Built between the years 1858 and 1873, Central Park is almost entirely man-made and considered to be a single work of art. Composed of natural elements – turf, natural areas, and water bodies, along with architectural elements, this 843 acre National Historic Landmark requires a unique set of skills to maintain these features to the highest standards. Founded in 1980, the mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public. Within the park, the Conservatory Garden is a 6-acre formal garden divided into smaller gardens in the Italianate, English, and French styles. It features grand perennial and seasonal ornamental displays.

The Position

The Gardener in the Conservatory Garden working under the general supervision of the Curator and Assistant Curators, provides all manner of care to the landscape, including ornamental plantings, hardscapes, fountains, and other architectural features, and provides support of the care and maintenance of all other landscape and hardscape areas within the assigned Gardens section.

It is expected that the Gardener will work within and across the section, which may include providing support to Shakespeare Garden, and with other staff in Landscape Management to perform their primary tasks.

Essential Duties:

Technical Responsibilities

  • Care for and maintain all plant beds and their surrounding landscapes, hardscapes, and perimeter in assigned section according to an established schedule to organizational standards
  • Prepare landscape beds for planting. Plant annuals, perennials, bulbs, woody plants, and trees in compliance with approved design. Perform all manner of horticultural care, routine and seasonal maintenance on landscape plantings; woody, perennial and annual plants maintenance; hedging, cultivating, transplanting and pruning as necessary
  • Mowing, leaf-blowing, string trimming, irrigation, basic irrigation system maintenance (including emitter line), weeding, mulching, raking, sweeping, pruning, planting duties, maintaining ornamental fountain pools and other related duties
  • Installs and repairs fence as needed and as directed
  • Support waste management operation by picking up and performing proper disposal of trash in landscapes, paths, perimeter and gardens; empties trash cans as necessary; sweeps around benches, stairs and entryways
  • Perform snow removal and ice mitigation on paths, entrances, stairs, perimeter and other hard surfaces with machines and physical labor to provide appropriate levels of access as per established organizational standards
  • Maintain surface drainage by keeping catch basins and gutters free of debris during heavy rain storms and remaining snow and ice in the winter months

Collaboration & Communication

  • Assists in the preparation of special events as needed
  • Works with volunteers and seasonal interns
  • Cooperates with other staff within the department and other department personnel in completing assigned tasks
  • Displays the necessary initiative and dependability to work alone or in groups
  • Interacts with Park patrons in a professional manner and answers plant identification questions

Related Work

  • Operate various types of equipment including utility vehicle, light or medium weight trucks and tractors, rototiller, mower, snow plow, snow blower and brush
  • Maintain tools and equipment in good working order and report items that require repair
  • Participates in all training sessions and seminars
  • Daily reports of malfunctioning infrastructure, furnishings, safety hazards, quality of life issues
  • Perform related work as assigned

Minimum Requirements

  • Two years of full-time gardening experience, including experience in each of the following: planting, cultivating and caring for trees and shrubs, perennial and annual plants, and lawns; or
  • A certificate from a horticulture or botanic program containing college-level courses, such as programs offered by the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, etc., or
  • A satisfactory combination of education and/or experience that is equivalent to 1 above. Thirty semester credits from an accredited college, at least fifteen of which must be in horticulture, agriculture, agronomy, plant pathology, botany, landscape design or architecture, entomology, forestry, floriculture, plant production and/or crop management, may be substituted for the one year of the work experience described in 1 above
  • Valid Drivers’ License that must be maintained for duration of employment

Additional Requirements for Assignment to Gardener II

  1. A satisfactory combination of education and/or experience as described above that is equivalent to 5 years’ experience;
  2. Demonstrated competency of essential job functions
  3. CPC Internal Candidates – A satisfactory performance evaluation during each year of employment.

Abilities Required

  • Familiarity with local and ornamental plant species; demonstrated plant identification skills
  • Ability to work overtime, weekends and holidays as needed
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. and perform heavy physical labor on a daily basis in all weather conditions

Safety Requirements

Establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment is the shared responsibility of this organization and employees at every level. The Conservancy will make every effort to assure a safe environment and be in compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations. Employees are expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all their work activities. Accordingly, employees should be aware of any hazards, which could cause an injury or accident (e.g., spills, obstacles in walkways, etc.). If an employee discovers a potential dangerous condition, he/she should alert other employees and notify his/her supervisor immediately.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

For more information, or to apply for this job, click here.

Contact Information