Holden Forests & Gardens seeks a Gardener (part-time, Holden Arboretum).

Holden Forests & Gardens (HF&G) is made up of two of Northeast Ohio’s most important environmental and cultural institutions — Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden — whose mission is to connect people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities.  The 14th largest public garden in the country, HF&G has close to 15,000 member households and more than 380,000 annual visitors who enjoy inspirational and educational experiences. HF&G is making a positive impact in the region and beyond through urban greening and forestry initiatives, environmental research, nature-based educational programs, and world-class visitor experiences at its two campuses.

When you join HF&G, you join a team of professionals who are passionate about improving Northeast Ohio’s communities through our mission-driven programs. By joining HF&G, you will not only have the opportunity to work in a beautiful setting, you will have the opportunity to contribute to our fulfilling and groundbreaking work. 

We are seeking a Gardner to join our team. The Gardner will perform tasks as assigned by the Director of Arboretum Horticulture and under supervision of a Horticulturist, the Gardener is responsible for the care and maintenance of plants in the core garden areas and will work closely with horticulture and collections staff, seasonal employees, interns and volunteers to provide plant-based experiences for a wide diversity of guests both in-person and on-line. This position’s primary location is at the Holden Arboretum which spans 3,600 acres; the 200 core acres include themed gardens, trails and plant collections with access to natural areas. There are multiple buildings and shelters for visitors, many staff buildings, and parking lots.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Cares for and maintains various woody and herbaceous plant species within the core garden areas using sound and sustainable horticulture practices. This includes soil preparation, planting, watering, fertilizing, bed renovation, mulching, propagating, pruning, staking, transplanting, weeding etc.
  • Works with volunteers, interns and students
  • Maintains plant records documentation on behalf of Horticulture team as needed and in adherence to the Collections Management Policy.
  • Maintains operational and pesticide records.
  • Assists with the installation and maintenance of interior and exterior displays associated with special shows, events, and exhibitions.
  • Maintains a safe and productive working environment for staff and visitors.
  • Interacts regularly with guests, members, and the public positively to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Shares horticultural and gardening expertise, both in person and on-line, with other professionals and amateurs by coordinating and teaching classes, workshops, and public tours according to annual department goals.
  • Shares photos, videos, and written content suitable for members and guests throughout the year with the Marketing Department according to department goals.
  • Actively participates in conferences, organizational meetings, committees, and events to promote a culture centered around trust, sharing, and collaboration.
  • Safely operates a variety of machinery and equipment including, but not limited to, motorized utility cart with dump body and motorized utility cart with plow, tractor with bucket loader and fork attachments, skid steer, excavator, van, pick-up and dump truck, chain saws, chipper, single and double stage snow blowers, pruners, hand shears and saws, pole pruners and saws, weed eaters, sprayers, push and riding mowers, and various wheeled carts.
  • Inspects and maintains small equipment to ensure safe operating condition i.e. sharpening tools.
  • Monitors, adjusts and repairs assigned irrigation system.
  • Participates in leaf, ice and snow removal.

Minimum Qualifications

  • The experience typically held through having gained or be studying for a Batchelor’s degree in public horticulture, horticulture, landscape architecture, botany or related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in landscaping, garden maintenance or a related field.
  • Combination of education and experience in horticulture, landscaping, botany, perennial plant production, ecologically informed horticulture and/or related fields is preferred.
  • Established plant care skills and ability to cultivate ornamental and native plants
  • Previous work experience in public gardens is a plus.
  • A common knowledge of pest and disease and treatment methods is a plus
  • Knowledge of plant taxonomy is a plus and ability to identify plants to species level across a range of genera is a plus
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and willingness to work alone and with a team.
  • A sincere appreciation for the importance of plants and willingness to care for and share this appreciation in a public garden setting.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • A strong sense of garden aesthetics experience in a public garden preferred
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiencies with computer software (MS Word, MS Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint) TEAMS and SharePoint is a plus.
  • Additionally, qualified candidates must have the ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers and common fractions; ability to read and comprehend documents and write reports and business correspondences; ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, guests, and the general public; ability to interact with the public and team members in a positive manner; ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables; ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, and diagram form.
  • A love of nature is last but not least.


  • A valid Driver’s License and acceptable driving record are required to be covered on Holden Forests & Garden’s vehicle insurance policy if using company vehicles.
  • Must pass a criminal background check and substance screening

Work Environment

  • Part Time (non-exempt)
  • 3 days a week from April – October and 2 days a week November – March
  • Monday - Friday schedule with occasional evening and weekend requirements, across multiple campuses.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, bend, stoop, kneel and crouch; ascend and descend stairs, travel by foot on a variety of terrain that may be wet, slippery, rocky, steep, unpaved or uneven; use hand to finger, handle or feel objects, tools, and controls, reach with hands and arms, and have the ability to talk and hear.
  • The employee must have the ability to exert 50 pounds of regularly and operate a variety of machinery and equipment.

Salary range: $11.50

Job classification: Hourly, part-time

To apply: Review of applications with begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.   Qualified applicants should submit résumé and 3 professional references: https://workforcenow.adp.com/mascsr/default/mdf/recruitment/recruitment.html?cid=db704977-d8c5-4be2-a36a-23f4002eddc0&ccId=19000101_000001&jobId=406162&source=CC2&lang=en_US.

Holden Forests & Gardens (Holden Arboretum / Cleveland Botanical Garden) is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. We seek skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals to join our staff and enhance our reputation as one of the country’s foremost arboreta.

Posted: March 12, 2021

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