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Conservation Land Manager

Smeja Homestead Foundation
Indian Hill Manor & Farm, 6901 Kishwaukee Rd, Rockford, IL 61109
$35,000 - $45,000 per year + benefits
Closing date
May 20, 2022

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Conservation science
Land Management
Job Level
Mid level
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Conservation Land Manager

Indian Hill Manor & Farm

The Smeja Homestead Foundation is seeking an energetic conservation land manager who is aspiring to make their mark in natural resource management to maintain and rehabilitate the historic landscape, farm, conservation areas and archeological sites owned by the Foundation, including Indian Hill Manor and Farm, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Smeja Homestead Foundation is a private operating foundation that owns 560 acres of land located along the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers southwest of Rockford, Illinois.  It includes the 26-acre Manor grounds that were laid out in 1918-1920 by O. C. Simonds, one of the leaders of the natural landscaping movement of the early twentieth century, that are being rehabilitated to recreate the original plat and native plantings. The foundation also owns a 160-acre historic farm, 40 acres of wooded bluffs along the Kishwaukee River, 30 acres of land that is enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program, 285 acres of floodplain forest, and an 18-acre archeological site that is a designated Land & Water Reserve.

The Land Manager is responsible for implementing the rehabilitation plan for the manor grounds, developing a model sustainable farming plan for the farm, managing the natural land along the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers, including land being restored to wetland, prairie and riparian forest through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and developing management plans and policies for the archeological site in cooperation with the Ho Chunk Nation and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

The Land Manager plans and oversees the work of contractors for all work projects on the Foundation’s grounds, CRP sites, natural areas and cultural sites.  This includes securing contractors, adhering to the contracted scope of work and timelines, quality control, and proper and safe use of work materials, tools, and equipment.  The Land Manager also will supervise paid seasonal workers, volunteers, hunters, students, and other persons to ensure proper and safe use of tools and equipment and adherence to work plans.

A Bachelor’s degree or higher in Horticulture, Sustainable Agriculture, Ecology, Forestry, Natural Resources Management, or a similar field of study is required. A minimum of 3-4 years of professional or volunteer experience in the field of natural resource management and restoration, natural landscaping or sustainable farming is preferred. A working knowledge of native plants indigenous to northern Illinois, and the ability to identify and manage invasive species is preferred. A pesticide applicators license and/or certifications, or ability to attain a license is required.  The applicant should be proficient in the use and maintenance of power tools, tractors and other heavy equipment. Experience conducting prescribed burns and/or S130/190 certification is a plus. Must possess a valid driver’s license and own vehicle.

The full Job Description can be found on the Foundation website:

This is a full-time, (40 hours a week) permanent position located at Indian Hill Manor, Rockford, Illinois. The starting salary range is $35,000 - $45,000 depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include up to 3 weeks paid vacation, one-half (1/2) of FICA and Medicare taxes, Workers Compensation Insurance and Unemployment Compensation Insurance. A portable health insurance policy and retirement plan may be provided, with Board approval.

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