Employment at the Garden

Groundskeeper (A-J)

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Horticulture Services
Reports to:
Supervisor, Grounds
The groundskeeper, seasonal, performs general landscaping and grounds maintenance, consisting primarily of manual labor under the direction of full-time horticulture staff; working independently or with a crew. Assist with special projects such as event preparation and support. There may be occasional evening, weekend, and holiday hours requested. Work and area assignments may change during the season as needed by the Garden. We have nine seasonal full-time, benefit-eligible positions anticipated to work for nine months and one seasonal full-time position anticipated to work for three months. A typical work schedule is Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • General landscape maintenance, including planting and transplanting, pruning trees and shrubs, watering, mulching, mowing, grooming, raking, hoeing, digging, chipping brush, weeding, fertilizing, deadheading, and edging.
  • General clean-up and equipment maintenance, such as picking up trash and compost, removing refuse, tidying up tool and equipment storage areas, cleaning paths, and sharpening and maintaining tools and equipment.
  • Safely operate small equipment such as golf carts, leaf flowers, mowers, rototillers, and weed-eaters.
  • Report any tool or equipment problems to the supervisor, grounds.
  • Assist indoors with projects such as equipment maintenance, shop organization, and greenhouse work when weather prohibits outdoor work.
  • Work safely without injury to self, others, property or plants.
  • Interact daily with staff, volunteers, and the public in a friendly and respectful manner.
  • Assist the Horticulture Division with support for special events and other projects as needed.

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:

  • General knowledge of small tools and equipment preferred.
  • Some landscape maintenance experience preferred.
  • A valid driver’s license and insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society is preferred but not required.

*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 Groundskeeper using the link below:

Click here to Apply


Physical Demands:
Must be able to lift, push, pull and carry items up to 50 pounds. Must be able and willing to work outdoors when the weather is hot, humid, or cold. Be comfortable working on slopes and step ladders.
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.