Park Technician – Urban Forestry

Website City of Bellingham

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Nature of Work

Do you have experience as a tree care professional, including pruning, felling, removals, and using lowering systems? The City of Bellingham’s Parks Department is seeking a Park Technician to join their team!
The Park Technician – Urban Forestry works closely with the Park Arborist to perform technical tree work and other arboricultural responsibilities. Assists with, as well as performs, aerial tree work including climbing and lift-truck operation. Organizes and sets up climbing and rigging gear, setting up anchors and rigging points, and operates lines and lowering devices. This position oversees the worksheet to ensure the safety of the work crew and the public. Oversees and trains assigned staff in all areas of tree work. Work zones include interface between public and private properties, sometimes under stressful or hazardous conditions such as storm damage. May also work independently.

This position will start at Step 1 ($27.55/hour). Employees receive step increases annually in accordance with the Guild of Pacific Northwest Employees, Local 1937 Collective Bargaining Agreement and City policy. The full hourly range for this position is $27.55 – $33.91.

City of Bellingham employees receive medical, dental, and vision insurance as well as life insurance and long-term disability. Additional benefits include flexible spending accounts, a medical insurance opt-out program, and access to our employee assistance program. All eligible City employees are enrolled in a Washington State Department of Retirement Systems pension plan. Additionally, employees may elect to participate in the City’s 457 deferred compensation retirement savings plan.

Employees will receive 12 paid holidays in addition to one paid floating holiday each year.  Employees accrue 8 hours total of contract and state sick leave per month in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement and Washington State Law. At the time of hire, employees will accrue 7.33 hours of vacation per month. Vacation accruals increase based on years of service. Leave accruals are based on 1.0 FTE, accruals are pro-rated if part-time and require employee to be in paid status at least 120 hours/month.

For additional information regarding benefits and compensation Information please visit the following:
Labor Agreements, Pay Schedules and E-Team Employee Handbook – City of Bellingham (
Employment Benefits – City of Bellingham (

Closing Date/Time: Mon. 12/04/2023 4:30 PM Pacific Time


Works closely with Park Arborist as a team to carry out technical tree work. Gives input to the Park Arborist in developing the technical work plan. Assists in assessing the site, checking for safety hazards, determining equipment and personnel needs for task, and determining the extent of the job. Tasks include: organizing and setting up climbing and rigging gear, setting up anchors and rigging points and operating lines and lowering devices. Oversees the work-site to ensure the safety of the work crew and the public.
Supports the Arborist in the program area to meet the goals of the program.
Performs tree work including climbing with rope and saddle, climbing with spurs and flipline as well as aerial lifts. This includes the operation of chainsaws and rigging systems in aerial situations as well as on the ground. Performs work on the ground including tree felling, bucking, and chipping limbs.
Conducts daily visual inspection and maintains all assigned equipment.
Assists in inspecting and monitoring trees and forest stands for safety concerns and maintenance needs using written and GIS-generated plans, maps, Tree Risk Assessment documents, and both public and private drawings.
Operates a wide variety of equipment such as trucks, brush chippers, tractor/loaders, chainsaws, blowers and trimmers, as well as other power equipment and hand tools. Operates large dump trucks with large brush chipper in tow. Repairs and maintains chainsaws and other equipment used in the Urban Forestry program and located at Park Operations.
Works in the street tree program pruning, planting and removing trees. Includes setting up traffic control, using aerial lifts and working in the street. Works independently or with a crew in other areas of the Parks system to perform horticulture tasks such as pruning, planting, tree removals and related maintenance.
Answers questions and concerns from the public and from staff in other program areas.
Assists the Arborist in maintaining the inventory of work and assets by documentation, mapping, in-field survey and data entry. Works to establish, monitor and document Park Land Boundary. Documents encroachments.
Trains and leads the work of other park technician, park workers and seasonal employees in tree care practices including felling; pruning; and, operation of lifting and lowering devices, chainsaws, aerial lift and chipper.
Works to re-vegetate sites including site prep, planting and follow up care. May include removal of existing vegetation; grading and digging by hand or with equipment; planting, pruning and weeding new plantings.
Applies pesticides in accordance to City, state and federal regulations under the direction of the Park Specialist.
Physical abilities to perform required duties of the position including:

the flexibility, balance and agility required to frequently working at heights of at least 150 feet;
frequent lifting of up to 50 lbs. and occasional lifting of up to 100 lbs. with assistance.


