22. River Design Group

Environmental-restoration consultant

LOCATION: Whitefish, MT
BEST PERKS: Flex time, Fitness, Community & environmental support
HIRING? No. riverdesigngroup.com

River Design Group (RDG) is a consulting engineering firm that specializes in river-, stream-, and wetland-restoration and renaturalization projects in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Our river-restoration projects include dam removals, fish-passage enhancements, river reconstruction, and large-scale recovery of endangered species through planning and assessment projects. We have an expert staff that includes hydrologists, biologists, engineers, geomorphologists, GIS specialists, and surveyors.

Our employees enjoy working at River Design Group because of their strong desire to work in the natural river environment and impact nature in a positive way for generations to come. We create a fun and positive workplace for employees to excel in their desires to improve the environment.

We spend a significant amount of time in mentorship roles during design and field construction. We typically match senior staff with younger staff to ensure that knowledge and experience is passed down and younger staff can take on more responsibility while growing with confidence.

We routinely do our staff meetings at the local pub with the entire staff, and the company pays for drinks during business hours.

Our primary recognition program is through additional time off for someone who works above typical hours. All of our employees are eligible for bonuses. We currently provide yearly bonuses based on longevity of employment, number of hours worked, and intangible benefits provided to the company.

Our company pays half the membership fees for health- and fitness-club dues and also pays entry fees into races and other events in which employees compete. We sponsor a team each year for the Glacier Challenge in Whitefish, Montana. We provide indoor space for bicycle parking to promote bike commuting. 

We provide powder days for skiing fresh powder and steelhead days for fishing ideal flow conditions. Employees also get to travel around the northwest to rivers for work and get to raft and fish at some of the greatest places in the U.S. We encourage employees to add an extra day or two onto out-of-town trips to enjoy the places they are traveling to for work or to visit family. Employees are also encouraged to leave and take time off if they are stressed beyond a normal level.

We frequently donate time to local watershed councils to facilitate landowner outreach and education. We provide community education by volunteering on panels and forums for civic-sponsored events. We provide expert presentations for various community events and routinely give presentations at universities. Our staff includes an active city-council member who volunteers hundreds of hours a year.

Recycle containers are provided at all desks to encourage paper-waste recycling.

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