Arboretum Curator

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Compensation: $75,000-85,000

The Woodlawn Cemetery (Est 1863) is a National Historic Landmark and Level II Arboretum located in the Bronx, NY. The Urban Forest consists of 400 acres with approximately 6300 trees and thousands of ornamental shrubs. Notable designers commissioned to create memorial gardens include: Ellen Biddle Shipman, Ferucio Vitalie, Marian Cruger Coffin, Beatrix Jones Farrand, Annette Hoyt Flanders, and Charles Wellford Leavitt. In 2006 Woodlawn donated its archival collections to the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. Included in this collection are thousands of records associated with the planting and maintenance of Woodlawn’s landscape. It is the goal of the Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservancy to restore and preserve the historical integrity of the site while providing traditional services and educational programming for the New York community. 

Position Summary The Arboretum Curator is responsible for the Horticultural appearance of the Cemetery’s 400 acres. The Curator will oversee and coordinate outsourced gardening and arborist services implementing high aesthetic and horticulture standards and best practice standards for caring for the cemetery’s gardens and trees. As part of this responsibility, the Arboretum Curator will also be responsible for strategic planning, design, and integration of all plantings with the work of the rest of the organization and day-to-day operations of our active public space. 


  • Evaluate, build, and codify a cohesive landscape/urban forest management plan that ensures longterm sustainability, consistency in best practices, and management techniques among 400 acres of internationally renowned, highly visited public greenspace
  • Establish and implement high aesthetic and horticultural standards and best practice standards of garden care and maintenance, and direct organic and integrated pest management strategies to ensure the health of the Garden’s collection.
  • Provide support for grant applications seeking support for managing and maintaining the arboretum.
  • Coordinate with Capital Projects and Facilities; provide a horticultural perspective and input where appropriate; provide in-field follow-up and feedback and ensure spaces are managed after completion.
  • Develop and recommend policies and guidelines to protect, enhance, and preserve the Cemetery’s living collection.
  • Manage, develop, and maintain relationships with Woodlawn’s horticulture vendors; select vendors, manage relationships, and approve invoices for payment. -Draft RFPs for third-party vendors as needed; review proposals, engage, and coordinate activities of third-party vendors
  • Work with the Woodlawn Conservancy’s public program staff to develop, organize, and implement horticulture programs, publications, and tours
  • Represent Horticulture in interdepartmental projects and events; collaborate with Woodlawn directors around public programming, donor/fundraising events, venue rental, and educational activities
  • Oversee the selection of planting and maintenance projects for horticultural interns
  • Liaise with departmental teams at Woodlawn, including Operations, Security, Conservancy, and Facilities, to coordinate interdepartmental projects and issues
  • Responsible for inclement weather/emergency response; communicated with operational departments, coordinate activities, communicate with staff and ensure the safety of the arboretum collection wherever possible.
  • Participate in a range of activities beyond the typical workday, including Woodlawn events and programs, fundraising initiatives, tours, and stewardship and cultivation activities as needed
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Operations.


  • Five years of urban forestry or relevant horticultural experience with in-depth knowledge of plant culture, maintenance, and identification
  • Bachelor’s degree in Urban Forestry, Landscape Architecture, Arboriculture, Horticulture, Natural Resource Management, or similar
  • ISA-certified Arborist is highly preferred
  • Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) through the International Society of Arboriculture or ability to attain within one (1) year
  • New York Commercial Pesticide License 3A - Ornamentals, Shade Trees & Turf or ability to attain within one (1) year
  • Proficient with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and database management
  • Ability to represent the Woodlawn externally by leading tours and giving presentations for a variety of audiences
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; ability to effectively communicate with external vendors, Cemetery senior staff, and other Cemetery stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to find creative solutions to problems, analyze situations, and implement actions promptly; excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Ability to perform heavy, physical labor daily in all weather conditions (year-round), including the ability to walk, reach, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and regularly lift and move 75lbs with proper tools
  • Ability to work nights and weekends upon request
  • Valid New York State driver’s license or ability to obtain one

Additional Information

Compensation and Benefits: The Woodlawn Cemetery offers a comprehensive and highly competitive compensation and benefits package, including paid time off, wellness / sick time off, holiday time off, education assistance programs, and a multitude of other insurance benefits such as medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and a fully comprehensive retirement plan. 

Application Procedure
Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. Please submit a cover letter and resume to 
Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. Please, no phone calls.

Contact Information

The Woodlawn Cemetery
Contact Name: Erik Erikson
Website: Apply Online