Employment & Botanical Garden Jobs

Full Time Positions

President and Chief Executive Officer

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is actively seeking a President and Chief Executive Officer. See full position guide; excerpts below.

Position Summary

The President and Chief Executive Officer embraces the vision of the Garden as established by the Board; oversees the day-to-day operations of the Garden; coalesces support around the Garden’s direction and priorities among Board, staff and other key stakeholders; secures funding for priority initiatives; provides effective supervision, delegation and accountability of staff; serves as an active and visible liaison to the community; and collaborates with the public garden community nationally and globally regarding best practices in horticulture, education, sustainability, and conservation.

Candidate Profile

She/he/they will approach the work in an inspirational, visionary, passionate manner that is authentic, trustworthy, innovative and resilient. Driven by relationships and building meaningful connections across multiple groups, including Garden staff, volunteers, donors, partners, businesses, civic groups, public officials, visitors, members, and other stakeholders, the ideal candidate will have an effective, transparent and direct communication style with a culturally sensitive, equity mindset.

We seek a leader who is an exceptional communicator whose passion is evident by their ability to energetically and enthusiastically articulate the vision and aspirations of the Garden. Experience at a high-level in fundraising and donor engagement is highly preferred. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a proven track record in obtaining major individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, and government grants. Successful experience in leading a capital campaign is a plus.

A proven ability to manage and lead an organization is required. This includes experience in hiring, coaching and delegating resulting in a high-quality team of tightly coordinated, professional and accountable staff members. Of critical importance is the candidate’s ability to transform ideas into specific, goal-driven project outcomes. Strategic and business-principled decision-making experience, including expertise in crisis management, must be evident. Experience in project management, from basic infrastructure improvements to large-scale capital construction projects, is ideal. Solid, demonstrated skills in operations, finance and business management are expected.

Leading with respect and being an active listener, the ideal candidate will be a dynamic, high-energy partner. A confident leader who is also flexible and humble, and views all involved in the organization through an asset/strengths-based lens, will be important. She/he/they will be a strong strategic thinker with a collaborative, engaging approach to decision making that reflects the core values of the communities the Garden serves. The ideal candidate should also have a desire to improve diversity and inclusion in hiring, garden access and programs. The ideal candidate is a responsive and accessible leader, capable of connecting with all aspects of the organization through strong interpersonal skills.

Specific experience with public gardens is preferred but not a requirement, however, an affinity and passion for the mission of public gardens must be demonstrated. Senior-level leadership in a similar venue that aspires to deliver an extraordinary visitor experience is highly desirable. Experience in nonprofit management and governance is preferred. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required; a master’s degree is preferred. Affiliation with local, state, or national professional or trade associations related to the Garden’s mission would be a plus.

To apply, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC.

Visitors Center Supervisor

Job Description

Responsibilities
 During this uncertain time, the Visitors Center staff will be required to provide ground support in the Atrium and elsewhere in the Visitors Center as needed in order to implement the new entry process which ensures members and visitors are practicing social distancing. With new safeguards in place, it will be imperative for the VC staff to sanitize work areas on a regular basis throughout the day.
 Oversees general guest admission and membership functions, including handling money, sales and promotions and interaction with visiting public; ensures Visitors Center is ready for each
day’s business at POS locations – all signage and communications are accurate and office areas, work stations and Visitors Center common areas are organized, neat and clean
 Ensures guests have a positive first and last impression of the Garden and staff promote the Garden to guests (organization, mission, philosophy, seasonal displays, events, education programs and services, as well as opportunities to volunteer and donate) using all available electronic and printed means
 Ensures guests, volunteers, vendors, deliveries, mail, phone calls, radio messages, emails and
voicemail messages are received courteously and professionally and routed correctly
 Embraces the Garden’s commitment to excellence in all departments, willingly and cheerfully integrating work with the efforts of all other departments
 Other duties as assigned by supervisor

To apply, please see the full Visitors Center Supervisor job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to Robin Gregson, Visitors Center Manager at [email protected]

ON HOLD: Gardener 

Position Description

Under the direction of the Horticulture Manager, assist Horticulture staff with the installation and care of the display gardens and horticultural collections, both outdoors and under glass.  Individuals in this position should have a keen interest in horticulture and gardening, a general understanding of horticultural principals, and the skills necessary to perform basic horticultural tasks.

