Landscape and Plant Collections Supervisor
Summary: Performs supervisory and technical work related to designing and maintaining landscapes and building plant collections to support conservation, research, education, and display. Ensures landscapes and plant collections are designed, maintained, and developed to the highest levels; requests and approves plants for addition to the Gardens living collections and mentors staff to do the same. Ensures excellent plant records are maintained for the living collections. Develops work schedules and quality standards; participates in developing budgets and managing expenses, and guides horticulturists on selecting species for addition to the living collections. Collaborates with management and other employees on garden development, seasonal displays, plant selection, acquisition, production, and planting; manages a team of 7-12 employees and 20+ volunteers.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Manages a team of horticulturists (i.e., supervise daily work assignments, coach/develop a performance for success, create/maintain a work schedule, review/approve timesheets, maintain accurate attendance records, complete annual performance evaluations and goal setting sessions with assigned staff, handle all disciplinary actions, etc.)
Ensures the highest level of excellence in landscape design, maintenance, and plant care
- Supervises staff to conducts turf care duties such as, but not limited to: mowing, edging, line-trimming, seeding, sod installation, aeration, sod renovation, blowing debris from paths and beds, the application of turf fertilizers and pesticides
Oversees and conducts the daily and annual maintenance of mowing and turf care tools and equipment, referring larger repair issues to the MBGs mechanic
- Develops a turf management program and ensures turf is maintained to a high quality
Develops and maintains meadows, naturalized bulb collections, and other turf substitute plantings
- Maintains and develops meadow areas and naturalized bulb collections and adds to these through selection and acquisition of plant material in line with MBGs plant collections development activates
- Continually evaluates and where applicable converts traditional turf areas to Carex, bunch grasses, and other applicable turf substitute plant species
- During the turf off-season oversees, assigns duties to staff which may include aspects of landscape construction or maintenance, grading, arboriculture, greenhouse work, assistance to other Horticulture staff, and all snow/ice removal as needed.
- Trains and mentors horticulturists, interns, and students
- Ensures the highest level of excellence in landscape design maintenance and plant care
- Plans and schedules seasonal landscape, turf, and plant maintenance tasks and ensures necessary supplies and plant material are on hand to complete a task before starting
- Evaluates landscapes on a three-month basis provide feedback to horticulturists and ensure any necessary improvements are made
- Reviews all meadow and lawn conversion and landscape designs before requesting final approval from Senior Manager and SVP Horticulture and Living Collections
- Researches and develops cultivation techniques modify the growing environment to support optimal plant health and maintains excellent cultivation records
- Requests, reviews, and approves propagation, exchange, and purchase requests for plant material; ensures re-propagation of plant material is requested promptly to preserve valuable collections and replacement plants as needed
- Takes an active leadership role in targeting plants for the living collections, curating plant collections, and supporting horticulture staff with collections focus and development in line with landscape descriptions and collections policy
- Understands and utilizes the features of the Living Collections Management System to manage and develop the living collections, including conducting inventories and maintaining excellent plant records
- Ensures minor and regular maintenance tasks are conducted on tools and equipment and submits maintenance request to General Services for large takes
- Supervises staff in the use of tools and equipment storage areas, keeping them clean and tidy, and performs regular inventories of tools and equipment
- Acquires and shares plant material per Gardens policies and guidelines
- Ensures continuous proper operation of Gardens centrally controlled irrigation system
- Provides regular maintenance to Gardens weather station as needed, including sending sensors to be recalibrated
- Completes purchase orders, submits for approval, and orders materials, supplies, and tools
- Assists in the preparation of division budget and continually reviews work to look for areas of efficiency and cost savings.
- Ensures that all applicable safety standards are followed (i.e., inform employees of safety rules and safe working practices and routinely monitor to enforce them). Adapts or modifies work methods to reduce hazards.
- Participates in identifying funding opportunities and writes assigned grants
- Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of organizational policies, procedures, and systems, and implements them in daily work
- Participates in national and international travel/expeditions for plant collecting and horticulture capacity building as assigned
- Maintains the highest level of expertise relating to the application of horticulture in botanical gardens
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Varies, but generally two (2) employees (Horticulturists) and volunteers.
- Communication: Combines listening skills, verbal and written communication skills, and visitor relation skills.
- Collaboration: Incorporates teamwork, mutual respect, active engagement, cooperation, and visitor focus.
- Accountability: Initiative to take ownership of responsibilities, the ability to prioritize, and the working knowledge and skills to take action.
- Problem Solving: Blends problem-solving skills, judgment, and decision-making skills along with creativity and resourcefulness.
- Stewardship: Merges the practical application of the Garden values and supports for a positive organizational climate.
- Minimum of (5) five years of practical, relevant work experience.
- Minimum (3) years’ experience in personnel management including demonstrated abilities in staff support, coaching and development, and conflict resolution.
- Strong knowledge of turf management and all related equipment and plants, plant materials (i.e., fertilizers, herbicides, etc.), and general landscape maintenance techniques and equipment.
- Demonstrated experience in managing multiple landscaping operations.
- Working knowledge of safe operating procedures for various types of landscape maintenance equipment.
- Thorough understanding of different components and basic design requirements of automatic irrigation systems.
- Working knowledge of budget development/management and forecasting.
- Ability to read and understand construction blueprints.
- Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license and chauffeur’s license.
- Must be able to secure pesticide applicator’s license.
- Proven ability to lead and direct the work of others to complete general projects, including but not limited to staff and volunteers is required.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels; must enjoy and feel comfortable interacting and working near the general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture collection.
- Scheduling flexibility that allows working weekends and holidays as needed.
- Knowledge of and adherence to all health and safety guidelines.
- The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.
- B.S. degree in Horticulture, Biology, Botany, and/or related field required.
- An equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience may be considered.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Word, Excel, Outlook).
- Solid Internet research skills.
- Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff to answer questions and service their needs.
Other Skills and Abilities: N/A
- Ability to communicate effectively in English (verbal and written).
- Ability to read and understand pesticide labels.
- Requires ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; calculate percentages and decimals.
- Requires ability to exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution.
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:
- Ability to possess and maintain valid driver’s and chauffeur’s licenses and a pesticide applicator’s license.
- Other related certifications are a plus.
- Ability to lift and carry up to 80 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavyweight tools and equipment).
- Must be able to work in high heat and humidity.
- Requires standing, walking, bending, stooping, and reaching for extended periods -- 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet.
- Ability to transport cumbersome potted plants and trays of varying weights.
- Ability to safely navigate narrow greenhouse aisles.
- Ability to wear Garden-issued Personal Protective Equipment.
- May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.).
- Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing).
- Ability to work indoors in all weather conditions (i.e., humid conditions, temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in the rain, snow, and other inclement weather conditions as needed).
- 80% or more of the workday is standing on feet while watering or maintaining plants.
- Wet conditions much of the time as watering is frequent.
- Comfortable working in immediate proximity to the general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering general questions regarding the Garden’s operations, events, facilities, etc.
Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:
- Frequently works with green industry representatives, professional organizations, colleges, and universities
- Garden Employees, Volunteers, Guests
Occasional tour groups, media
- Pay Type Salary
- Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America