Julia Zoltowsky is the assistant horticulturist for the Model Railroad: Landmarks of America, lagoon, and Spider Island. Zoltowsky has been cultivating her passion for plants since she was a child. Before earning her degree, Zoltowsky's focus was primarily in sustainable agriculture and ecological restoration, which took her around the country for several years. From 2012 to 2017, she worked on several organic farms in Vermont, Oregon, and California, and also on restoration projects in South Florida, her native state. Her drive to get to know the natural world led to a bachelor of arts degree in environmental studies, with a minor in creative writing and poetry from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where, after graduating, she pursued outdoor education as her mode of connecting to the natural world.
Zoltowsky began work at the Garden in May 2018, where she began as an assistant horticulturist for the Butterflies & Blooms seasonal exhibition. In November 2018, she was promoted to her current position. Her passion for plants does not stop at the Garden. She brings her love of plants home to tend to a large vegetable garden in her Chicago backyard.