Director of Horticulture


Deadline to Apply:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022, 12:00am



Superior, AZ
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Boyce Thompson Arboretum seeks an experienced and energetic Director of Horticulture with a passion for the earth, horticulture, botany, wildlife, plant collections, and beautiful gardens. The director is a strong, intuitive leader who will be an enthusiastic member of the Arboretum’s senior leadership team and contribute to BTA’s strategic direction. The ideal candidate will be approachable and positive, establish and maintain high horticultural standards, promote employees’ strengths, and motivate employees’ best work.

The Director of Horticulture is responsible for managing:

• Gardens, grounds, greenhouses, irrigation, and gardening equipment

• Training and development of staff

• Outsourced services related to horticulture and garden maintenance

• Assigned budget

• Thorough integration of Horticulture department into mission, goals, and objectives of Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the broader community of botanical gardens in North America

Leadership and Interpersonal Relations:

• Serves on BTA’s leadership team, participates in strategic planning and the design and implementation of programs and projects

• Determines annual budget needs, authorizes budget expenditures and manages assigned budgets

• Works closely with Facilities team on grounds, building, and infrastructure needs

• Embraces BTA’s commitment to excellence in guest services, formal and informal education, willingly and cheerfully integrating work of horticulture department with the efforts of other departments

• Collaborates with Marketing Dept. to share horticultural accomplishments and aspirations

• Pursues leadership opportunities and represents BTA in regional and national horticultural associations (e.g., ALCA, APGA)

Horticulture, Design, and Display

• Establishes and implements aesthetic and horticultural standards as well as best practice standards of garden care and maintenance

• Implements elements of the current strategic plan related to horticulture, emphasizing plant collections of focus, collection certification, and horticultural display

• Ensures curation of plant collections along with the Plant Collections Manager

• Manages horticultural maintenance, construction, installation, and renovation, as well as associated outsourced contractors

Supervision and Training:

• Trains, supervises, nurtures, encourages, assesses and counsels paid horticulture staff and unpaid volunteers

• Supervises the installation, maintenance, renovation, and repair of grounds, gardens and exhibits

• Interviews, assesses, screens and hires candidates for positions in horticulture department

• Fosters teamwork and mentors staff members by modeling best practices alongside them

• Empowers staff by granting authority and autonomy whenever possible

• Teaches occasional classes as part of BTA’s education programs and provides internal training for BTA staff

• Ensures the establishment and implementation of safety and risk management programs and training

• Ensures proper inventory control measures

• Ensures establishment and implementation of preventive maintenance cycles for structures, systems, equipment, and vehicles in department in coordination with Facilities Director

• Establishes professional and cordial relations with vendors, allied organizations, and individuals in the region and nationally

Each employee of Boyce Thompson Arboretum:

• Must comply with Federal, state, and local laws and regulations, all provisions of the current Employee Handbook, all published personnel policies and the requirements of their individual job description

• Must conduct him/herself and perform all duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving multigenerational families, and in accordance with directed practices and procedures

• Must be aware of surroundings, and vigilant to any possible threat to the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff or to the security of their property, reporting all concerns promptly

• Must report all mishaps, injuries and incidents immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor(s) and to the Executive Director

• Performs other duties as assigned by supervisor


 Must be a well-organized, proactive, seasoned, successful, intelligent, intuitive, and empathetic leader

• Commitment to BTA’s mission

• Demonstrated knowledge of landscape maintenance practices and plant care appropriate to the desert

• Demonstrated abilities with water management, troubleshooting and repair of irrigation systems, and basic landscape equipment repair

• Knowledge of greenhouse plant production techniques and display

• Demonstrated ability with the design and installation of indoor and outdoor botanical displays

• Demonstrated ability to speak and write well

• Demonstrated ability with computers, Microsoft software programs, Google Workspace, social media platforms, and horticulture-related software

• Knowledge of desert horticulture and desert ecosystems preferred

Education and Experience

 Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in horticulture preferred

• A minimum of five years’ experience leading, teaching, and motivating staff

• A minimum of seven years’ experience in the field of horticulture, garden management or landscape maintenance/management

• Training and experience in horticultural best practices

• Widely versed and current in horticultural and botanical fields (e.g., pollinators, invasive plants, native plants, plant disease, Integrated Pest Management, etc.)

• Experience with plant databases

• Experience with construction management and the creation and renovation of gardens

• Thorough knowledge of pesticide regulations; holds a current pesticide applicators license or acquires one at the next exam offering

• Other combination of education/experience appropriate to the job will be considered

How to Apply:

Please submit resume, with cover letter to the Executive Director, Lynne Nemeth.