Public Programs Coordinator

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Job Description:

About the Society:

The mission of New England Wild Flower Society is to conserve and promote the region's native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes. Founded in 1900, the Society is the nation's oldest plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education.

The Society's headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this base, 25 staff and more than 700 volunteers work throughout New England to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs. The Society also operates a native plant nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and has seven sanctuaries in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public.

About Public Programs:

New England Wild Flower Society has one of the largest programs in native plant education in the country. The two-person Public Programs Department offers hundreds of programs throughout New England each year. We contract with approximately 65 top-notch educators in botany, plant ecology, horticulture, landscape design, and related fields to offer courses, field trips, symposia, workshops, online classes, and webinars, in which students learn about field botany, conservation, gardening, and ecological horticulture. In addition, we offer certificate programs in native plant field botany and horticulture and design, which give students a chance to add breadth and depth to their existing knowledge or to advance their careers. The Public Programs Department also oversees interpretation, the volunteer program, informal programming, the Lawrence Newcomb Library, facility rentals, and guided tours for adults and children at Garden in the Woods.

Position Summary:

The Public Programs Coordinator is a full-time, permanent position that is responsible for assisting with the development and execution of all public programs and projects. He/she provides exceptional customer service, takes the lead role in administering programs, and serves as an ambassador for the organization. The successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to streamline current department operations and help create a strategic vision for the Society's public programs. The Public Programs Coordinator reports to the Director of Public Programs.

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Administer public programs and handle all logistics. Post classes on the web site, register students for programs, process registrations in Altru database, handle all financial transactions, communicate with students and instructors, distribute class materials, schedule hosts for weekend and evening classes, set up and break down the classroom, and communicate with co-sponsors at offsite properties.
  • Assist with the management of the certificate programs. Cultivate prospective students, send regular student updates, maintain student records, and advise students about their projects.
  • Supervise the Garden tour program. Process adult and children’s tour bookings, handle day-of-tour logistics, schedule tour guides in VolunteerHub, and lead tours as necessary.
  • Serve as the primary contact for the adult and children’s volunteer tour guides, work to foster a sense of community and a positive volunteer experience, and assist with guide training.
  • Help to facilitate special programs such as day-long symposia and attendance-generating events for Garden in the Woods.
  • Coordinate facility rentals at the Garden. Schedule rentals, handle all financial transactions, schedule hosts to oversee events, manage renter contracts, work with renters to obtain proper permits and licenses, and oversee day-of logistics.
  • Streamline department procedures, such as volunteer communication, program registration, tour bookings, and event rentals.
  • Assist in evaluating all department functions. Record, assess, and report on program, volunteer, and tour metrics. Collect, compile, and review student evaluations.
  • Be on call to troubleshoot problems during events, rentals, and programs. Occasional evening and weekend work required.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have experience in public education, public gardens, nonprofits, and/or program development.
  • Be proficient in standard business software, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google Docs; proficient in social media tools; and, if not already proficient, be able to quickly learn Blackbaud’s cultural management program Altru and Volunteer Hub.
  • Have demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills, including effective oral and written skills, attention to detail, and the ability to juggle many tasks simultaneously and stay calm under pressure.
  • Be flexible, willing to adapt to change, and interested in helping envision change.
  • Have excellent customer service and interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal tactfully and effectively with visitors, students, instructors, and staff.
  • Be able to work occasional evenings and weekends, as needed. Including working a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.

In addition, the position requires:

  • The ability to lift 50 lbs. and move and set up classroom furnishings.
  • The ability to learn and drive the vehicle that takes visitors on tours.

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three job references (with contact information). Please include your full name in the file name of each document. Applications should be submitted to:

Jessica Pederson, Director of Public Programs

New England Wild Flower Society

180 Hemenway Rd., Framingham, MA 01701-2699


Phone: 508-877-7630 Ext. 3302

*We prefer to receive applications by email.

Application Deadline:

Applications will be considered as they are received. We anticipate a start date in late August.