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Curator of Horticulture

Position: Curator of Horticulture                Location:        Franklin Park/Stone Zoo    

Department:  Horticulture                                                   Reports To: Chief Operating Officer

Essential Job Functions

Oversees, develops, and curates a living collection of plants to meet the needs of animal exhibits, display gardens, plant conservation priorities, and the overall landscapes of both Franklin Park and Stone Zoos. Exercises direct supervision of Horticulture Supervisor, Horticulturists, Landscapers, Interns and Volunteers, as assigned.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prepares and plans for planting and display of flowers, plants, tropical plants, flowering shrubs and trees, including formal gardens to ensure the beautification of exhibits and public areas.
  • Develops and oversees plant conservation programs.
  • Establishes and implements Departmental and staff performance goals that support the organization’s mission and Strategic Plan.
  • Develops and oversees Horticulture Department budget.
  • Responsible for hiring, promotion, termination and performance evaluations for department staff.
  • Oversees the care and installation of the interior landscapes at Franklin Park Zoo.
  • Oversees and assists in the design, planting, and maintenance of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees; determines and advises personnel of the best methods of planting, pruning, IPM, and other horticultural practices.
  • Generates staff schedules, prepares and submits payroll records.
  • Prepares budget requests for assigned activities based on projected needs; purchase plants, seeds, and soils, etc, for use in gardens and exhibits.
  • Maintains liaisons between local garden clubs, horticultural societies, city and state agencies, and zoological institutions to exchange information and/or solve problems.
  • Determines needs and assigns workers to specific tasks as relates to the requests and activities of the Horticulture Department.
  • Directs all aspects of plant maintenance including:  watering, fertilizing, pruning, transplanting, and propagation.
  • Oversees and administers IPM as needed.
  • Prepares written reports as needed.
  • Supervises and coordinates volunteers.
  • Oversees care and maintenance of all department vehicles, machinery and equipment.
  • Participates in the development and implementation of horticultural educational and interpretive programs for zoo guests and staff.
  • Oversees operation of the zoo greenhouse.
  • Oversees all landscape construction.
  • Purchases parts, tools, materials and plants as needed.
  • Provide quality customer service to both internal and external customers.
  • Interacts with and answers questions of zoo guests by providing information about the zoo and acts as good-will ambassador for the Zoo.
  • Operates two-way radio responsibly and professionally.
  • Coordinates and collaborates with the Facilities Department for snow removal.
  • Is “On-Call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week for zoo emergencies.
  • Performs related and non-related work as assigned to assure the proper operation of the Zoo.

    Minimum Job Requirements

  • College degree in horticulture or related science and/or a minimum of 5 years’ professional experience in the field of Horticulture, Landscaping or Zoological Horticulture.
  • Must have a minimum of 5 years supervisory experience.
  • Must have a negative TB test.
  • Must have experience with budget development and management.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and professionally verbally and in writing.
  • Knowledge and experience of the principals, practices, and techniques of horticulture in a Zoological setting.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the materials and equipment used in horticulture.
  • Ability to supervise.  This includes:  planning and assigning work, assessing employees capabilities and available resources, conducting evaluations, training and motivating employees, conducting corrective action as needed.
  • Ability to analyze and determine the applicability of horticultural data, to draw conclusions, and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records and prepare general reports.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and give oral instructions in a precise, understandable manner.
  • Knowledge and experience of the safety practices and procedures followed in horticultural operations.
  • Knowledge and experience with greenhouse operations.
  • Knowledge and experience with plant propagation techniques.
  • Knowledge and experience with the varieties and uses of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.
  • Knowledge and experience with soils and the conditions needed to foster the growth of trees, shrubs and flowers.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Must be able to work weekdays, weekends, evenings, and holidays as needed.
  • Ability to maintain harmonious working relationships with others.
  • Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to work under adverse conditions including adverse weather and heights.

Working Conditions

  • Outdoors under exposure to all types of weather conditions.
  • Frequently need to bend, stoop, climb, kneel and lift.
  • Frequent requirement to lift moderate to heavy objects.
  • Work on uneven terrain with exposure to dust and allergens.
  • Move about on slippery surfaces.
  • Work at elevated heights and confined spaces.

How to Apply:

Web site:
FAX: (617)  445-1671
Mail:  Zoo New England
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Park Road
Boston, MA  02121

Zoo New England is an Equal Opportunity Employer by Choice


Zoo New England’s mission is to inspire people to protect and sustain the natural world for future generations by creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research, and education.