Horticulture Manager

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Deadline to Apply:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 5:00pm



Newport Beach, CA
United States

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Job Description:

Horticulture Manager JOB DESCRIPTION

The Horticulture Manager is responsible for the development, protection and enhancement of the native plant communities at the ENC. He or she will also maintain our irrigation system, and remove non-native invasive weeds (with and without the assistance of community volunteers). Candidate should be knowledgeable about threats to native habitats including plant pests, pathogens and diseases, and be capable of monitoring and managing our plant communities so that they provide healthy habitat for native wildlife and are aesthetically pleasing to our human visitors. The Horticulture Manager is also responsible for growing, purchasing, maintaining, and selling native plants in our Native Plant Sales area and at occasional Native Plant Sale events. She or he will also work with the Facility Maintenance Manager to implement improvements and maintenance activities. This is a hands-on position. The Horticulture Manager spends the majority of the day outside in the Nature Center engaged in physical activity. 20-25 hours a week. $15/hour


The Horticulture Manager works under the direct supervision of the Executive Director.

Essential Functions/Duties Include But Are Not Limited To:        

Daily Operations

  • If opening, walk the grounds and assure that trails are safe for visitors. Unlock appropriate doors and outside bathrooms. Put flag up. Water plants in the propagation area, as well as any new plantings that need water (before the heat of the day). At 10AM unlock butterfly house during butterfly season.
  • If closing, walk the grounds and assure that visitors have left. Lock all doors and outside bathrooms. Take flag down. At 3PM lock butterfly house during butterfly season.
  • Ensure trails are clear of debris and litter, unobstructed or no sharp edges to a height of six and one-half feet and safe for visiting students and public.
  • Responsible for notifying the Executive Director of any safety hazards that are not easily corrected, and for closing any trail if necessary.
  • Keep stream and pond system clear of debris, ensuring pump and water flow system are functioning correctly, and shutting down the system if necessary.
  • Responsible for daily litter removal and disposal.

Plant Communities           

  • Provide input regarding the design of improvements to plant communities within the Nature Center.
  • Implement all improvements to the plant communities including: planting, watering, weeding and trimming with the assistance of the Facility Maintenance Manager.
  • Assure that tools are sanitized between uses to avoid contaminating plants with pathogens (i.e. Phytophthora, weed seed, Euwallacea sp., Fusarium euwallaceae, etc.)
  • Responsible for maintaining the ENC’s Orange County Native Butterfly House, including but not limited to assuring that the appropriate host and nectar plants are present.
  • Recordkeeping: Record all plant removals, additions and replacements in a database.
  • Research appropriate plants for placement in plant communities based upon educational opportunities, appropriateness in plant community, diversity within the plant community, appropriateness as wildlife habitat and continuity in regards to other plant communities. Collaborates with the Education Coordinator to identify opportunities for programming and interpretation within the plant communities.
  • Consult with qualified experts regarding design of ENC plant communities.  Report findings to the Executive Director, Site Development Committee or Program Committee as appropriate.
  • The Horticulture Manager is a member of the Site Development Committee and attends committee meetings.

Supervision/Volunteer Management

  • Works with grounds volunteers/interns developing long-term productive relationships, growing the grounds volunteer program over time.
  • With the Director of Communications, coordinate the recruitment, training, scheduling and appreciation of grounds interns and volunteers.
  • Responsible for interviewing, training and supervising volunteers including grounds interns. With the Facility Maintenance Manager, responsible for ensuring that all grounds volunteers are properly trained and supervised.
  • Act as ENC liaison with Boy Scouts to assist them in completing Eagle Scout projects within the Center assuring compliance with ENC policies and procedures.
  • Schedule and supervise court-referred volunteers working on the grounds. Review and file court-referred volunteer applications and service paperwork.
  • Responsible for the supervision of all grounds related employees with the Facility Maintenance Manager.  This supervision includes instructing employees about preferred methods for completing assigned tasks and leaving detailed directions for tasks to be completed.
  • Responsible for the supervision of outside contractors as pertains to the ENC’s plant communities.

Native Plant Propagation & Sales

  • Purchase and/or propagate plants native to Orange County (excluding hybrids and cultivars) to sell in the native plant sale area and at special plant sale days during the year.
  • Maintains database of plants propagated, including methods used, successes and failures.
  • Responsible for watering and maintaining plants in the ENC’s propagation area.
  • In the native plant sale area and at special plant sale days, tag native plants for sale with ENC branded plant tags (include price, plant characteristics, etc.)
  • Keep the native plant sale area, propagation area, and equipment shed neat and clean, and present plants for sale in an appealing manner.
  • Assist with promoting native plant sales by providing information to the Director of Communications, including photos and information of a plant to be featured each month as our “Native Plant of the Month”.


  • Determine and follow grounds budget. Arrange necessary purchases within budgetary limitations, obtaining approval from the Executive Director for large purchases.
  • Maintain positive communication with all visitors to the center.
  • Assist the Executive Director with funds development.  Seek out new partnerships to help sustain the ENC.  Assist the Executive Director in pursuing grants related to ENC mission.
  • Ensure tools are secured prior to leaving for the day, and that dangerous tools are not left unattended.
  • The Horticulture Manager is a member of the Safety Committee and attends committee meetings.
  • Staff the front desk when requested. Staff the Center occasionally in the evenings and at least two weekend days a month.  Mandatory attendance at special events (i.e. Fall Faire, Spring Faire, etc.)
  • Additional duties as assigned.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Commitment to the mission, vision and core values of the Environmental Nature Center.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and demonstrate flexibility.
  • Knowledge of California native plants highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of native plant maintenance (trimming, dead-heading, etc.) highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of native plant production, including asexual and sexual propagation is desirable.
  • Knowledge of transplanting techniques is desirable.
  • Knowledge of seed collection, viability assessment, storage, and packaging is desirable.
  • Ability to operate power tools, gardening equipment, etc.
  • Ability to memorize and recall facts, figures, and information.
  • Ability to move up to fifty pounds and set up equipment.
  • Ability to hike on trails, and traverse stairs and uneven terrain while carrying equipment.
  • Ability to make independent decisions and respond to immediate needs of students, emergency situations, and program needs.
  • Ability to work outside in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures.
  • Regular, reliable and punctual attendance is essential because of limited resources, costs, productivity and quality continuity.
  • Ability to interact successfully with supervisors, teachers, parents and students.
  • Fingerprinting for a background check will be required.
  • Computer (Macintosh, Microsoft Office, Filemaker) experience required or willingness to learn.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license. Must have own vehicle. 

Skill to:

  • Communicate effectively in the English language, in both oral and written forms.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions in an independent manner.
  • Understand and apply pertinent personnel policies, laws, rules, and regulations.

Education, Training, and Experience:

  • Botanical, nature center, and/or native landscaping experience is preferred.
  • Bachelor's degree in horticulture, botany, natural sciences or a related field preferred.
  • Demonstrate an understanding, patient, and receptive attitude toward visitors of varied age groups, including adults in small as well as large group activities.
  • Current CPR and First Aid Certificates are required within two months of employment.

How to Apply:

Apply online: encenter.org/application