Parking  |  Tickets  |  Join


Specialist, Plant Health Care

Requisition Number: 
Plant Health Care
Job Status: 
Maintain quality plant collections in gardens, grounds, and turf through the use of an integrated pest management program including preventive, biological, cultural, and chemical control methods.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Monitor, identify, and determine appropriate control measures for pest activities including insects, diseases, weeds, and animals. 
  • Carry out treatments in a safe and legal manner including but not limited to applications of herbicides, insecticides, miticides, fungicides, and repellents. 
  • Perform fertilization of collections in the garden areas and grounds as required. 
  • Carry out animal management activities in a safe and legal manner including but not limited to spraying repellents and trapping. 
  • Keep accurate records of all pest control activities and daily accounting of work performed. 
  • Safely operate small equipment such as sprayers, chainsaws, mowers, leaf blowers, weed whips, and snow removal equipment. 
  • Perform required maintenance on department vehicles, tools, and equipment. 
  • Prune the collections as required. 
  • Serve as a horticultural resource for the Garden by teaching for the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden, leading tours, answering visitor and staff questions, writing articles, doing demonstrations, and giving media interviews. 
  • Assist with other projects such as special events as requested. 

Key Garden Competencies/Behaviors Desired

  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Effective communication: communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Ability to build alliances: works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style.
  • 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.
  • 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: 

  • Bachelor's degree in horticulture or commensurate experience
  • Two years of hands-on work experience with an emphasis on plant healthcare and integrated pest management
  • Must maintain a valid Illinois pesticide applicator's licenses in ornamentals and turf 
  • Must be able to operate backpack sprayers and large hydraulic sprayers after minimal training 
  • Must be a licensed driver insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society 
  • Must be able to work overtime as required by the operational needs of the department 
  • Must maintain a high level of computer literacy for purposes of interdepartmental documentation and communication including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and ability to map using GPS coordinates and GoogleMaps
Physical Demands: 
Must be able to lift and carry 50 lbs. Frequent bending, lifting, walking, pulling, pushing. Must work outdoors in all types of weather conditions year-round including extreme heat and humidity, snow and ice.
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.