Park Forester

Wausau/Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department



Wausau and Marathon County Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department is a unique, joint venture that operates two separate park systems and a County Forest system, each with its own facilities, management objectives, and budgets. In addition, the department manages Wausau’s recreation, urban forestry and horticulture programs, provides grounds and snow services to County administrative sites, operates the Mountain-Bay State Park Trail and administers the County snowmobile and ATV trail systems. The Wausau and Marathon County park systems provide distinctly different, yet complementary, facilities and recreation opportunities. The specialized knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary to effectively operate the two systems have been successfully provided by a single workforce and management team since 1924. The overall annual operating budget is $4.9M and includes 44 FTE and 130 seasonal positions. In the past 8 years, the department has had over $33M in capital projects. The department is a freestanding County department with its own operations facilities and fleet. All employees are County employees, and the Director reports to the County Administrator. Governance of the County park and forest systems is through the County Board and its committees and commissions. Governance of the Wausau park system and recreation and urban forestry programs is through the City Council and its committees and the Mayor.

The Marathon County park system is based on large parks that typically focus upon a high quality natural feature and provide limited areas of development that support low intensity recreation uses such as picnicing, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping. There are 17 County parks that encompass about 3,400 acres. The county park system also provides specialized facilities that serve the entire county and beyond including a 5 field softball complex, 15 field soccer complex (best in WI), 2 indoor ice arenas, 30 mile mountain bike trail system, 18 mile cross country ski trail system (best in WI), 4 campgrounds (162 sites), fairgrounds, and shooting range.

The Marathon County forest system is comprised of 9 units encompassing about 30,000 acres.  These lands are managed with an emphasis on a sustained yield forest product production basis with a multiple resource management ethic reflected in being third party certified.  Many recreation activities occur on these lands, including hunting, trapping, gathering, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ATV riding.

The City of Wausau park system is based on small neighborhood parks and play fields whose purpose is to serve nearby residents.  Other park types include:  community parks for large gatherings and events; specialized athletic and recreation facilities, conservancies, and the River Edge Parkway.  There are 38 parks that encompass 340 acres.  Specialized facilities include 3 aquatic facilities, a baseball stadium, lift assisted snow tubing hill with six 1,000 foot runs (best in WI), gravity trail mountain bike park (best in WI), 4 enclosed shelters, boat/kayak/paddleboard wharf, 4 boat launches, city square event venue, 8 ball diamonds, 3 outdoor ice skating rinks, skateboard park, bike polo pitch, 10 tennis courts, 10 pickleball courts, and 4 soccer fields.

In conjunction with its park system, Wausau offers a recreation program that provides swimming and a youth playground program in the summer and snow tubing and outdoor ice skating in the winter. Indirectly, Wausau’s recreation program facilitates the operation of numerous sports leagues and recreation activities through the provision of facilities, technical assistance, and other coordinating activities.


The purpose of this position is to manage the urban forestry program for the City of Wausau and to provide urban forestry and woodland forestry services for Marathon County and City of Wausau parks.  This position directs and supervises the treatment, planting, maintenance, and removal of city, park and county park trees through in-house personnel and contract services, and administers the development and implementation of forest management activities in developed and undeveloped park lands. The work is performed under the direction of the Parks & Recreation Manager.


Bachelor’s Degree from an approved college/university in Urban Forestry with three (3) years’ experience in operating urban and forest land vegetation programs with supervisory experience, or any combination of education and experience that provides equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities.  Requires possession of a valid Wisconsin driver’s license and a driving history that meets County standards.


The following duties are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Supervises arborists, horticulturists and seasonal laborers; assists in interviewing and selecting new employees; provides instruction and training; plans, coordinates, assigns and reviews work activities; acts on problems and concerns and maintains standards; approves leave; evaluates performance and recommends discharge or disciplinary action as necessary.
  • Determines tree maintenance needs; determines daily work priorities and directs crews; detects, documents and schedules hazard and routine tree removal; inspects and performs quality review of work done by department personnel and contractors; schedules planting and purchases and inspects planting stock.
  • Responds to citizen requests for service; determines need or prioritizes and schedules requests; investigates citizen complaints regarding work performed; resolves complaints and concerns.
  • Utilizes, updates and revises tree inventory software for management of the urban forest.
  • Develops expenditure and revenue proposals for annual budget; administers and allocates costs to grant programs; monitors department budget and expenditures; reviews and codes division billing for payment to appropriate budget lines; prepares grant proposals to apply for state, federal and local grant funding.
  • Develops and implements standards, methods, and specifications for protecting street trees from unacceptable damage through road, sidewalk, and utility maintenance and construction.
  • Enforces city statutes with regard to trees and shrubs on public and private property.
  • Determines value of tree damage and destruction to facilitate financial restitution.
  • Detects, diagnoses, and monitors tree and shrub insect and disease outbreaks and implements appropriate action to prevent spread and treat infected plants.
  • Plans and implements annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony and applies for Tree City USA award.
  • Develops forest management plans for undeveloped park lands.
  • Prepares a variety of records, correspondence and documentation including payroll, planting reports and lists, tree/stump removal lists, tree trimming lists, workload reports, budget detail sheets with proposed annual expenditures and revenues, contracts for urban forestry work, program reports, and others.