Responsibilities

  • Assist with the hands-on maintenance of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and tropical plants in a manner consistent with the horticulture standards of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
  • Physically work in all aspects of garden maintenance and development including soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, potting, raking, sweeping & blowing, tree & brush cutting, and recordkeeping.
  • Utilize shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools to complete assigned tasks.
  • Operate push mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATV’s, tractors, pickup trucks, and other power equipment in accordance with LGBG safety protocols and regulatory standards (training will be provided).
  • Participate in weekly group maintenance tasks such as blowing walkways, filling gas cans, and caring for tools and equipment.
  • Participate in group projects with other horticulture staff and in cross-departmental projects.
  • Work with Horticulture Volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Horticulture Manager or his/her designee.

Skills and Abilities

  • A demonstrated understanding of the horticultural practices and procedures required for soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, mowing, raking, sweeping & blowing, and tree & brush cutting.
  • The ability to identify frequently used woody, herbaceous, and annual landscape plants by common name.
  • The ability to use shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools effectively.
  • The ability to operate push mowers, riding mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATVs, pickup trucks, chainsaws and other power equipment safely and effectively.
  • The physical strength, dexterity, and coordination sufficient to perform the above functions.
  • A willingness to interact with the public on an informal basis by answering questions, providing directions, etc.
  • The ability to follow written and verbal instructions.

Education and Experience

  • An Associate’s degree in Horticulture, Botany, Plant Science, or a related field.
  • One year of experience as a professional gardener or groundskeeper.
  • Virginia Pesticide Applicator’s License (or the ability to obtain one within six months of hire).
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license.
  • Other combinations of education/experience appropriate to the job will be considered.

Please see the full Gardener Job Description (PDF) submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to George Cowart, Horticulture Manager, at [email protected]

Part-Time & Seasonal Openings & Internships

Visitors Center Associate

Job Description

·       Handles payment in exchange for admission fees and membership dues, event tickets and classes

·       Responsible for all cash and credit card transactions; following established procedures for opening and closing assigned register

·       Able to efficiently use TAM database to perform ticket sales, register guests for classes, run reports, check daily schedule of events, look up events for guests needing information (date and location confirmation, etc.)

·       Able to use Outlook and Microsoft office products to check Admissions emails, respond via email to Garden staff on admissions-related matters if needed and check shared calendar for staffing schedule updates

·       Able to efficiently and accurately use Raiser’s Edge database to look up memberships and issue temporary membership cards, sell new memberships and renew existing or lapsed memberships

·       Able to recruit membership sales, appropriately recommend upgrades and provide special membership services

·       Assists with handling membership mailings, promotions and specials

·       Participates in strategies that grow the membership base and retain current members

·       Keeps working area organized, is ready to conduct business and keeps area tidy for following day’s shift

·       Provides departmental support as requested and needed to handle exceptionally busy processing seasons

·       Makes use of slow periods by performing administrative duties like assembling member packets, restocking Garden materials and seasonal rack cards, etc.

·       Ensures areas of visitor entry in Visitors Center are ready for the day’s business to include turning monitors on, ensuring all signage is accurate, checking for accurate signage on exteriors doors as verified by ActiveNet schedule of events each day

·       Able to create and print new signage if needed to alert guests of time-sensitive issues like closings, limited access to certain areas of the Garden, safety alerts, special event information, etc.

COVID 19 – After completing its most successful year ever the COVID-19 pandemic and concern over the health of our neighbors closed the Garden to public visitation.  It has been a disorienting time, when each of us individually and corporately has had to face and overcome an uninterrupted stream of change and challenge. We will continue to follow guidance from elected and health officials as we move forward and prepare for the reopening of the Garden. The safety of staff, guests, members and volunteers will continue to be the Garden’s top priority.

Responsibilities

·       During this uncertain time, the Visitors Center staff will be required to provide ground support in the Atrium and elsewhere in the Visitors Center as needed in order to implement the new entry process which ensures members and visitors are practicing social distancing.  With new safeguards in place, it will be imperative for the VC staff to sanitize work areas on a regular basis throughout the day.

