Volunteer Program Gardener

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Riverside Park and the adjacent Riverside Park South, West Harlem Piers Park, and Fort Washington Park contain numerous entrance gardens, woodlands, scenic promenades, ballfields, cafes, and access to six miles of Hudson River waterfront. Riverside Park, one of New York City’s premier waterfront parks, is a Scenic Landmark originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

The Riverside Park Conservancy works in partnership with the City of New York to help restore and maintain the park’s natural areas and gardens by providing full time paid field staff, equipment, and supplies. Since its founding Riverside Park Conservancy has had one of New York City’s largest Park volunteer programs.

The Conservancy is looking for the ideal candidate to care for the “islands” that run from 97th to 114th street along the park at Riverside Drive. These gateways to the park are a mix of historic monuments, formal beds and lawns. The Volunteer Program Gardener will also coordinate support for ParkTender volunteers, and work with the Volunteer Program Manager to increase volunteer stewardship.

Major Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the Grassroots Volunteer Program. Plan and carry out logistics in supporting ParkTenders.
  • Maintain and advance horticultural areas, according to Parks Department standards and Conservancy priorities
  • Create and carry out work plans independently. Identify plants and their maintenance needs: in particular native plant species.
  • Must have strong time management and communication skills.
  • Care for assigned gardens and landscape areas, adhering to and sustaining approved planting plans on appropriate seasonal schedule.
  • Lead groups of volunteers. Be comfortable talking in front of a group and giving clear direction; instruct volunteers in proper techniques, a successful project outcome, and the care and use of tools.
  • Work closely with and support individual volunteers in the care of their assigned areas, responding to requests for materials and other needs. Coordinate with volunteer department.
  • As required, keep simple records and prepare written reports. May supervise other staff as directed.
  • Collect and remove trash and debris; sweep paths and stairs; install and maintain temporary fencing; remove snow and ice; operate a pickup truck & operate and properly maintain tools and equipment.
  • Perform other assigned duties.


Ability to work as part of a team and willingness to be very hands-on with the performance of a variety of assigned tasks. Must have a can-do attitude. Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and new opportunities.

The ideal candidate is honest, a team player, a good listener, calm under pressure, and is accountable for their tasks. Strong organizational skills with excellent follow-through to get the job done.

Values & Culture Fit:
Demonstrated passion for Riverside Park’s mission and values.

Working Conditions:
Desire to work in a small growing nonprofit organization. Work outdoors, maneuver outdoors (in all weather conditions) on the 400- acre facility’s hills, grass, and gravel pathways. Some office work required. Ability to travel locally for meetings and special events. Flexibility to work during weekends and infrequently evenings as needed for special events. Must have a valid New York State driver’s license. Must be able to
lift 40 pounds.


Two years full time experience in horticultural work, including planting and caring for plants, shrubs, trees, and lawns, and general grounds keeping as described above; 30 credits, at least 15 of them in horticulture or a related field, from an accredited college or community college, or education and/or experience equivalent. Familiarity working in a public and outdoor space. Demonstrated experience in working with volunteers, public speaking, or customer service. Additional areas of specialization in landscaping and volunteer stewardship a plus.

Communication Skills:

Must have a professional and positive demeanor and work well with the public and large groups of volunteers. Strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills.

Additional Information

To Apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter via email to jobs@riversideparknyc.org with “Volunteer Program

Gardener” in the subject line. No phone calls please.
Riverside Park Conservancy provides a competitive benefits package, health care and paid time off. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Riverside Park Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual
orientation, gender identity, veteran status, height, weight, or marital status in employment or the provision of services or any other category protected by law.

Contact Information

Riverside Park Conservancy
Email: jobs@riversideparknyc.org