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Horticulture Director

SUMMARY: Under the general supervision of the Director of Facilities Management, the Director of Horticulture will provide oversight of the Horticulture & Site Work Department day-to-day operations responsible for the design, maintenance, cultivation, and education of the grounds and exhibits landscape throughout the Saint Louis Zoo.  As a key leader of Facilities Management, this position will support the Zoo’s mission and advocate the Zoo’s core values and three keys.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The following reflects Management’s definition of essential functions for this position but does not restrict additional assigned tasks.  Management may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position.

  • Preside over the daily activities of the Horticulture & Site Work Department including all facets of the design, installation, cultivation, and maintenance of turf areas, landscapes, hardscapes, annual and perennial beds, tropical plants, aquatic plantings, gardens, and irrigation systems.
  • Evaluate, understand and develop exhibit landscape design and maintenance to meet the needs of the animals and enhance the visitor experience.
  • Oversee departmental tasks involving demolition, trenching, grading, excavation, asphalt paving, and installation of various Zoo projects.
  • Ensure accuracy for the department of the Zoo’s HCM software platform for time and attendance, payroll, benefits, and workforce management.
  • Manage the CMMS work order system for work scheduling, preventative maintenance programs and record keeping. Train necessary staff in its use.
  • Direct greenhouse operations including but not limited to pest control, plant inventory, propagation, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and planning of species to be planted in conjunction with holidays, climate, time of year, and special events.
  • Oversee the pesticide application program.
  • Train staff on all horticulture related tools, equipment, and machines.
  • Conduct regular inspections of all landscape beds, trees, grounds and fence lines.
  • Execute the Zoo’s Snow Removal Policy including but not limited to the de-icing and clearing of snow from walks, pathways, and parking lots throughout the Zoo during inclement weather.
  • Work with volunteer and apprenticeship programs.
  • Conduct public tours of Zoo grounds and related facilities with the ability to identify both Latin and common names of plant material.
  • Implement sustainable native plantings when possible.
  • Attend meetings to provide horticultural support and expertise.
  • Utilize Zoo purchasing policies to procure, coordinate and oversee tree and landscape management contractual services for the Zoo.
  • Ensure that proper safety guidelines and usage of PPE are followed at all times.
  • Know and understand the Zoo employee handbook and adhere to all stated disciplinary actions and personnel policies.
  • Work in close collaboration with all Zoo internal departments.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Supervises skilled trade personnel for the horticultural care of the Zoo.


  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Horticultural certification or undergraduate degree preferred or equivalent years of experience required.
  • Minimum of ten years of field experience in a horticulture related field required.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a management position preferred.
  • Possession or the ability to obtain a Missouri Department of Agriculture Certified Noncommercial Applicators License Classification 3 Ornamental and Turf Pest Control.
  • Knowledge and experience with automated technologies, CMMS, and Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • Possession or the ability to obtain OSHA 10/30-Hour Training certification.
  • Versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work within constantly changing priorities and workflow with enthusiasm.
  • Superb customer service with a commitment to excellence and high standards.
  • Good judgment with the ability to make timely and sound decisions.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment with subordinates, peers, and superiors.
  • Possession or the ability to obtain a Missouri Class E Driver’s License is required for residents of Missouri.
  • All successful candidates for this position will be required to submit to a criminal background check and drug test.


  • Must be able to push, pull, bend, squat, stoop, climb stairs or ladders, and twist many times a day.
  • Must be able to safely lift, carry and load 75 pounds.
  • Physical capacity to endure exposure to inclement weather, dust, heavy machinery, restraint devices and hazardous chemicals. Use of proper PPE may be required.


  • This position will work in both a production environment and outside. Significant exposure to weather is possible.

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