible hours including occasional evenings and weekends as needed.
- Must provide own means of transportation.
- Attend D&R Greenway’s promotional and educational events as required.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERTISE DESIRED:
- Understanding of real estate transactions
- Negotiation experience
- Familiar with legal documents, surveys, appraisals, title reviews and maps
- Experience working with legal and technical consultants
- Knowledge of financial planning methods preferred
- Knowledge of land preservation methods including conservation and agricultural easements
- Ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
- A minimum of 5-10 years of real estate transactional experience
- Familiar with Microsoft Office and GIS mapping skills preferred
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a related field
- Self starter who can initiate land transactions
- Passion for the work of land preservation
- Innovative problem-solver
- Works well with others on the team
Personable and able to gain rapport with people from varied backgrounds
- Sincere person who earns the trust and respect of others
- Good sense of humor and positive personality