Under the supervision of the department manager or Lead Groundskeeper, the Gardener is responsible for maintaining the Zoo’s grounds, gardens and landscapes. Performs skilled and routine gardening duties. Routinely operates self-propelled equipment for landscape preparation, mulching and moving plants and debris. May provide training and supervision to other employees, interns or volunteers.
Essential Job Functions:
Work may include, but is not limited to: site preparation, planting, transplanting, propagating, fertilizing, pruning, trimming, mowing, edging, weeding, cultivating, mulching, watering, etc. Maintain flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, hedges, lawns, potted plants, etc. Install and maintain seasonal displays as required.
Responsible for maintenance of the garden, horticulture and arboriculture exhibits in public, non-public and animal areas. Install and maintain decorative and/or utilitarian landscaping materials such as garden fencing, stone work, pavers, edging, garden walls, paths or stepping stones according to specifications.
Prepare soil and plants, propagates, replants and transplants various shrubs, flowers, trees, arrangements, displays, etc. Monitor plants, flowers, lawns, etc. to ensure healthy condition and growth. Maintain tropical interior plants according to their cultural requirements. Report change in status of all accessioned plants under his/her care
As directed, apply synthetic and organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides as required and in accordance with safety practices. Maintain records of fertilizing and pesticide applications in assigned areas.
Operate and maintain horticultural equipment, power and manual, including but not limited to: lawnmowers, blowers, edgers, rototillers, sprayers, weed-whackers, pruning shears, chain saws etc. Is responsible for security and inventory of tools, equipment and supplies.
Operate various self-propelled equipment to achieve work tasks. Maintain power equipment as necessary.
May oversee the work of assigned employees, interns or volunteers. May interact and coordinate tasks and projects with other departments, Zoo staff, interns, volunteers, educators and the public.
As required, perform other duties related to the maintenance of the garden including but not limited to: leaf and snow removal, material handling, hardscape maintenance, etc. May be assigned a task or project outside the employee’s respective trade field.
Assists with maintenance of greenhouse operation.
Stays current in the knowledge and techniques of field/trade.
Non-Essential Job Functions:
Perform miscellaneous duties as assigned by management or the Lead Groundskeeper.
Knowledge and Ability Requirements:
Associate degree in horticulture or related field and four years demonstrated related experience in horticulture. Additional related experience may substitute for the degree.
Demonstrated experience operating equipment including front-end loader and back hoe.
Must have and maintain a Pennsylvania Pesticide License – Ornamental, Turf Categories or obtain within six months of employment.
Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with the following: woody plants, herbaceous plants, turf management, weeds, plant diseases, insects and building and maintenance practices related to the field.
Demonstrated knowledge of related standards, practices, methods, materials, processes, tools, codes, hazards and safety precautions.
Ability to interpret and work from written job specifications and diagrams, design drawings, etc.
Ability to plan for, specify, and manage the materials, equipment and labor for a project.
Ability to work methodically and effectively with minimal supervision and to work cooperatively with co-workers, supervisors, other departments and outside contractors.
Ability to problem solve in a team atmosphere.
Able to present clear and accurate information both orally and in writing.
Demonstrated interest in staying abreast of field.
Professional appearance and manner.
Ability to provide direction to and oversee the work of lower-rated employees. Supervisory experience helpful.
Valid motor vehicle operator license and good driving record.
Computer literacy, landscape design and installation capabilities and Integrated Pest Management skills desirable.
Able and willing to work a flexible schedule which may include weekends, holidays, evenings and overtime when required.
Physical and Medical Requirements:
Successful completion of a post-offer general medical screening, including clearance to wear respiratory protection, a physical exam, a TB test and a drug test.
No allergies related to plants, animals or other chemicals and/or products used in the performance of work, which may interfere with the ability to perform the work.
Immunocompetence (able to respond appropriately to infectious diseases which may be present in the animal collection).
Capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labor.
No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance and agility of movement (which cannot be corrected with appropriate devices) which may interfere with the ability to perform work.
Able to safely lift, carry and load forty pounds a distance of fifty feet.
Able to work from heights or in confined spaces.
Able to remain on feet for long periods, climb stairs, bend and stoop.
Able to wear protective clothing or equipment including but not limited to goggles, masks, respiratory protection, gloves, braces, hat, gown, boots, etc.
Ability to operate a motor vehicle with either a standard or automatic transmission.
Successful completion of a post-offer driving record check and a criminal background check.
Able to work outside in all weather conditions.
Able to deal with exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species and potentially dangerous machinery and hazardous chemicals.
If interested, please complete our online application .