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Seasonal Assistant, Plant Health Care

Requisition Number: 
Plant Health Care
Job Status: 
The Plant Health Care seasonal assistant's primary responsibility is to keep the general grounds weed free. This position will spend most of their time working independently out on the general grounds performing manual weed control, spraying herbicides, and performing general landscape maintenance. This position also assists the Plant Health Care specialists with other duties such as fertilization, pruning, equipment maintenance, making spray treatments, aerating turf, and other projects. As needed, this position will assist with general landscape maintenance tasks such as planting, transplanting, pruning trees and shrubs, watering, mulching, mowing, maintaining tools and equipment, chipping brush, weeding, removing refuse, deadheading, edging, and greenhouse work under the direction of the grounds crew. There may be occasional evening, weekend, and holiday hours requested.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Remove weeds using manual techniques and herbicide sprays under the direction of the Plant Health Care supervisor. 
  • Maintain an accurate daily log of herbicide applied. 
  • Safely operate small equipment such as golf carts, weed whips, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and sprayers. 
  • Inform the Plant Health Care supervisor of disease, insect, weed, and animal problems as well as tool and equipment problems. 
  • Keep tools, supplies, vehicles, and work areas clean and organized. 
  • Assist with Plant Health Care Department activities such as equipment maintenance, fertilization, making spray treatments, and aerating turf under the direction of the Plant Health Care specialists. 
  • As needed, perform the following tasks consisting of primarily of manual labor under the direction of full-time grounds crew staff: mulching, planting, transplanting, pruning trees and shrubs, watering, maintaining tools and equipment, chipping brush, removing debris, deadheading, edging, and greenhouse work. 
  • Work safely without injury to self, others, property or plants. 
  • Respond to public and staff questions for general information. 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. 

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Completed horticulture-training program or taken classes in gardening with experience in landscape maintenance. 
  • Must be able to identify weeds. 
  • Must obtain a pesticide Operator's License through the Illinois Department of Agriculture within the first month of employment. 
  • Good written and verbal communication skills. 
  • A valid driver's license and insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society is preferred but not required. 
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.