Neighborhood foresters

Career Pathway Development Program

The Neighborhood Forestry initiative

 Baltimore Tree Trust’s Neighborhood Forestry Initiative provides participants with paid hands-on career training and supplies them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to transition into a career in urban forestry. Our Neighborhood Forestry Technicians (NFTs) receive training related to tree planting and maintenance, and learn how to safely operate power hand tools, saws, pruning loppers, along with heavy equipment training to load, unload, and transport trees of various sizes. Participants also receive one-on-one mentorship,  training in workplace expectations, and opportunities to work on resume building and interviewing skills.  Additional opportunities for professional development are offered and encouraged, such as assistance to apply for a Driver’s License, obtain an ISA Certified Arborist certification, or become certified through the TreeBaltimore TreeKeepers program

A vast majority of our current NFTs are Baltimore City residents and identify as Black. Our Neighborhood Forestry Initiative can serve as a stabilizing force for city residents or even a springboard for future career growth. We partner with multiple Baltimore City community organizations–including Thread, ROCA, Center for Urban Families, Civic Works, and Bon Secours Community Resource Center– to identify city residents with disadvantaged or economically marginalized circumstances. The Tree Trust works diligently with each of our crew members to increase their employability with partner organizations through mentorship and professional development. 

Our Neighborhood Forestry Initiative is designed to be a career pathway rather than a typical workforce development program. Our unique approach allows for sustained growth for each individual, focusing on long-term development rather then the immediate job placement following a training period. In 2022, our NFI program expanded to allow for further exploration of career paths in urban forestry. After completing 1,000 hours in the program, NFTs are able to move into NFT II and NFT III positions that offer exposure into more specialized areas of urban forestry– including Crew Leader, Materials Handler, Tree Care Lead, Project Coordinator, and GIS Data Specialist. Training and professional development are provided as participants move into more demanding positions, with increased responsibility and pay to follow. 

As of March 2024, all crew members start at $18 an hour, or $18.50 for licensed drivers. Baltimore Tree Trust invests in its people through equitable pay and benefits, and provides growth opportunities for every employee to support their individual career growth alongside the organization. 

Interested in joing our Neighborhood Forestry team? View the full job description and application details here.

If you’d like to help support our Neighborhood Forestry Initiative, please contact Megan Bosley, Development Manager at

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