National Wildlife Federation
  • Rocky Mountain Regional Center
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Full Time

The National Wildlife Federation has a longstanding commitment to the support of programs that help children spend time in and develop a lasting connection with nature and the outdoors. Children with ongoing experiences playing and learning in nature are more inclined to become nature lovers and supporters as adults and experience multiple health and developmental benefits.  We are seeking a new ECHO and Schoolyard Habitat Coordinator to join a creative team to implement the ECHO initiative with the following vision: All Colorado young children have daily access to quality outdoor learning environments (OLEs) where play and learning support development across all domains'cognitive, physical, social, and emotional.        

This position will also coordinate the collaborative design and creation of Schoolyard Habitats at schools around Colorado, with the aim of creating and restoring wildlife habitat on school grounds while providing outdoor classrooms for learning across the curriculum.  To implement these programs, NWF will work with partners Qualistar Colorado and North Carolina State University's Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) to implement the ECHO initiative focused on sites used by young children (ages 0-8). And for the Schoolyard Habitat work, we will partner with multiple public schools and community groups in Colorado to engage K-12 school communities in the Schoolyard Habitats program. 

The position will assist the Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) professional design team in tasks related to designing outdoor environments for young children to promote play, learning and healthy development by supporting the ECHO Program Director and Design Manager to create site base plans, schematic designs, planting plans, and design presentations for naturalized play and learning environments at child care centers, K-12 schools and other site contexts (parks, community centers, neighborhood open spaces, etc.). The Design Coordinator will also coordinate NWF's Schoolyard Habitats program in Colorado, providing collaborative design, training, technical assistance, and community engagement support to schools participating in the program

The major areas of responsibility:

The Design Coordinator position will be a shared role between two programs, ECHO and the Schoolyard Habitats program (half time each) in an effort to connect NWF's young child and K-12 programs. The ECHO program role will focus on designing outdoor spaces where young children and families spend time on a daily basis: primarily child care centers, but also including community spaces to serve family caregivers. The position will be expected to apply evidence-based, best practice design principles to a variety of site contexts and create developmentally-appropriate, custom design solutions driven by the programmatic needs of the clients and site users.

The Schoolyard Habitats role will be focused on bringing natural outdoor classrooms to targeted K-12 schools. This will include outreach to school communities, collaboratively designing Schoolyard Habitats, providing teacher trainings and coordinating a volunteer Habitat Steward program to help maintain and activate school habitats. The candidate should have excellent interpersonal skills, including public speaking experience, and should possess the ability to effectively communicate ideas both verbally and graphically.

In this position, you will:

  • Work collaboratively with the ECHO Director and Design Manager.
  • Communicate with clients (both early childhood care centers and K-12 schools), including meetings, design reviews, and design delivery presentations.
  • Prepare base maps, locate and verify available site data from multiple sources.
  • Produce sketches, schematic designs, and renderings of children's play and learning environments.
  • Assist with facilitation of participatory design workshops.
  • Assist with site visits, perform site analysis, conduct site measurements and photo documentation.
  • Maintain archival systems for photographs and other design components.
  • Assist with designing flyers, posters, printed resources, and presentations.
  • Plan, procure materials for, and manage volunteer workdays.
  • Assist with leading teacher training workshops.
  • Serve as the leader of Schoolyard Habitat projects at multiple K-12 schools in Colorado.
  • Coordinate communications and actions with school and community participants, including leading community engagement or habitat construction meetings or events.
  • With help from NWF's Education Department, collaboratively develop and deliver professional development for K-12 teachers.
  • With help from NWF's Education Department and school community members, collaboratively develop and deliver 'train-the-trainer' trainings to enact a volunteer Habitat Steward program.


  • Bachelor's degree in landscape architecture, horticultural science, landscape design, or related field.
  • 1-3 years of professional experience in a landscape architecture or design build firm, or related experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of Colorado native plants and landscape materials.
  • Demonstrated level of comfort with professional outreach to partners or community members.
  • Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) proficiency.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently manage tasks.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Ability to communicate effectively across disciplines.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively communicate ideas both verbally, in writing, and graphically.
  • Demonstrated ability to create effective design solutions at a variety of scales and contexts.
  • Proven ability to learn quickly.
  • The selected applicant's workplace actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

Preferred experience:

  • ArcGIS knowledge
  • Demonstrated interest in or past experience designing landscapes for young children, K-12 youth and/or families.
  • Evidence of familiarity with and some professional interaction with K-12 school(s).

This position will be located in the Denver office, and monthly travel (mostly day trips) within the state of Colorado will be required. 

A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate.

Interested candidates should submit both a cover letter and resume.  We offer excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a flexible work environment.  The National Wildlife Federation is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply.  If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application.

National Wildlife Federation
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