·       Provides excellent customer service to guests, visitors, members, volunteers, event and program attendees coming through the Visitors Center

·       Acts as the “face of the Garden” by genuinely welcoming each visitor with knowledge of the Garden, helpfulness, empathy and eagerness to be of service

·       Stays informed of all Garden events, classes and activities and is able to provide information to visitors regarding special events, Garden Shop hours, Café and Tea House hours and menus, by efficiently and quickly being able to use all available electronic and printed means including ActiveNet, the Garden’s Website, etc.

·       Is proactive in assessing visitor’s needs quickly, ie: offering assistance or directions, locating wheelchairs or strollers, offering help if visitor appears in need of help

·       Answers the Garden’s general delivery phone line and responds, expedites calls to appropriate departments or staff members, as well as returns calls appropriately and in a timely fashion

·       Efficiently and correctly handles deliveries made to the front desk

·       Is able to handle difficult situations with tact and respect and reports issues to supervisor in a timely manner and with accurate details

·       Is readily able to identify a situation that requires the attention of a supervisor or Director

·       Acts as a contact person in case of emergencies and reports situation to appropriate parties, using required reporting procedures, as well as contacting 911 for assistance when needed

·       Presents oneself with a professional and friendly attitude and appearance

·       Other duties as assigned by supervisor

To apply, please see the full part-time, seasonal Visitors Center Associate job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to Robin Gregson, Visitors Center Manager at [email protected]

ON HOLD: Horticulture Research Intern

Job Description

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Horticulture Team is seeking an inquisitive, dynamic, hard-working and enthusiastic research intern, who is excited about spending the summer learning the art and craft of horticulture while implementing and completing a plant-based research project. The intern will work in all Garden areas, assisting staff and volunteers with the challenging, hands-on tasks of managing and curating a wide variety of seasonal displays, garden areas, plant collections and departmental initiatives. When not scheduled to conduct research, the intern can expect to weed, rake, groom, prune, plant, mulch and haul debris in seasonal extremes and all weather conditions on a daily basis.

Responsibilities

Research Tasks
• Work with Director and Horticulture staff to fully execute a summer research project designed to address a current challenge faced by the Horticulture Department (examples of past topics: planting strategies for habitat value, pollinator and benthic macroinvertebrate population surveys, southern blight pathology and management, water quality monitoring, food crop production and medicinal plants)
• Translate research into a user-friendly resource to share with the department, Garden and guests
• Prepare and present a report of experience, procedures and findings to Garden staff and guests
Horticulture Tasks
• Assist horticulturists in all areas of the Garden with a wide variety of primary garden care tasks, including planting, mulching, grooming, watering, fertilizing, weeding, etc., using best horticulture practices in accordance with established Garden standards
• Participate in routine group tasks such as leaf blowing walkways and string trimming weeds
• Perform routine maintenance on Garden power tools and equipment such as filling gas cans, re-stringing trimmers, cleaning and sanitizing tools, and keeping equipment organized and tidy

Other Duties and Responsibilities
• Willingly and cheerfully integrate assigned horticulture duties with the efforts of other departments (education, operations, garden shop, facility rental, public relations, etc.)
• Comply with provisions of the current Employee Handbook, all published personnel policies and the requirements of the job description
• Perform duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving multi-generational families, and in accordance with directed practices and procedures
• With supervisor, implement Garden’s safety and risk management program and training

Requirements
• Knowledge of landscape maintenance practices and plant care appropriate to the region
• Ability to operate required tools and equipment
• Strong work ethic, keen interest in Horticulture and enthusiasm for physical work outdoors
• Ability to work both independently and part of a team, as needed
• Strong verbal communication skills
• Working knowledge of computers including Microsoft Office programs

Education and Experience
• Student or graduate in horticulture, plant science, or related field is required

Please see the full Horticultural Research Intern job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to Laurel Matthew, Senior Horticulturist, at [email protected]

 

ON HOLD: Registered Youth Apprentice 

Job Description

The Horticulture Team at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is invested in inspiring the next generation of Garden professionals. The Registered Youth Apprenticeship (RYA) program is designed to recruit, support, train and employ an enthusiastic, eager-to-learn, hard-working high school student tracking towards a career in horticulture. Hours working in this program will count towards the RYA’s 6,000 apprenticeship certification. The RYA  will assist the Horticulture Team with installation, maintenance and monitoring of their assigned garden areas (to include planting, mulching, watering, fertilizing, weeding, etc.), using best horticulture practices in accordance with established Garden standards and will gain valuable on-the-job work experience and training.