Majority of work is performed outdoors, in all weather conditions, performing technical tree work and assessing tree hazards and other situations in the City’s areas of responsibility. Environment creates potentially hazardous conditions, including working at considerable heights with chainsaws and rigging and working in traffic zones Works in natural areas, developed park sites, as well as in urban streetscapes. Some documentation and equipment maintenance work is performed in an indoor setting.

Experience and Training

Two years of experience in professional tree care including pruning, felling, removals, and using lowering systems.
Two years of experience in climbing techniques and rigging systems.
Two years Tree Risk Assessment experience.
Successful completion of coursework relative to arboriculture may substitute for one year of required experience.
Necessary Special Requirements

Employment contingent upon passing a criminal convictions check and child and vulnerable adult abuse records check (see fair hiring practices).
Valid Washington State driver’s license and good driving record. A three-year driving abstract must be submitted prior to hire.
Must secure and maintain an I.S.A. Certified Arborist Certification within 24 months of hire.
Ability to secure within twelve months of hire and maintain a Washington State Pesticide License.
Ability to secure a Commercial Driver’s License within six months of hire and to maintain a valid CDL during length of employment (as required).
Ability to achieve TRAQ  or (have similar knowledge) within 36 months of hire.
Ability to secure and maintain a Flagging Certification within six months of hire.
Ability to secure and maintain a valid First Aid and CPR certification within six months of hire.
Must pass a pre-employment drug test prior to hire.
Must be willing and able to respond to emergency call-out.
Selection Process**You are encouraged to print a copy of this job announcement for your reference as the process moves along**

Please ensure your application is complete and all required information has been provided. Standard completeness means all application fields (contact information, personal information, education, work experience, references, and required supplemental questions). Provide as much detail as you believe will fully describe your experience and training.

Application Review process:

Minimum Qualifications: Applicants must provide specific, detailed information so an initial determination can be made regarding your level of qualifications for this position. Applicant status will be updated on or around December 05/2023.
All applications that meet the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in an Oral Board ZOOM Interview, tentatively scheduled for the week of December 18, 2023.
Applicants will be notified via email of Final Scores & Ranks. The final ranking of the register will be based on total scores for the following: Oral Board Interview (100%) – applicants must have a passing score of 60% or higher from the Oral Board Interview to be placed on the eligibility list.
The final candidates will be referred to the department for additional assessment.

This recruitment process will create a Civil Service eligibility register that will be used to fill vacancies as they occur. There is 1 current full-time vacancy. This position is represented by a union.

Please Note: Candidates will receive updates regarding application status via email. Please be sure to check your email frequently.

Equal Opportunity:
Our environment is characterized by respect for cultural backgrounds, belief systems, and ethnic diversity. The City of Bellingham is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its work force. We do not make decisions on the basis of an individual’s race, religion, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, age (40+), disability, retaliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, honorably discharged veteran or military status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. All are encouraged to apply for employment.

Fair Hiring Practices
The City provides individuals who have been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense an equal and fair opportunity to obtain employment.
The City will not inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional job offer has been made.
The City will disregard the prior arrest and conviction record of an otherwise qualified individual unless the offense is directly related to the job position for which the individual has applied.
The City will notify an otherwise qualified applicant about a potentially disqualifying conviction and give the applicant an opportunity to submit information regarding the accuracy of the criminal records as well as evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation, as appropriate.

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