Employment at the Garden

Aquatic Plant Maintenance (A-C)

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Restoration Ecology-Aquatics
Reports to:
Managing Ecologist, Lakes and Shorelines and Woman's Board Curator of Aquatics
Over the past 20 years, more than ½-million native aquatic and shoreline plants have been added along 5 miles of the Garden’s lakeshore. These shoreline plantings have been effective in stabilizing eroding shoreline soils and enhancing aquatic habitat, and they now serve as a research site for scientific study. Most recently, the Shida Evaluation Garden shoreline restoration project added nearly 60,000 new plants to our shoreline. The season is anticipated to start in May 2022 and continue through September/December 2022, and work is scheduled to from Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Aquatic Plant Maintenance seasonal staff maintain these new shoreline plantings through removal of weedy/invasive plant and algae species, replanting due to plant mortality or herbivory, and other maintenance activities to support robust plant communities and aesthetic shoreline conditions. Staff in this position are provided with an exceptional opportunity to learn identification of 240 taxa of native wetland plants while gaining a better understanding of lake shoreline erosion control strategies and shoreline ecology. Employees are also able to participate in several training opportunities provided by the Garden’s distinguished staff of conservation scientists.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role you will be responsible for the following:
o  Maintain shoreline plantings
o  Remove weedy/invasive plant and algae species
o  Replant due to plant mortality or herbivory
o  Other maintenance activities to support robust communities and aesthetic shoreline conditions

o  Learn identification of native and invasive flora
o  Assist with native and invasive species monitoring

o  Participate in workshops and training sessions to enhance skills and expertise in target areas

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, and constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up trash when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:
•     Coursework and/or work experience in botany, environmental studies, aquatic 
horticulture, or closely related fields
•     A strong work ethic; function well within both team and individual work assignments
•     Ability to learn plant species
•     High comfort level being in and around water along with an ability to swim 
should the need arise in an emergency

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Seasonal Aquatic Plant Maintenance using the link below:

Click here to apply.


In addition to submitting your resume, please also include a cover letter.

Physical Demands:
Employees must be able to operate rowboats and trolling motors, be able to walk across uneven terrain, and bend over for extended periods of time (e.g., pulling weeds), and be able to lift and carry approximately 45 pounds.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.