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Employer: City of Manhattan
Salary: $52416.00 Annually

Job Description:


        Starting Salary:  $52,416. - $65,520.   DOQ

    (Regular/ Full-time   Exempt)          OPEN UNTIL FILLED

To apply, please complete the online application and upload the following documents: 1) letter of interest, 2) completed questionnaire, 3) resume with references, 4) official transcripts and 5) portfolio samples. Maximum file size per upload is 3MB. Only qualified candidates should apply.


The Park Planner works closely with the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation in the planning, design, and management of capital improvement projects for the parks, recreation, and zoo divisions. The incumbent is responsible for community engagement; preparation of conceptual plans, construction documents, master plans, reports, and cost estimates; and works with other staff, as required, in project development, planning, and implementation.


  1. Must possess considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of landscape architecture and park planning. (Daily)
  2. Must be able to effectively communicate in the English language, both in oral and written form, with the general public, other staff members, and Advisory Boards, using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  (Daily)
  3. Ability to effectively use computer technology, including AutoCAD, SketchUp, ArcGIS, Adobe Creative Suite, and MS Office, in the preparation of design concepts, construction documents, planning studies, reports, maps, presentations, and other visual graphics.  (Daily)
  4. Ability to exercise good judgment in evaluating completeness and accuracy of planning studies, construction documents, and staff reports. (Daily)
  5. Ability to utilize knowledge of landscape architecture and site planning to conduct site inventories, analyze new or existing park sites, develop alternative design solutions, make recommendations, and exercise good judgment in addressing project constraints.  (Daily)
  6. Ability to prepare visual aids and make public presentations in a competent and professional manner. (As needed)
  7. Ability to read and interpret maps, subdivision plats, legal descriptions, topographic surveys, architectural plans and site plans, construction drawings, and specifications; and ability to convey intent to lay persons, staff, and contractors. (Daily) 
  8. Initiative and organizational skills to manage multiple projects in the City’s Capital Improvement Program. (Daily)
  9. Basic understanding of mathematics to calculate volumes, areas, and quantities for projects, and prepare construction estimates. (Weekly)
  10. Knowledge of landscape design and construction methods, irrigation construction, sports lighting, planting design, earthwork grading, and computer applications to prepare construction documents and conduct construction observation.  (Daily)
  11. Physical ability to maneuver over rough terrain to perform site analysis in adverse weather conditions and traverse terrain that would be present in construction areas.  (Weekly)
  12. Ability to maintain accurate and complete records and files. (Daily)
  13. Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license.  (Daily)


The Park Planner reports to the Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, who reports to the Director of Parks and Recreation, who reports to the City Manager.

The Parks and Recreation Department establishes, preserves, and manages development of public parks, greenways, recreation and service facilities to create recreational, cultural, educational, and leisure opportunities to benefit and enhance quality of life. The Parks and Recreation Department includes 7 divisions: Administration, Parks, Recreation, Douglass Center, Sunset Zoo, Flint Hills Discovery Center, and Animal Shelter.

The incumbent prepares plans, schedules, and construction documents for Department Capital Improvement Projects. Works with engineers, consultants, staff, and contractors to plan, design, and construct park improvement projects. Prepares cost estimates for park projects by gathering cost data on materials from vendors and labor costs from contractors. The incumbent also researches citizen's requests for park improvements and provides that information to administration in reports, proposals, and designs. Working in a team environment, the Park Planner performs analysis of park sites to determine the feasibility of projects, prepares master plans for parks and recreation facilities, and writes grants to assist in financing projects. The incumbent prepares visually appealing graphics including drawings, maps, brochures, posters, signage, and other promotional material, as necessary.

The Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation (a licensed landscape architect) gives primary direction to the incumbent on priority and projects. The Park Planner exercises some decision-making authority for developing design concepts, specifications, reports, and other graphics for assigned projects. Works closely with Division Heads and other staff in the coordination of Capital Improvement Projects.

The performance of this position can be measured by the creativity displayed translating public requests into design concepts for park improvements; the accuracy of reports, construction documents, and specifications; the timeliness of projects being completed; cost effectiveness of the project; and how well the project meets staff's criteria and community needs. Another measure would be the ability to work effectively with consultants and contractors to complete a project within budget.


