Nursery Operations Gardener

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: ASAP  Compensation: $20.79 new hire $23.91 incumbent

NYC Parks is the steward of over 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. The mission of Environment and Planning (E & P) is to protect, restore, expand and manage New York City’s natural spaces and green infrastructure to maximize their benefits and promote their value within and outside of the urban ecosystem. The Greenbelt Native Plant Center is a 13-acre greenhouse, nursery and seed bank complex.
Employees who work for 6 months or longer are eligible for healthcare benefits.


  • Assist with all aspects of greenhouse plant production: weeding, watering, fertilizing and pulling of stock to fill orders.
  • Assist in nursery yard maintenance involving identifying and controlling invasive species, removing debris and trash, weed whacking, mowing lawn areas, maintenance of hoop houses and irrigation systems.
  • Assist in the transplanting and step up of nursery and greenhouse starter material; preparation of soil mixes and potting operations.
  • Assist with preparation, maintenance, harvesting and cleaning of foundation seed plots. Assist with wild seed
    collections making off-site visits to natural areas- recognize species, determine seed maturity and follow all protocols.
  • Assist in and perform tasks involved in the operation and care of hand and power tools and equipment. Make necessary operating adjustments to same; report needs for repairs and replacements to supervisor.
  • Drive vehicles and operate other motorized equipment including mowers, tractors, and hedge-trimmers.
  • Enter field work information into spreadsheets or web-based databases in a timely manner after work is completed.
  • Interact with staff and the public in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Perform inventory and record keeping, research and implementation of best practices in a growing program to promote the use of seed for restoration.


  • 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. License Requirement: A motor vehicle driver license valid in the State of New York. This license must be maintained for the duration of employment. 


  •  Education and interest in horticulture, agriculture, gardening, environmental science or a related field.
  •  Experience with hand and power tools and operation and basic maintenance of farm machinery including tractors and other implements.
  • Experience with plant identification and an interest in native plants of the region.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills, including the ability to work in a team.
  • Comfortable with Microsoft office programs, including MS Word, Outlook and Excel.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently outside and perform physical labor in varying weather conditions.
  • Ability to lift 50lbs. and handle gas-powered equipment.

Additional Information

Residency in New York City, Nassau, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, Putnam or Westchester counties required for employees with over two years of city service. New York City residency required for all other candidates.
Fees: Hired candidates will be subject to a processing fee of $68.00. Hired candidates who are not currently employed by the City will be subject to an $88.25 background check fee.
To apply: email resume and cover letter to Rachel Chaiken (
Parks & City Employees: Include your ERN on your cover letter and resume. All candidates please indicate which position you are applying for.
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy or require a reasonable accommodation during the application process, please email Rachel Chaiken (
The City of New York is an inclusive equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and providing a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based upon any legally protected status or protected characteristic, including but not limited to an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, or pregnancy. Telecommunications device for the deaf: 212.504.411C

Contact Information

NYC Parks
Phone: n/a
Website: Apply Online