Head of Horticulture

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: 9/28/2020

Little Island is a beautiful, welcoming and unique public park located in Hudson River Park at 13th/14th St. Opening in spring 2021, Little Island invites all New Yorkers and visitors to experience a new public space that is designed to inspire imagination and creativity and provide visitors of all ages with a one-of-a-kind relationship with nature and art.

Little Island will feature a lush, seasonal, landscape including rolling hills, walking paths and open lawns, with dazzling views of NYC, and we seek an experienced Head of Horticulture to join the team. The successful candidate will have extensive knowledge of urban gardening, proven success developing and implementing horticulture maintenance plans, and strong communication skills. This position is full-time and reports to the Chief Operating Officer.


  • Oversee the upkeep and maintenance of a diverse group of plantings including trees, woodies, grasses, perennials, and turf. The Head of Horticulture will be responsible for
  • Understanding and maintaining the intent of Little Island’s horticulture design
  • Working with the design and construction teams and the outside Landscape Maintenance Vendor to ensure that the plantings are installed and maintained per the park’s contract
  • Supervising the maintenance and adjustment of irrigation equipment including pumps and controllers
  • Serve as primary point of contact and supervisor to outside Landscape Maintenance Vendor, ensuring maintenance plans align with the aesthetic vision and values of Little Island, warranties are upheld, and standards of care, hospitality, and safety are clearly defined and m
  • Understand the contract growing process
  • Liaise between all Little Island stakeholders (including Funder, Little Island Executive Team, Hudson River Park and the Landscape Maintenance Vendor). Ensure alignment around the landscape maintenance program by analyzing weekly written landscape reports (generated by Landscape Vendor), leading monthly tours of the park grounds with stakeholders, balancing landscape needs with other ongoing park programs, events and priorities.
  • Develop a clear vision and ongoing management strategy for the park’s short- and long-term horticulture needs that takes into consideration park programming, visitor experience goals, and sustainable management practices
  • Identify plants in distress and accompany Landscape Maintenance Vendor or Architect to visit nursery and tag replacement materials
  • Collaborate with Chief Operating Officer to develop and track horticulture maintenance budget. Provide an analysis and recommendation about building in-house capabilities at the end of the 2-year landscape contract
  • Negotiate and manage qualified consultants and vendors to perform additional specialized services as needed to ensure the work is completed correctly, on-time and within the allocated budget
  • Collaborate with Park and Facility Operations Manager on equipment and vehicle selection, storage, and ongoing maintenance plans such as ice and snow removal
  • Collaborate with Little Island staff to develop park tours, educational workshops, website and social media content, as well as oversee bloom log


  • Competitive salary (commensurate with experience)
  • 15 days vacation, 7 sick, 3 personal days
  • Medical, dental & vision care
  • Contribution into a 401(k) retirement plan
  • Commuter benefits
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Basic Life Insurance, Short & Long-Term Disability


What You Bring

  • 5-10 years of relevant horticultural experience in a hands-on, field-based supervisory capacity; prior public park management experience desirable
  • Training and knowledge of urban horticultural best practices; advanced degree a plus
  • Enthusiasm for horticultural design and public space management
  • Hardworking, energetic, self-motivated, and dedicated to the details
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, start-up environment
  • Strong communication skills and ability to convey the mission and goals of the park to professionals and the public
  • Comfortable working independently and with a team outside in a park-setting
  • Valid NY-State Driver’s License, preferred
  • Availability to work early morning hours when landscape services are provided
  • Eligibility to work in the US
  • Availability to start Monday, September 28th (or ASAP)

What to Expect

  • Little Island will be open year-round, from 6am-1am daily.
  • Little Island has 3 distinct performances spaces hosting a wide variety of artistic programs throughout the season including a 700-seat amphitheater
  • Park employees may be asked to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as needed.
  • Park employees will spend time onsite at Little Island, navigating the entire park and interacting with park visitors to ensure operations are running effectively. Little Island is ADA compliant, and park employees are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for each other and our park’s visitors.
  • Little Island’s Headquarters, located near the park, provides an open floor plan office, shared work areas and kitchen, a locker room, rehearsal space, and storage for the park. It is a dynamic and multi-use space where employees and artists can collaborate, connect, and unwind in between shifts, meetings and events.

Additional Information

Visit our website www.littleisland.org/employment to submit your application via Submittable. Please note that you will have to make a Submittable account. If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please let us know at jobs@littleisland.org

Little Island is a proud equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, familial or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Contact Information

Little Island
Website: Apply Online