Community Gardens Manager

Urban Harvest is searching for an outstanding individual who is a self-starter, highly collaborative, and has experience in community engagement, incorporating community feedback, and reporting on and utilizing program metrics. We invite applications and nominations for candidates with the skills, characteristics, and experience described below.

Organization Overview

The mission of Urban Harvest is to cultivate thriving communities through gardening and access to local, healthy food. Our work addresses urban hunger, good nutrition, community and family development, sustainability, and economic development, and teaches individuals how to feed themselves through their own gardens and farms. Urban Harvest staff and volunteers address these issues by promoting farmers’ markets, providing gardening education for all ages, and supporting a network of community and school
gardens throughout the greater Houston area. These projects improve food access and promote local food sources while helping families and individuals work productively, sustainably, and creatively on the land.

Urban Harvest is supported by a hardworking staff of 10, a dedicated 12-person Board of Directors, a network of thousands of volunteers, and many individuals, families, foundations, community partners and businesses. Our programs create exciting, sustainable avenues for intergenerational interactions, connecting family and individual growers of all ages to the neighborhood, food, land, and people of the local area. Together, we are growing healthier, more sustainable homes and families in and around Houston.

Job Description

Urban Harvest is hiring a Community Gardens Manager in an effort to create thriving communities and increase access to fresh and local food through Exemplary and Affiliate gardens. This position will work with program directors, affiliate gardens and school sites, Double Up markets and farm stands, community and regional partners to achieve strategic goals across our affiliate garden network broadly and priority communities specifically. This position will coordinate programs with other Urban Harvest staff, particularly the Director of Garden Education and Classes Coordinator. Our priority communities are Northeast Houston (Kashmere, Trinity, Houston Gardens, and surrounding neighborhoods), Third Ward, Sunnyside, and the East End. The ideal candidate will have a background in community building
and some gardening experience in the Houston area. Specifically, the Community Gardens Manager has the following responsibilities:

  1. Garden Education
    1. Expand current programming to achieve greater impact: Hub Distributions, Adopt-A-Garden,
      Community Gardens Committee, onboarding Affiliate Gardens
    2. Organize and plan monthly Community Gardens Committee meetings composed of board liaisons
      and community supporters
    3. Organize basic hands-on gardening classes in gardens and surrounding community
    4. Represent Urban Harvest as a trusted source of gardening knowledge in their community
    5. Implement best practices and leverage affiliate garden benefits for gardens in their community
  2. Community Engagement
    1. Train gardens in community engagement to ensure long-term sustainability
    2. Attend community meetings; identify other community members to serve as advocates and support programming
    3. Host outreach events, Dig It Days, gardening classes in priority communities
    4. Identify elected officials and grass-top leaders to engage
  3. Collaboration
    1. Form collaborative partnerships with neighborhood organizations and other nonprofits working
      in “priority communities”
    2. Liaison between schools, community gardens, markets/farm stands
    3. Improve quality and cultural competency of Urban Harvest programming by providing community feedback
    4. Connect people to resources in their community beyond gardening through network of partners
  4. Administrative
    1. Manage program outcomes and community feedback to enhance programming
    2. Collaborate with other Urban Harvest program areas (Farmers Market, Classes and Youth Education) to ensure organizational efficiencies, sharing of knowledge and expertise, coordination of activities
    3. Maintain garden database to track knowledge, activities, and outcomes

Desired Characteristics

  • Experience in community building and engagement for diverse communities
  • Ability to measure and utilize metrics, research, mapping data, and community feedback to inform program design and activities
  • Well-organized, can handle multiple tasks, self-starter with ability to initiate new relationships and collaborations
  • The ability to effectively identify and communicate issues and challenges in a timely way.
  • A good listener and a creative problem solver who is savvy, patient, collaborative, and able to reconcile divergent points of view.
  • Personal qualities of commitment, integrity, and sensitivity to the needs of others
  • While this individual does not need to know about gardening in the Houston area, they are expected to have an interest in learning
  • Bilingual preferred, Spanish
  • A genuine passion for and deep personal commitment to Urban Harvest’s mission

Compensation

The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. The compensation will include a competitive benefits package.