  1. Producing conceptual plans and master plans that address park planning principles and meet the needs of the City Administration and community.
  2. Produce construction documents and bidding documents that are understandable for contractors, reducing change orders and confusion.
  3. Proper inspection of projects during key construction stages.
  4. Develop cost estimates for projects by gathering material cost from vendors and contractors.
  5. Organizing and managing more than one project at a time.
  6. Research potential parkland acquisitions and requests for park improvements.
  7. Work with contractors, consultants, and other City staff to manage projects within budget and complete them in a timely manner, following applicable City standards and policies.
  8. Assists with development of creative and effective methods to gain a high degree of citizen input on park planning projects. Attend public meetings regarding park development and planning.  Attend Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meetings, City Commission meetings, and other advisory board or committee meetings as needed.
  9. Prepares and delivers presentations, and facilitate meetings related to new park projects.
  10. Communicates and consults with Parks and Recreation Director, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, and other City staff on projects.
  11. Demonstrates ethical and professional conduct in adherence to the Ethics Policy adopted by the City of Manhattan.
  12. Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Parks and Recreation Director or Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation.


Proficient knowledge of the principles, objectives, and practice of landscape architecture as related to park planning and park, trail, and open space development. Basic knowledge of storm water management, lighting, irrigation, grading, and landscape construction. Ability to prepare site plans, grading plans, irrigation plans, planting plans, perspective sketches, visualizations, and other related graphics. Ability to administer capital improvement projects through estimate preparation, plan development, bidding process, construction administration, and inspection.  Must be able to communicate effectively with City Administration, Parks and Recreation Administration, Division Heads, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, City Commission, contractors, consultants, and the general public.


Bachelor or Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from an accredited university and minimum three years experience in landscape architecture; or an equivalent degree with minimum three years of experience in Park Planning. A Kansas Landscape Architect license or the ability to become licensed within 1-year of employment is preferred.

Required Knowledge:

Knowledge of park planning principles, basic landscape construction, construction document preparation, planting design, woody plants, irrigation design principles, landscape maintenance principles, earthwork and grading, and basic understanding of construction estimating and contract administration. Hand sketching, technical drawing, and graphic design skills; and public speaking and presentation experience. Computer software applications including word processing, spreadsheets and working knowledge of AutoCAD and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as applied to landscape construction and planning.


Ability to read and comprehend written material of a fairly technical nature.

Ability to read and comprehend maps, plats, architectural/site plans, and construction documents.

Ability to manage multiple projects in various locations.

Ability to compose business correspondence and written communications that are grammatically correct and punctuated properly.

Excellent verbal skills needed to communicate with citizens and contractors.

Ability to prepare rendered site plans, section drawings, perspective sketches, and other graphics to communicate design proposals.

Ability to prepare construction documents, schedules, and cost estimates .

Machines/Equipment Used:

Personal computer     Copier/Scanner/plotter      Motor vehicle     Architectural and Engineering scales

Physical/Mental Demands/Working Conditions:

Must be able to cope with stress of dealing with diverse personalities and their needs.

Must be able to facilitate and moderate construction problems with contractors and consultants.

Must be able to collect diverse ideas and establish consistency in creating designs.

Must be able to accept input both positive and negative from the public regarding projects.

Must be able to trouble-shoot problems during the design and construction process.

Must be able to deal with construction timelines and the coordination of many diverse parties.

Must be able to schedule and prioritize activities to meet deadlines.

May require long days due to attending public meetings or to meet project deadlines.

Must be able to exercise independent judgment in evaluating completeness and accuracy of technical information and reports, construction and design projects, and decisions in the field.

Must be able to withstand cold and hot temperatures while working in the field.

Must be able to sit while typing and drawing for long periods of times.

Must be able to traverse uneven topography.

Must be organized and able to perform in a very professional manner at all times.


Works under general supervision. Works independently in fulfilling assigned duties and responsibilities. Collaborates on a daily basis.https://goo.gl/jSY5sI

Vacancy Number: 18472

Open Date: 8/25/2017 12:00:00 AM
Close Date: