Seasonal Gardener

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

The Seasonal Gardener will be a full-time, seasonal employee of The Trust for Governors Island (Trust), and will primarily be responsible for the Governors Island Invasive Phragmites Removal Project, a two and a half year project funded through a grant from the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Seasonal Gardener will work with Trust horticulture staff and volunteers to use mechanical methods to slow the spread of current infestations of Phragmites australis and prevent the spread of new stands. This position requires superior organizational, interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively as a team member in a fast-paced environment.

The Seasonal Gardener will report to The Trust’s Director of Horticulture and will work closely with a team of gardeners and landscapers, corporate and community volunteers, the Friends of Governors Island and other programming partners


  • Work with Zone Gardener to monitor, document, and map existing stands of invasive phragmites on a consistent schedule.
  • Use appropriate equipment (mowers, brush cutters, string trimmers, shears) to manually control spread of existing stands.
  • Overseed and plant landscapes where phragmites has been mown/cutback with competitive native plants.
  • Identify and monitor at-risk hotspots in other Governors Island landscapes that are susceptible to invasion.
  • Work with individual and corporate volunteer groups in use of shears and other hand tools to aid in phragmites cutback.
  • Gather information to support the creation of public-facing messaging around the Invasive Phragmites Removal Project.
  • Have familiarity with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.
  • Maintain horticulture back-of-house, including inventory and maintenance of tools and equipment.
  • Participate in Island-wide seasonal clean-up activities.
  • Communicate with the Operations team regarding park infrastructure, cleanliness, zone usage and programming.
  • Actively promote and contribute to the Island’s sustainability initiatives, including coordination with on-Island program partners.
  • Act as an ambassador for Governors Island, answering questions from visitors, including horticulture, park design, history and general information.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Two or more years of horticultural or natural resource management experience.
  • Experience using power equipment such as mowers, brush cutters, tractors, and slit seeders.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Position requires the employee to perform physical labor (lifting, bending, squatting, etc.) in all weather conditions.
  • Experience supervising volunteers.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication (oral and written), organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • High level of personal accountability, self-organization, autonomy and discipline.
  • Ability to work with people at all levels with an open and engaging personality.
  • Ability to be flexible and make sound professional judgments.
  • Ability to work overtime, weekends, and holidays, as needed.
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office programs and data collection for database.
  • Driver’s license.

Additional Information

Please send a cover letter and resume as a single PDF document to with “Seasonal Gardener” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

The Trust for Governors Island does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service or other non-merit factor.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor nestled between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront. Eight minutes from the energy and excitement of the City, the Island is a popular seasonal destination. A resilient new park is complemented by dozens of unique historic buildings, environmental educational facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument managed by the National Park Service. Unlike anywhere else in New York, Governors Island offers peaceful settings with sweeping views of the Harbor, Lower Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.

Looking ahead, the Island will be activated year-round as a sustainable campus for learning and entrepreneurship, with plans for expanded commercial and non-profit uses in its future.

The Trust is a nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York. It is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities. For more information, visit

Contact Information

The Trust for Governors Island