NCL Seasonal Gardener

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: March 2023  Compensation: $22/hr

Position Description: Naval Cemetery Landscape Seasonal Gardener

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) seeks a part-time seasonal Gardener for the Naval Cemetery Landscape (NCL), an award-winning 1.7-acre contemplative memorial park along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The NCL Gardener position entails horticultural and visitor services responsibilities, and includes ensuring the proper use and maintenance of the space for visitors and program partners as they enjoy its meandering elevated boardwalk, "sacred bench," tens of thousands of native plants, and dozens of species of pollinators.

Organizational Background

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, establish, and steward the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, a landscaped bicycle and pedestrian corridor contiguous with parks and open space, enabling access and connectivity to the waterfront as well as new mobility options for transit-starved communities along the Brooklyn waterfront. BGI built the Naval Cemetery Landscape on the site of the former Naval Hospital Cemetery at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a place for retreat and remembrance while honoring its rich layers of natural and cultural history. This site was designed as a native plant meadow and pollinator habitat, and provides visitors with an escape from urban life.

The NCL Gardener reports directly to the NCL Manager and collaborates with other team members focused on NCL site operations, public outreach and communications, and events and programs. The NCL Gardener is responsible for four main areas of work:


Visitor Services

  • Greet and engage visitors; provide information about the cultural and natural history of the NCL in a courteous and professional manner to a diverse audience of visitors and local residents 
  • Ensure proper use of the space by visitors, i.e. staying on the boardwalk, not riding bikes in the Landscape, etc.
  • Track daily visitation and attendance at programs
  • Represent and promote BGI and its broader vision and mission to NCL visitors
  • Assist with special events
  • Contribute social media content in the form of photos and/or informative blurbs


  • General meadow maintenance work. Tasks include, but are not limited to: weeding and ecological restoration, soil cultivation, deadheading, thinning, raking, edging, seed sowing, pruning, and planting
  • Contribute to the ongoing documentation of horticultural practices, plant performance, management of the space, and phenological observations
  • Use hand tools and basic power machinery, including string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers 
  • Contribute to the ongoing development of horticultural management strategies to serve the aesthetic and ecological needs of the space
  • Maintain street trees along Williamsburg Street West

Maintenance & Operations

  • Remove litter from within the NCL and entrance area along Williamsburg Street West
  • Remove snow and/or apply non-caustic ice melt to allow visitation during snow events
  • Report damage to signage, hardscape, planted areas and/or lighting
  • Maintain tools, equipment and supplies in good working order

Programs & Partnerships

  • Collaborate with NCL Manager and team to craft and facilitate program offerings
  • Serve as BGI's on-site point of contact for program partners and arranged group visits
  • Work with volunteers and/or interns as scheduled
  • Perform program introductions and brief overviews or tours of the Landscape 


  • Experience with visitor services, preferably in an outdoor public setting
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in horticulture 
  • Strong plant identification skills, with a focus on NYC natives and invasives
  • Interest in outdoor environments, cultural landscapes, native plants and pollinators, and similar
  • Integrated pest management experience
  • Demonstrated understanding of ecological practices
  • Ability to use hand tools and light power equipment
  • Demonstrated record of reliability; ability to work independently; self-starting 
  • Must be an enthusiastic team-player, willing to collaborate on tasks; commitment to shared goals
  • Availability to work regular weekend shifts; potential for additional shifts may arise for special programs and events
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Degree/certification/experience in landscape management or horticulture a plus

Additional Information

Schedule and Salary Details

  • The NCL Seasonal Gardener is a part-time, seasonal, non-exempt position.
  • Schedule: Until November 20, two to three  days/week [schedules vary], hours 10:00am – 7:00pm
  • Compensation: $22/hour

To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, 2 professional references, and resume to BGI's Director of Horticulture and Greenway Stewardship at with NCL Seasonal Gardener in the subject line. We will contact only those individuals whose applications are being considered.

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.


Contact Information

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative