Assistant Horticulturist, Outdoor Children's Classroom

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Display Gardens
Reports to:
Senior Horticulturist, Entrance Gardens
Volunteers and Seasonals
Provide an attractive area consisting of the Outdoor Children’s Classroom, Butterflies & Blooms Exhibition, and the walk from the Learning Center Campus to the Visitor’s Center for the education and enjoyment of visitors. Work weekend and holiday duty on a rotational basis during the growing season and winter exhibits to water plants and perform general garden maintenance. This is a full-time position working 40 hours a week, Monday - Friday 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role you will be responsible for the following:

  • Maintain assigned gardens through weeding, watering, deadheading, fertilizing, planting, removing debris, pruning, edging, mowing, mulching, winterizing, removing snow, and maintaining and inventorying tools.
  • Assist with the maintenance of the Visitor Center, Parking Lots, and Link.
  • Safely operate small equipment such as mowers, rototillers, sod cutters, leaf blowers, snow blowers and weed whips. Collaborate with Education staff to develop designs and select and order plants for annual and permanent displays with approval of the executive vice president and director of the Garden and the senior director of Horticulture.
  • Provide current information to the supervisor of Plant Records regarding plant accessions, removals, transfers, and label requirements for display plants. Label this plant material in a timely manner and assist with installing accession tags.
  • Inform the supervisor of Plant Health Care of disease, insect, animal, and weed problems.
  • Serve as a horticultural resource for the Garden by leading tours, giving demonstrations, answering visitor and staff questions, and serving on planning teams.
  • Maintain a good level of computer literacy for purposes of interdepartmental documentation and communication.


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, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage 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:

  • Associate's degree in horticulture or commensurate experience.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • A valid driver’s license and be insurable by the Garden.

*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.*

Physical Demands:
Must be able to lift, push, pull, and carry items up to 50 pounds. Work outside in all types of weather.
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, and 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.