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Grounds Supervisor

Reid Park Zoological Society is seeking a Grounds Supervisor. Minimum three years in a supervisory position in zoo, botanical garden, park, golf course, resort or similar environment.

Reid Park Zoo, located in beautiful Tucson, Arizona is a mid-sized, regional zoological garden caring for over 200 exotic animal species from around the world in lush, naturalistic habitats. With a mission centered in conservation, the Zoo is Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participates in nearly 100 Species Survival Plans for threatened and endangered species.  Attracting more than 500,000 guests annually, the Zoo is the midst of an exciting expansion project, Pathway to Asia, that will add four acres to its campus.

The Society is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create inspiring memories for all by connecting people and animals to ensure the protection of wild animals and wild places.  We provide educational and fun experiences for visitors of all ages. Reid Park Zoo is the largest attended cultural attraction in Southern Arizona with approximately 500,000 visitors annually.  Be a part of a vibrant, growing organization as Reid Park Zoo implements an exciting master plan that will be investing over $60M in new exhibits over the next ten years.

No phone calls or visits please.  This position is open until filled.  We are an Equal Opportunities Employer.  We are committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff by creating an inclusive environment.

Reports To: Facilities Manager


General Duties

  • Responsible for monitoring the health, pruning, fertilizing, irrigation of the botanical collection, weed and pest control, recording keeping, and draft and/or final landscape designs for new exhibits.
  • Develop and implement maintenance programs for zoo’s landscape to ensure optimal condition.
  • Responsible for custodial cleaning of staff buildings, public facilities, walkways, barriers, glass windows and signage in a manner that promotes a positive public image.
  • Responsible for nighttime security across the zoo.
  • Design, coordinate, and implement new landscaping for planned and existing animal exhibits and public areas.
  • Monitors irrigation systems to ensure appropriate water quantities and distribution to plant root zones. Replaces irrigation heads, makes irrigation system repairs, and adjusts controller programs for seasonal conditions.
  • Assists animal care staff with integrated pest management program.
  • Support and enhance the zoo’s animal browse program, while ensuring the continued health and integrity of donor plants. Plants and maintains landscape with an emphasis on edible browse.
  • Ensures staff and others safely use and maintain hand tools and gas-powered equipment (e.g., mowers, blowers, power-washers, chainsaws, etc.).
  • Ensures staff and others safely perform tree trimming and other work from ladders and mechanical lifts.
  • Ensures trash removal plus, weeds, and leaf litter from grounds.
  • Safely operates golf carts, utility vehicles, riding mowers, skid steers, forklifts, tractors, and equipment pulled behind trailers.
  • Ensures preventative maintenance program for all equipment.
  • Ensures staff, interns, volunteers and others are utilizing the appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • Maintains sufficient inventory of common supplies in order to quickly repair systems and equipment etc.
  • Ensures new employees receive adequate on-boarding training to meet job requirements.  Ensures established staff receives additional training as necessary.
  • Assists supervisor with evaluating in-house and outsourced facilities services and functions (e.g., specification review), ensuring standards of performance are met.
  • Participates in supporting the zoo’s Association of Zoos and Aquariums re-accreditation efforts.
  • Ensures the zoo is in regulatory compliance regarding fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides storage and use.  Checks and obtains approval from Veterinarian regarding chemicals used on grounds/ animal habitats.


  • Proficiency in both written and oral communications.
  • Develops and maintains records.
  • Provides supervision to direct reports.    Makes decisions on scheduling and how work is allocated.
  • Makes hiring decisions and addresses employee relations concerns in conjunction with supervisor and HR.
  • Partners with HR regarding performance management, promotion, status changes, compensation, staffing, training and related issues.
  • Creates, fosters and maintains a positive team-focused work environment.
  • Provides training, coaching and mentoring to promote employee development.
  • Stays updated on new techniques, procedures, products, and services pertaining to horticulture, landscaping etc.
  • Ensures all project decisions and agreements are made in the best interest of RPZS.
  • Attends required meetings and serves, as appropriate, on staff committees.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Preferred Qualifications, Skills and Abilities:

  • Minimum high school education or GED required.  Certification in horticulture, landscaping, or similar preferred.
  • Minimum of three (3) years in a supervisory position in a zoo, park, botanical garden, golf course, resort, landscaping contractor or a similar environment utilized by the public.
  • Possession of a valid Arizona driver’s license, or ability to obtain one.
  • Working knowledge of best practice landscaping practices and suitable plant selection for the southwest desert region.  Plant identification knowledge required.
  • Ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships with others.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and willing learn new programs as required.
  • Ability to use radio, phone, and computer to communicate.
  • Able to work in extreme environmental conditions (e.g., heat, cold, rain, etc.) for long periods of time, including exposure to soiled materials and light chemical substances.
  • Ability to take direction and be quick to act or change direction as needed.
  • Able to lift and carry objects (up to 50+ lbs.). Comfortable walking, sitting, bending, and standing for long periods of time.
  • Willing to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of responsibilities.  This position description statement is intended to give a potential applicant a reasonable idea of what might be required. 

Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is the policy of Reid Park Zoological Society to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact the Human Resources Dept.