Additional Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • While the following tasks are necessary for the work of the unit, they are not an essential part of the purpose of this position and may also be performed by other unit members.
  • Performs clerical functions as needed.
  • Performs other related function as required.


Language Ability and Interpersonal Communication:

  • Replace and/or sequence of operations within an organizational framework. Requires the ability to implement decisions based on such data, and overseeing the execution of these decisions.
  • Ability to provide first line supervision. Ability to persuade, convince, and train others. Ability to advise and provide interpretation regarding the application of policies, procedures and standards to specific situations.
  • Ability to utilize a variety of advisory data and information such as billing invoices, construction maps and blueprints, tree planting lists, time sheets, budget reports, timber sale reports, tree and stump removal reports, trade journals, city statutes and ordinances, tax parcel maps and database, timber volume tables, policy and other manuals, procedures, guidelines and non-routine correspondence.
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing with Park Director, subordinate employees, City Council members, Park Department and other department supervisors, and the public.

Mathematical Ability:

  • Ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages, fractions and decimals; may require the ability to perform mathematical operations involving basic algebra and geometry.

Judgment and Situational Reasoning Ability:

  • Ability to apply principles of influence systems such as supervision, managing, leading, teaching, directing, planning, coordinating and controlling. Ability to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution.
  • Ability to exercise the judgment, decisiveness and creativity required in situations involving the direction, control and planning of an entire program or multiple programs.

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to operate, maneuver and/or provide simple but continuous adjustment on equipment, machinery and tools such a computer and other office machines, two-way radio, vehicle, increment bore, soil core, compass, clinometer, angle gauge, diameter tape and paint gun, and/or materials used in performing essential functions.
  • Ability to coordinate eyes, hands, feet and limbs in performing movements requiring moderate skill, such as typing.
  • Ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling of objects weighing five to ten pounds. Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or workstation.
  • Ability to recognize and identify individual characteristics of colors, shapes, textures and sounds associated with job-related objects, materials and tasks.

Environmental Adaptability:

  • Ability to work under often unsafe and uncomfortable conditions where exposure to environmental factors such as temperature and noise extremes, toxic agents/chemicals, disease, wetness/humidity, bright/dim light, dusts/pollen, machinery or electrical currents can cause discomfort and where there is a risk of injury.


Starting Hourly Rate: (C42) Min: $26.09 – Mid: $31.31

Marathon County employees enjoy competitive salaries, flexible schedules, and a range of excellent benefits,  including:

  • Pay for performance system
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Wisconsin Retirement System defined benefit plan
  • Post employment health plan
  • Income continuation insurance
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) and holiday pay
  • 457 deferred compensation plans
  • Flexible spending account to set aside pre-tax dollars for childcare and medical expenses
  • Life insurance
  • Educational reimbursement program
  • Employee recognition programs and a positive workplace culture


Selection of the successful candidate may be made by assessment of experience and education, criminal record check, oral interview; review of references, written background inventory, and other appropriate job-related selection procedures.  All applicants will be notified as to the status of their application.


Marathon County will make arrangements to furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary and reasonable to afford an individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the recruitment process. Please notify the Employee Resources Department office or phone (715) 261-1451 to request special accommodations prior to the application deadline.


Wisconsin Statutes, Sections 19.36 (7), 64.09 (5), and 64.11 (7) require public employers to treat the following items as a public record: Each applicant’s application, records, recommendations and qualifications except as provided in Section 19.36 (7), Wis. Stats. that allows the identity of an applicant to remain confidential if the applicant requests in writing that the County not provide access to this information.

If you choose not to have this information become a public record, you must make such a request in writing to the Employee Resources Department. If you become a finalist for the position, your identity may be disclosed as required by law.

Application can be found on the Marathon County website.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Monday, October 11, 2021, 11:59pm 

To apply for this job please visit