Landscape Designer, Grow Outdoors South Carolina Program

Website National Wildlife Federation

Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America’s largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state and territorial affiliates and more than seven million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and stripes. The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. We advance this mission through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, advancing environmental justice, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a longstanding commitment to expanding opportunities for children, families, and communities to receive the benefits of time spent outdoors developing lasting connections with the natural world. The vast majority of children in America spend most of their daily time indoors at child care centers, schools, parks, libraries, or at home. Time in nature-based environments offers lifelong benefits to rapidly developing bodies and brains, along with a greater inclination to become nature lovers and supporters as adults. Therefore, it is critical to advance the creation, activation and stewardship of high-quality outdoor spaces that become places where children, their caretakers, and families can engage with nature and the outdoors on a daily basis.

An initiative of NWF, Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) envisions a world where every young child experiences nature daily. Launched in 2017, ECHO has been working with communities throughout the United States to transform children’s daily environments by enhancing opportunities to engage meaningfully in nature. By providing a combination of thoughtful landscape design and professional development opportunities for early childhood professionals, ECHO employs a health equity model that improves access to the benefits of nature for the children and caregivers who face the greatest barriers.  In turn, naturalized play settings improve environmental health by helping to mitigate the impacts of extreme temperatures, weather events, and air pollution on young children and their caregivers.

To meet our mission, we are seeking a Landscape Designer for Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) to support the application of this model through the Grow Outdoors South Carolina (GO SC) initiative.  A collaborative effort of the Division of Early Care and Education at the SC Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Grow Outdoors South Carolina aims to transform early childhood outdoor spaces into naturalized environments that spark play and learning

The Landscape Designer will report to the Grow Outdoors South Carolina Design and Engagement Manager based in Columbia, South Carolina. This position will serve as part of a high functioning, highly integrated four-person team.

The Landscape Designer will collaborate with the ECHO team to develop landscape designs, supplemental materials and graphics, and support other programmatic needs. Design will focus primarily on the outdoor play and learning spaces located at licensed child care centers throughout South Carolina.  The position will be expected to apply evidence-based, best practice design principles to a variety of site contexts and create developmentally appropriate, custom design solutions driven by the programmatic needs of the clients and site users. The candidate should be able to communicate design concepts and ideas through hand sketching, graphics, and rendering skills, have a strong attention to detail, have excellent organizational skills, be flexible, and have strong technical skills (grading, construction knowledge).

The Landscape Designer will:

  • Support design work including preparation of base maps, illustrative plans, schematic designs and planting plans for sites
  • Collaborate with the GO SC team to develop content for and deliver community presentations, training and professional development offerings for educators, and various community engagement workshops and activities.
  • Develop opinion of probable cost calculations and phasing recommendations.
  • Communicate with clients including setting up meetings for site visits, design reviews, and design delivery presentations.
  • Support coordination of site visits, perform site analysis, conduct site measurements and photo documentation. This will include locating and verifying available site data from multiple sources, evaluating existing conditions, and conducting detailed photographic mapping.
  • Support facilitation of participatory design workshops and training events.
  • Plan, procure materials for, and assist with volunteer workdays.
  • Provide ongoing construction technical assistance to site representatives (on call support).
  • Support project management and collaborate to ensure progress towards design delivery timelines and goals.
  • Prepare supplemental material for grant reports, including charts, diagrams, and booklets.
  • Maintain cloud-based filing systems for all project related components and refine systems as needed to ensure efficiency.
  • Develop content for and create flyers, posters, printed resources, social media posts and presentations.
  • Travel to sites located throughout South Carolina to conduct site visits, design workshops and trainings.
  • Periodically travel outside of South Carolina for trainings, conferences and events with the ECHO team.


  • Degree or equivalent professional experience in landscape architecture, landscape design, horticultural science, environmental design, architecture, urban planning, or related field, or equivalent relevant years of experience in Landscape Design.
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Bridge). Knowledge of ArcGIS and SketchUp preferred.
  • Proven ability to independently manage tasks.
  • Strong work ethic and organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively communicate ideas both verbally and graphically.
  • Demonstrated ability to create effective design solutions at a variety of scales and contexts.
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in designing landscapes for children and/or families.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of native landscape plants and sustainable landscape design practices preferred.
  • Photography and graphic design skills preferred.
  • Capable of engaging and bolstering marginalized voices in your work.
  • Ability to listen and respond with empathy to others’ lived experiences that may be very different than your own.

NWF Values:

Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.  Your competencies should include:

  • Being motivated by values of equity and responsibility to those most marginalized.
  • Consistently bringing a high level of empathy and social skills to work and interpersonal interactions.
  • Actively seeks feedback, direction, and guidance from all team members and keeps staff informed of decisions that impact them.
  • Being dedicated to advancing NWF’s internal equity transformation and compelling partners and allies to incorporate equity into their work; and
  • Passion for and commitment to NWF’s mission

Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s required equity competencies at

Physical Requirements:

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example, using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about the workspace. The position requires mobility, including moving materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet).

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Location and Work Mode: 

This position is based out of Columbia, SC. The National Wildlife Federation is committed to a flexible and empowered work environment with an authentic community of care for all staff. In this position, the employee may work in the office or in a hybrid manner, to be decided jointly with their supervisor in the final stages of the interview process. For more information on Work Modes, please review the benefits section of our careers page:

Compensation and Benefits:

The salary range for this position is $55,000 – $63,500, annually, commensurate with experience.

We are proud of our designation by Mogul as a Top 100 Workplace with the Best Benefits, and by Forbes as one of America’s best small employers! We value work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere with flexible scheduling.  We want you to be able to integrate work and personal life with attention to your self-care, so that your work schedule is not depleting.  We offer benefits so you feel restored and fueled through the day and week.

We offer these supports to help manage your mental, emotional, and physical health:

  • Paid time off: Vacation that starts off at three weeks accrual based on a full-time schedule, unlimited wellbeing (this time can be used for physical, spiritual, emotional, cultural, religious or financial wellbeing for yourself, a partner, or family member – including pets), and 11 holidays.
  • We close down for a paid winter break between December 25 to January 1 to recognize end of-year stress, and time for reflection, rejuvenation, and spending time with family.
  • Up to 16 weeks of fully paid Family and Medical Leave
  • Low-cost health, dental, and vision insurance options – all outpatient mental health is covered at in-network rates
  • Therapist available at no cost
  • Pet insurance and discount perk program
  • Annual wellbeing allowance

In addition to your salary, we offer the following supports to your personal finances:

  • Retirement plan with immediate match and vesting
  • Annual year end retirement contribution
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Adoption and Surrogacy assistance
  • Pet adoption stipend
  • Student Loan management

Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and design portfolio or work samples.

For more information on our recruiting process, please review our Careers page:

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at

We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules.  Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings.  Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence.  Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.

Please let us know if you require accommodations during the application or interview process by reaching us at or 703-438-6244.

If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

To apply for this job please visit

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