Director of Horticulture

Job title: Director of Horticulture
Employer’s name: Trust for Governors Island
Location: Governors Island (10 South Street, Slip 7, New York, NY)
Responsibilities & Requirements:

The Director of Horticulture is a new, full-time leadership role at the Trust for Governors Island (Trust). The Director will be responsible for all aspects of management and long-term care of Governors Island’s diverse gardens and landscapes. The Director will be joining the organization at an exciting time of growth and will shape park management protocols and build a professional horticulture team. The ideal candidate will have a hands-on leadership style, strategic vision, in-depth knowledge of native plants and ecological landscaping, and an understanding of turf management and arboriculture.

• Direct and oversee all horticultural activities including: the development and implementation of daily and seasonal maintenance practices and a cohesive landscape management plan; establishment of a zone management system; plant selection and installation; garden design; tree and turf care; and integrated pest management.
• Ensure optimal staffing of the horticulture and landscape team, recruiting, hiring, and training to build out the department and ensure that employees receive ongoing instruction and evaluation, while continually expanding their diverse skill sets.
• Provide expertise and vision for new and existing team members, articulating departmental priorities on a daily/weekly basis and ensuring that workplans are designed and executed in conjunction with such priorities.
• Assess existing landscape challenges and work with horticulture staff, designers, and consultants to formulate appropriate responses and implement changes as necessary.
• Develop and maintain budgets related to horticulture and landscape maintenance.
• Oversee contracts and project management of third-party vendors for park modifications, renovations, maintenance, and care.
• Oversee and coordinate large-scale capital projects and landscape designs.
• Coordinate with the Trust’s Programming staff to facilitate event load-ins and set-ups.
• Work with the Friends of Governors Island, participating in donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship efforts related to Trust horticulture; identify new opportunities for donor engagement and volunteerism around horticultural and operational initiatives.
• Participate in a range of activities beyond the typical work day, including events and programs, fundraising initiatives, tours, and stewardship and cultivation activities as needed.
• Ensure that the Island’s landscapes are utilized by the public, tenants and program partners in a way that is safe and protects the health of lawns, trees and other plantings.

• 8-10+ years of horticultural experience with professional degree in Horticulture or Landscape Architecture.
• In-depth knowledge of plant culture, maintenance, and identification of naturalized gardens.
• 6+ years of supervisory experience in a public park or garden setting.
• Exceptional written, verbal, and public speaking communication skills.
• Working knowledge of garden and landscape design principles.
• Sound reasoning and judgment in making practical business decisions.
• A systems-thinker with demonstrated ability to develop processes from scratch.
• High level of personal accountability, self-organization, autonomy and discipline.
• Ability to manage and motivate others.
• Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings, weekends, holidays, and special events as needed.
• Solid computer skills required.
• Pesticide Applicator’s license preferred.
• Driver’s license.

Please send a cover letter and resume as a single PDF document to with “Director of Horticulture” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

The Trust for Governors Island does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service or other non-merit factor.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor nestled between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront. Eight minutes from the energy and excitement of the City, the Island is a popular seasonal destination. A resilient new park is complemented by dozens of unique historic buildings, environmental educational facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument managed by the National Park Service. Unlike anywhere else in New York, Governors Island offers peaceful settings with sweeping views of the Harbor, Lower Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. Looking ahead, the Island will be activated year-round as a sustainable campus for learning and entrepreneurship, with plans for expanded commercial and non-profit uses in its future. For the 2018 public access season, Governors Island is open to the public every day from May 1-October 31. Island operations continue year-round, with a public high school, artist residency program and new commercial tenancies.

The Trust is a nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York. It is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities. For more information, visit

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