Responsibilities

  • Select, prepare, plant and water soil and sterile growing media; apply liquid or solid fertilizers
  • Irrigate containerized plant material and in-ground plantings
  • Propagate plant material via seeds, cuttings, division and other means
  • Care for propagated plant material by labeling, grooming, watering, hardening off, etc.
  • Prepare planting beds; participate in small and large planting projects
  • Maintain plant material, established beds and other Garden areas with various hand and power tools, including: weed-whip, mower, tiller, pruners, saws, loppers, rakes, etc.
  • Suppress weed growth through various methods including hand-pulling, tools, etc.
  • Groom and prune plants for shape, growth, health and aesthetics
  • Use, maintain, clean and sharpen hand tools
  • Perform regular preventative maintenance on Garden equipment including cart, tiller, weed-whip, backpack blower and mower; mix and/or fill equipment with fuel, as needed
  • Participate in horticulture group projects and in cross-departmental projects
  • Assist with activities in the production greenhouse, hoop houses and growing pad, producing quality plants for the Gardens, plant sale, and Conservatory use
  • Perform other duties as assigned by Manager of Horticulture or his/her designee

 Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Comply with provisions of the current Employee Handbook, all published personnel policies and the requirements of job description
  • Perform duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving multi-generational families, in accordance with directed practices and procedures
  • With supervisor, monitor and document safety and risk management programs and training for assigned personnel
  • Work with an awareness of surroundings, staying vigilant to any possible threat to the safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff or to their property.  Ensure all concerns are reported promptly
  • Ensure all mishaps, injuries and incidents are reported immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor and the Assistant Executive Director for Finance and Operations
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations
  • Perform other duties as assigned and required by supervisor, Directors and Executive Director
  • Willingly and cheerfully integrate work within assigned areas with the efforts of other departments (education, operations, volunteers, garden shop, facility rental, public relations, development and security)

Requirements

  • Knowledge of landscape maintenance practices and plant care appropriate to the region
  • Ability to operate required tools and equipment
  • Strong work ethic, keen interest in Horticulture and enthusiasm for physical work outdoors
  • Ability to work both independently and part of a team, as needed
  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Working knowledge of computers including Microsoft Office programs

Education and Experience

  • Current high school student in good standing enrolled in a qualifying Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning program in Virginia
  • Current or past participation in related club, organization or volunteer program is appreciated

Please see the full  Registered Youth Apprentice job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to Laurel Matthew, Senior Horticulturist, at [email protected]

ON HOLD: Seasonal Gardener 

Position Description

Under the direction of the Horticulture Manager, assist full-time Horticulture staff with the installation and care of the display gardens and horticultural collections, both outdoors and under glass.  Individuals in this position should have a keen interest in horticulture and gardening, a general understanding of horticultural principals, and the skills necessary to perform basic horticultural tasks.

Responsibilities

  • Assist with the hands-on maintenance of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees and tropical plants in a manner consistent with the horticulture standards of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
  • Physically work in all aspects of garden maintenance and development including soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, potting, raking, sweeping & blowing, tree & brush cutting, and recordkeeping.
  • Utilize shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools to complete assigned tasks.
  • Operate push mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATV’s, tractors, pickup trucks, and other power equipment in accordance with LGBG safety protocols and regulatory standards (training will be provided).
  • Participate in weekly group maintenance tasks such as blowing walkways, filling gas cans, and caring for tools and equipment.
  • Participate in group projects with other horticulture staff and in cross-departmental projects.
  • Work with Horticulture Volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Horticulture Manager or his/her designee.

