Job Description

Salary: $66,444.00 - $80,868.00 Annually
Closing: 10/21/2020 5:05 PM Pacific
General Purpose

The City of Kent has an exciting opportunity for someone who has journey-level natural resource maintenance and planning experience. The Maintenance Worker IV in Parks, Recreation and Community Services is responsible for maintaining the natural areas throughout Kent city parks. The ideal candidate will possess knowledge of invasive plant management, watersheds and restoration, along with skill in research and natural resource management.  Communication skills are also critical in this position, as the incumbent will be the point of contact for other departments for all information regarding natural resources in parks. The position would be perfect for a candidate who enjoys working outside and performing varied tasks that provide attractive public spaces for a diverse and growing community. 

This is a full-time benefited position represented by the Teamsters union.

The selection process will include a panel interview and a written exam.  Finalists may also be scheduled for a second interview.  Dates for these processes have not yet been established.

**A cover letter and resume are required with your online application in order for your application to be considered complete.  Uploading your resume to auto-fill portions of the application does not automatically attach it to your application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.  Please note that you cannot attach documents to your application after it has been submitted.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your online application, please call our office at (253) 856-5270 and we will do our best to assist you.**

Under the direction of the Parks Operations Superintendent or Operations Supervisor, the Natural Resource Specialist performs a variety of skilled journey level maintenance & planning work to maintain the natural areas throughout the City parks.

Work is generally characterized by specialized natural resource duties and requires a thorough knowledge of invasive plant management, watersheds and restoration. There is also a substantial volume of skilled research and natural resource management tasks which involve coordinating volunteer events; researching best management practices; developing management plans; coordinating trail maintenance and responding to human disturbance issues in natural areas. The incumbent may also be required to perform lead duties to include inspecting the work of crews and planning and organizing work schedules.

Work is performed under general supervision. Supervisor defines objectives, priorities, and deadlines; and assists incumbent with unusual situations, which do not have clear objectives or precedents. Incumbent plans and carries out assignments and handles problems and deviations in accordance with instructions, policies, procedures and/or accepted practices. Work is evaluated for technical soundness and conformity to practice and policy.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Perform specialized natural resource duties to recommend and select appropriate native plants; draft simple planting plans; and/or manage native and invasive vegetation in accordance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Principles and other best management practices.

Lead and/or direct staff in the implementation of the Natural Area Level of Service including vegetation maintenance and removal along fenced natural areas, trails and where the park borders private property.

Develop and coordinate a plan for inventorying and mapping understory and other natural area vegetation in large parks which will contribute to the development of Park Specific Management Plans.

Ensure the success of volunteer restoration events by purchasing supplies, demonstrating removal and planting techniques, prepping & maintaining event sites, and tracking data.

Coordinate access to natural areas, tools, or other amenities for natural resource partners providing education or restoration opportunities.

Serve as a contact and communication point  to other departments for all information regarding natural resources in parks. This includes management issues regarding wetlands, nuisance vegetation in natural areas, wildlife information, human disturbance issues or violations of rules.

Coordinate with Kent Police Department, Kent Human Services, Parks Superintendent and or/other City staff to monitor and manage areas disturbed by encampments with a primary focus being in natural area parks.

Coordinate with Urban Forestry staff in the development and implementation of the Parks Urban Forestry Management Plan as needed.

Evaluate list of noxious weeds requiring control and inform staff of any updates or changes to status.

Train and direct the work of crews to ensure that work is performed in accordance with safety procedures, City quality standards and time schedules, as requested.

Determine equipment, materials and personnel needed for different jobs; prioritize and schedule job assignments; ensure needed materials and equipment are provided for crews; oversee tasks of crews assigned; evaluate feasible approaches; and ensure that all assignments are completed to City standard, as requested.

Attend meetings, seminars and training sessions to maintain or build current knowledge of advances in natural resource management.

Actively support the mission, vision, values and goals of the City.


May act as Supervisor in their absence.

Attend shop and safety meetings as required.

Perform related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Common best management practices regarding natural resource, park, and trail management.
  • Plant species palettes with consideration for park user safety, visibility, future size, and maintenance requirements.
  • Landscape enhancement methods
  • Plant biology/horticulture, landscaping, and/or forestry principles and practices
  • Identification of common native plant species and familiarity with appropriate site selection and pruning techniques
  • Identification of common urban and park wildlife species and familiarity with common human-wildlife conflict issues
  • Signs or indicators of common plant diseases and pests
  • Chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides; sanitization and the appropriate uses, mixture and application rates of each
  • Proper preventative plant and grounds care
  • Hazards and applicable safety precautions entailed in work activities
  • Traffic control methods and procedures
  • Supervisory principles and practices

  • Managing large amounts of data and information
  • Personal computers and their intermediate to advanced use including the use of applications such as Microsoft Excel, ArcGIS, and databases
  • Safe operation of machines, tools and equipment used in grounds, landscaping, nursery and parks maintenance work
  • Identification and control of common invasive and/or noxious plant species
  • Directing the work of assigned staff and/or volunteer and community groups effectively to safely complete work projects assigned
  • Painting, pruning and mowing
  •  Correct usage of English grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary as it pertains to the position
  • Proper control of chemicals and spraying equipment
  • Effective organization and expression of ideas through use of oral and written communications
  • Effective use of interpersonal skills in a tactful, patient and courteous manner
  • Analyzing situations and adopt and effect course of action

  • Perform moderate manual tasks for extended periods of time and during inclement weather conditions
  • Understand and accurately complete required paperwork
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and the public
  • Meet schedules and timelines
  • Work irregular work hours including evenings and weekends as required
  • Maintain accurate records and prepare reports
  • Read and interpret plans, blueprints, specifications, maps, etc., and to compare these with construction and to identify discrepancies and problems
  • Read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals
  • Effectively speak and present information in one-on-one and small group situations to supervisor, management, the public and other employees of the City
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide; compute percentages, volume, area, and circumference; and draw and interpret graphs and sketches
  • Apply common sense understanding to interpret and to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, sketch or schedule form
  • Solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists


Education, Experience and Other Requirements

Education:  Associates degree or equivalent in Biology, Botany, Forestry or related fields

Experience: Three (3) years of experience in Parks and Recreation management, research, volunteer management, or at least three years of related experience at the Maintenance Worker 3 level or equivalent; and including experience in a supervisory or lead capacity.

Or:  Any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual's knowledge, skill and ability to perform the essential duties listed above.

Preferred Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Botany, Park Management or related field AND direct experience managing volunteers & community engagement events.


  • Valid Washington State Driver's License
  • Valid Washington State Public Pesticide Operator's license including Law and Safety; Herbicide; and the ability to obtain the Insecticide portion of the Operator's License or ability to obtain all within 6 months of employment
  • May be required to obtain an Aquatics license
  • Valid traffic flagging card
  • Valid First Aid/CPR certification or ability to obtain within 6 months of employment
  • Must successfully pass the City's pre-employment driver's records check; successfully complete the City's Defensive Driving Course; and maintain an excellent driving record
  • Must complete a position relevant background inquiry
  • Must successfully pass the City's pre-employment substance abuse screening

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online