Horticultural Crew Member

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: February 2023  Compensation: 18.50/hour

Since 2016, the NAC has offered a paid internship program to over 90 students currently enrolled in or recently graduated from any school within the City University of New York (CUNY). We provide local students the unique opportunity to receive training in research, monitoring, and management of natural areas in NYC, and to actively apply that knowledge with field-based activities such as data collection, restoration, or trail improvement projects.
The Natural Areas Conservancy is partnering with NYC Parks' Division of Environment and Planning, and specifically, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), a 13-acre greenhouse, publicly funded nursery, and seed bank complex on Staten Island. GNPC is focused on science-based native plant production, propagating over 336 species of native plants collected from local wild populations and 200,000–400,000 individual plants produced annually. During this year-long internship, the NAC and GNPC will provide local college students interested in pursuing careers in horticulture and green jobs, with hands-on nursery experience. Eligible applicants for this year-long internship are current CUNY students and recent graduates who are enrolled in a horticulture certificate program or are pursuing a career in horticulture.
The GNPC Crew Members will work under the supervision of NAC & GNPC staff. During this year-long internship, students will receive project-specific training and gain skills which may include plant identification, field ecology, data management, nursery maintenance, and propagating native trees to ultimately plant in restoration projects around NYC.


Interns will rotate through GNPC’s six departments to get the full picture of what is needed to operate a native plant nursery. Under the supervision of GNPC main tasks include:

  • Accurately collecting data according to assessment protocols and/or conducting on-the-ground management of natural areas
  • Working outdoors for long hours in NYC natural areas (forests, wetlands, and grasslands) in various weather conditions and carrying up to 40 lbs.
  • Identifying flora and/or fauna present in NYC natural areas
  • Completing a summer/ fall project of your own design that overlaps with the needs of the nursery and based on your interests
  • Off-site seed collection in public parks around the region
  • Seed cleaning and storage
  • Installing plants in seed production fields
  • Plant propagation techniques in the greenhouse and yard
  • Yard, plot and greenhouse maintenance work
  • Client communication
  • Plant health care - watering, fertilizing, scouting for pests, weeding
  • Entering and editing field data in various forms and data analysis
  • Participating in professional development activities offered and cohort group work days
  • Interacting with staff and the public in a courteous and professional manner


Requirements for GNPC Crew Member position:

  • Interest in studying and improving local ecosystems
  • Interest in horticulture
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and written communication skills
  • Ability to travel/work independently
  • Ability to work outside in all conditions for long hours and carry up to 40 lbs
  • Time management skills
  • Computer/Microsoft Office skills

Preferred skills:

  • Horticultural experience
  • Field ecology experience
  • Experience identifying plants
  • Experience using surveying equipment
  • Experience using hand tools and power tools

Additional Information

Application deadline: Wednesday, November 30th
Materials needed for application: resume, cover letter, unofficial transcripts, and list of three references and their contact information
Job location: The reporting location for Crew Members will be in Staten Island, specifically the Greenbelt Native Plant Center.
Duration: Spring 2023 (February - May), Summer 2023 (June - August), and Fall 2023 (September - November)

Organization Overview
Created in 2012, the Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is a non-profit organization devoted to restoring and conserving forests and wetlands in New York City (NYC). We preserve and promote ecological diversity and resilience across NYC’s 20,000 acres of woodlands and coastal areas, in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), representing an area 25 times the size of Central Park. NYC’s natural areas offer immense environmental benefits, including improvements to air and water quality, providing New Yorkers access to nature, and strengthening communities. Our long-term goal for NYC is to bring our natural assets on par in quality and investment with the city’s great cultural amenities and to ensure that residents and visitors enjoy world-class recreational opportunities, while simultaneously enjoying the environmental benefits that natural parkland provides. More information can be found on our website: naturalareasnyc.org.

Contact Information

The Natural Areas Conservancy
Contact Name: Giselle Herrera
Email: giselle.herrera@naturalareasnyc.org
Website: Apply Online