Horticulture Manager

Woodland Park Zoo
Seattle, WA 98103
United States

Experience Required
To $84,500
Per Year    
Employment Type
Work Schedule
No Travel

Job Description

Love animals? Want to make a positive impact on the planet? Come join Woodland Park Zoo as a Horticulture Manager. We have one, full time, benefitted positions open.

Application Priority Date: 9/30/2022


The Woodland Park Zoo is a beloved zoological park, open to the public and its surrounding communities. The zoo is well known for its immersive landscapes and outstanding horticultural designs. The horticulture programs manage rich outdoor and indoor naturalistic landscapes, provide education programs and community engagement.

This position researches, designs, plans, and provides on-going evaluation of the horticultural assets of Woodland Park Zoo, a beloved park open to the public and community, and provides daily supervision of the Horticulture Department that is engaged in landscape maintenance of the zoo. This position also works to develop and maintain community, city, and community group relationships, and partnerships.


  • Plan, schedule, supervise, and direct routine and assigned work of the Horticulture Department, including greenhouse operations, Rose Garden operations, browse program, IPM program, and turf maintenance.
  • Plan, supervise, prioritize, set and enforce work standards, and inspect work in progress and upon completion for completeness and accuracy in keeping with original or revised landscape goals.
  • Develop policy and manage the Arboriculture program for all zoo grounds.
  • Direct the installation of new and redesigned exhibits representing major world biomes.
  • Installation and maintenance of plant materials, seasonal color, and turf for all internal and external Zoo landscapes and animal exhibits; incudes, but not limited to, pruning, pest management, greenhouse management, irrigation, and public interaction
  • Develop, plan, and implement horticultural messages in an interpretive and educational context.
  • Maintain the zoo horticulture database including researching and recommending a list of appropriate bio-geographic plan specimens that simulate the biogeographic approach of each exhibit. Support animal enrichment gardens that are used to support animal welfare objects.
  • Manage maintenance, repair, and replacement needs of horticulture equipment.
  • Coordinate horticulture activities with other departmental supervisors and contractors.
  • Maintain routine records and prepare and present a variety of studies, plans, and reports.
  • Supervise Horticulture support of events and special program including fundraising events.
  • Coordinate with the zoo’s Learning & Innovation Department to coordinate, develop and implement horticultural and botanical education programs for visitors, students, and community partners.
  • Support the zoo’s sustainability plans and objectives to reduce impacts on carbon, water, solid and liquid waste. Guide and support landscaping practices that reduce the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Manage the zoo’s irrigation system maintenance and design/installation of new or replacement systems, with an emphasis recirculation/reuse of gray water systems.
  • Manage departmental budgets including horticultural aspects of project budgets and assist in securing funding for horticultural projects.
  • Maintain current skills, professional expertise, and plant knowledge in the proper and safe techniques of grounds and horticulture functions including what plants are safe for animal species to have. Provide relevant landscape maintenance training. Supervise compliance for horticulture department operations, including pest management, chemical use, and equipment operations.
  • Recommend improvements; develop and implement short term and long-term landscape plans appropriate to renovate exhibit spaces or develop new exhibit spaces.
  • Use project management tools for scheduling meetings, and to identify, communicate, and plan workload including scheduling, implementation, equipment, and inventory needs for routine and event-specific tasks.
  • Support the zoo’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI) goals. Foster a diverse, respectful, inclusive and collaborative work environment with coworkers, other departments, and vendors.
  • Order supplies, materials, and equipment.
  • Resolve scheduling, implementation, equipment, and inventory issues.
  • Represent Horticulture on project teams across the zoo, as well, serve as main contact for community partners and work parties.
  • Contract and coordinate the work of vendors.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Job Requirements
Associate degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in botany, horticulture, biology, forestry, environmental sciences, or other related area of study; and four (4) or more years of experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience with landscaping, plant care, lawn equipment, and horticulture related chemicals.
Ability to balance and prioritize multiple tasks and requests and meet deadlines in a professional manner.
Employs best practices while continually seeking to improve effectiveness of the position and displaying an on-going commitment to learning and self-improvement.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills with the ability to adapt communication based on audience and purpose with inclusivity.
Ability to work effectively within diverse teams and environments while able to work independently and treat everyone with respect.
Ability to hold self accountable and handle change positively.
Ability to evaluate problems and to effectively solve in a timely manner, while responding to concerns with empathy and inclusivity.
Ability to identify and suggest changes that promote positive impacts with a lens for diversity and inclusion.
Ability to engage team members in open and honest communication and coach employees to develop their full potential.
Ability to work a flexible schedule that may include weekends and evenings.
Valid Washington state driver’s license.
State pesticide applicators license.

ISA Certified Arborist.
Knowledge of installation, maintenance, and repair of irrigation systems and SMART systems.
Geographic Information System (GIS) knowledge.
Knowledge and culture of plants, soil, horticultural practices, procedures, and principles.

This position may be required to regularly lift up to 35 pounds and occasionally life up to 50 pounds.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to perform essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather); work near moving mechanical parts; work in high, precarious places; fumes or airborne particles and toxic or caustic chemicals. The noise level in the work environment can be loud.

Pay: $84,500.00/annually plus benefits

Employment Requirements:

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a valid WA driver's license with a safe driving history. A criminal background check, driving record review, pre-employment physical, and pre-employment tuberculosis test will be required of the selected applicant.

COVID-19 Vaccination

As of November 24, 2021, employees working on or accessing zoo grounds are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If hired, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination by your first day of employment.
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
Employees may make requests for a reasonable accommodation based on a medical disability or for sincerely held religious beliefs. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
Application Priority Date: 9/30/2022

Application Directions: Applications are accepted online through our Jobs Page at zoo.org/jobs; no other forms of application will be accepted. A resume is required and a cover letter is optional.

Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in application and employment for any reason, including race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, age, disability or medical status including genetic information, and/or veteran’s status.

Woodland Park Zoo is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in all of its services. If you need accommodation in the application or interview process, please contact our recruiting team at careers@zoo.org.