Gardener - NYC’s Central Park
(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities
Compensation: $49,000-$53,000 per year
Central Park is one of the most famous and beloved urban public spaces in the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, the 843-acre park was the first purpose-built public park in the country and is a National Historic Landmark. The Central Park Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1980 to rescue the Park which had fallen into serious disrepair. Since that time, the Conservancy has overseen the investment of approximately $1 billion in the restoration of the Park, and now hosts over 40 million visitors a year.
The Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from urban life. The City of New York has formally entrusted the care of the Park to the Conservancy which is responsible for every aspect of its care, including landscape maintenance, capital improvements, and the visitor experience. Committed to sharing the best practices in urban park management, the Conservancy also serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. The Conservancy employs roughly 325 people and has a yearly operating budget of $80 million.
The Conservancy recently completed a seven-year plan, Central Park Conservancy, A Plan for the Stewardship of Central Park: 2020-2027, which focuses on the ongoing capital investment of the last four decade’s investment of more than $1 billion into Central Park.
Reports to: Manager -Grounds Management
Department: Landscape Management
Status: Full Time Non-Exempt
The Position The Gardener in the Landscape Management Department provides all manner of care to the landscape and planting areas and provides support of the care and maintenance of all other landscape and hardscape areas within an assigned section.
Working under the general supervision of the Foreperson in Grounds Management, the Gardener is responsible for the care of planting areas within an assigned section. It is expected that the Gardener will work within and across their section and with other staff in Landscape Management to perform their primary tasks.
- 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; perennial maintenance; cultivate, transplant and prune as necessary
- Mowing, string trimming, irrigation, basic irrigation system maintenance, weeding, mulching, raking, sweeping, pruning, planting 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, playgrounds, 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 free of debris during heavy rainstorms and remaining snow and ice in the winter months
Collaboration & Communication
- Assist in the preparation of special events as needed
- Works with volunteers and seasonal interns
- Cooperate 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
- Interact with Park patrons in a professional manner and answer plant identification questions
- Operate various types of equipment including utility vehicle, light or medium weight trucks and tractors
- 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
- One year of full-time experience in gardening work, including experience in each of the following planting, cultivating and caring for trees, plants shrubs 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
- 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
Note: This position is in-person (not a remote role).
Salary range: $49K to $53K annually (commensurate with experience).
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Central Park Conservancy’s work is guided by the belief that Central Park, and all public parks, must be managed and actively protected as an inclusive and democratic space for all.
Working closely with our New York City partners, we will always strive towards creating and sustaining a sense of belonging for all visitors and advocating for equitable and accessible public use of the Park.
In service of this belief, we are committed to fostering a workforce and organizational culture that is as diverse as Central Park itself and the dynamic city it serves.
Central Park Conservancy
Website: Apply Online