 

Skills and Abilities

  • A demonstrated understanding of the horticultural practices and procedures required for soil preparation, planting & transplanting, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, mowing, raking, sweeping & blowing, and tree & brush cutting.
  • The ability to identify frequently used woody, herbaceous, and annual landscape plants by common name.
  • The ability to use shovels, trowels, fan rakes, grading rakes, spades, digging forks, pickaxes, brooms, hand shears, hand saws, loppers, pole pruners & pole saws, wheelbarrows, fertilizer spreaders, garden carts, ladders, and other hand tools effectively.
  • The ability to operate push mowers, riding mowers, weed-whackers, backpack blowers, push blowers, garden ATV’s, pickup trucks, chainsaws and other power equipment safely and effectively.
  • The physical strength, dexterity, and coordination sufficient to perform the above functions.
  • A willingness to interact with the public on an informal basis by answering questions, providing directions, etc.
  • The ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license.

Education and Experience

  • A two-year Associate’s degree in Horticulture or a related field, or equivalent experience, plus one year’s experience as a professional gardener or groundskeeper.
  • Other combinations of education/experience appropriate to the job will be considered.

To apply, please see the full Gardener job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter, resume, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Job Application (PDF) to George Cowart, Horticulture Manager, at [email protected]

ON HOLD: Children’s Education – Internship

Responsibilities

Work closely with Educators to:

  • Implement nature-based activities, crafts, story time, and games; adapt activities based on the needs of the participants, the weather, and available spaces
  • Facilitate group management, especially during times of transition (snack, bathroom breaks, check-in and check-out)
  • Act as a mentor that thoughtfully engages participants interests and encourages inquiry
  • Model positive and respectful interactions with plants, animals, and other people in the Garden
  • Set-up and break-down of indoor and outdoor education areas
  • Provide a safe and respectful learning environment
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills and Abilities

  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule including some weekends
  • Experience working with children, preferably in an informal education setting
  • An interest in education, natural sciences, environmental science, science education, outdoor recreation, and/or the natural world
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively, especially with children and young adults
  • Strong team orientation with a flexible and positive attitude
  • Ability to work outdoors in various weather conditions; able to bend, squat, kneel, run and keep up with young children
  • Ability to pass a background check

Education and Experience

  • Course work in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Outdoor Education, Natural Sciences, Environmental Science or related fields
  • Other combinations of education/experience appropriate  to the internship will be considered

Please view the full job description (PDF) and submit a cover letter and resume to Kelly Riley, Children’s Education Manager at [email protected]

ON HOLD: Public Relations & Marketing Intern (Social Media)

The PR department strives to build the Lewis Ginter Botanical brand through all communication and concentrates efforts on publicity or “free” exposure for the Garden.  By supporting all areas of the Garden, public relations and marketing work to entice people to visit and to engage them in a relationship with the Garden.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden connects people through plants to improve communities.

General job duties of Public Relations Interns:

  • Work with the director of public relations and public relations coordinator to help meet the needs of reporters and photographers.
  • Help update calendar events on the Garden’s website
  • Post Garden info to websites such as tourism sites and media calendars
  • Research and write basic news releases
  • Take and upload digital photos of the Garden
  • Assist with events as needed
  • Provide general office and project support for the PR & Marketing Dept.
  • Assist in supporting the Garden’s social media efforts as needed, including filming and edit movies.
  • Write blog posts and tell stories for the Garden’s blog.

Qualifications:

  • Strong writing & communication skills
  • Ability to work on computers and use a digital camera
  • Some simple graphic design skills and the ability to use or to learn PhotoShop & WordPress
  • Should be prepared to work in a business environment
  • Ability to work on a deadline
  • Should be able to work alone and as part of a team
  • Experience using Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, blogging is helpful

Internship training includes:

  • Press release formats and AP style
  • How to write to encourage news coverage and create public interest
  • The opportunity to learn more about social media and using it to connect with the community & to pitch stories

This internship is offered year-round. Hours are flexible but require a minimum of 150 hours per semester and 10-15 hours per week. We also welcome interns and volunteers who are not students. This is an unpaid internship. As an intern, you will be eligible to earn volunteer benefits.

To apply please send the following to Ms. Jonah Holland, Digital Content Manager at [email protected].

  • Resume
  • 2 writing samples
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the specific internship and how this experience will help you reach your educational and career goals, and your scheduling availability (start/end dates, day/times available).
  • 2 recommendations (preferably on LinkedIn)

Deadlines for applications (somewhat flexible):

Fall Semester/August 25
Spring Semester/November 30
Summer/March 15