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Association for Environmental & Outdoor education

AEOE strengthens environmental education in California by connecting providers, building professional expertise, and championing environmental literacy and outdoor learning.

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Horticulture Manager - Environmental Nature Center

  • February 19, 2024 5:18 PM
    Message # 13317913

    Learn more and apply at

    The Horticulture Manager is responsible for the development, protection and enhancement of the native plant communities and landscapes at the Environmental Nature Center, ENC Nature Preschool and Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. Candidate should be knowledgeable about native plants and threats to native habitats including plant pests, pathogens and diseases. Candidate will monitor and manage our plant communities so that they provide healthy habitat for native wildlife and are aesthetically pleasing to our human visitors. This is a hands-on position. The Horticulture Manager spends the majority of the day outside in all weather conditions engaged in physical activity, dividing their time between all three locations. Must be willing and able to commute to both Newport Beach and Silverado, CA. This is a Full-Time position. Pay Range: $18 – $22/hour.


    The Horticulture Manager works under the direct supervision of the Assistant Director.

    Essential Functions/Duties Include but Are Not Limited To:


    Daily Operations

    1. If opening, walk the grounds and assure trails are safe. Complete opening procedures check-list.
    2. Water plants in the propagation area, as well as unestablished new plantings (before the heat of the day).
    3. If closing, walk the grounds and assure that visitors have left. Complete closing procedures check-list.
    4. At Tucker, responsible for all facility maintenance, assuring that bird feeders are clean and filled, and assuring that restrooms are clean and well stocked with soap, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.
    5. Responsible for daily litter removal and disposal, and for emptying and maintaining all trash receptacles.
    6. Keep streams and pond systems clear of debris, ensure pump and water flow system are functioning correctly, shutting down the system if necessary.
    7. Responsible for notifying the Executive Director of any safety hazards that are not easily corrected, and for closing any trail if necessary.


    Plant Communities

    1. Implement or oversee the implementation of all horticulture improvements to the grounds including: planting, watering, trimming, weeding, irrigation and hardscape.    
    2. Develop and implement plans for habitat restoration and improvements to plant communities and landscapes. Consult with qualified experts when appropriate. Report to the Executive Director, Assistant Director, Site Development Committee or Program Committee as appropriate.
    3. Remove non-native invasive weeds (with and without the assistance of community volunteers).
    4. Assure that tools are sanitized between uses to avoid contaminating plants with pathogens (i.e. Phytophthora, weed seed, Euwallacea sp., Fusarium euwallaceae, etc.)
    5. Responsible for maintaining all irrigation systems and installing new irrigation when necessary.
    6. Recordkeeping: Record all plant removals, additions and replacements in facility specific databases.
    7. Research appropriate plants for placement in plant communities based upon educational opportunities, appropriateness in plant community, diversity within the plant community, appropriateness as wildlife habitat and continuity in regard to other plant communities. Collaborates with the Education Director to identify opportunities for programming and interpretation within the plant communities.
    8. The Horticulture Manager is a member of the Site Development Committee and Safety Committee and attends all committee meetings.


    Supervision/Volunteer Management

    1. Works with grounds volunteers, developing long-term productive relationships, growing the grounds volunteer program. Ensures that all grounds volunteers are properly trained and supervised.
    2. Responsible for interviewing, training and supervising Horticulture Interns, and growing the program over time. Responsible for ensuring that all Horticulture Interns are properly trained and supervised.
    3. Responsible for the supervision of any grounds related employees with the Facility Maintenance Manager. This supervision includes instructing employees about preferred methods for completing assigned tasks and leaving detailed directions for tasks to be completed.
    4. Responsible for the supervision of outside contractors as pertains to our facilities’ plant communities.


    Native Plant Propagation & Sales

    1. Responsible for growing, purchasing, maintaining, and selling plants native to Orange County (excluding hybrids and cultivars) in our Native Plant Sale areas at the ENC and at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, and at occasional Native Plant Sale events.
    2. Maintains database of plants propagated, including methods used, successes and failures.
    3. In the native plant sale areas and at special plant sale days, tag native plants for sale with ENC/Tucker branded plant tags (include price, plant characteristics, etc.)
    4. Keep the native plant sale areas, propagation areas, and equipment sheds neat and clean, and present plants for sale in an appealing manner.
    5. Assist with promoting native plant sales by providing information to the Assistant Director, including photos and information for a plant to be featured each month as our “Native Plant of the Month”.



    1. Work with the Facility Maintenance Manager to assist in addressing any needed building maintenance.
    2. Recordkeeping: including all physical improvements.
    3. Help develop and follow grounds budget. Arrange necessary purchases within budgetary limitations, obtaining approval from the Executive Director for large purchases.
    4. Maintain positive communication with all visitors.
    5. Ensure tools are secured prior to leaving for the day, and that dangerous tools are not left unattended.
    6. Staff the Nature Center(s) when requested. Work occasionally in the evenings and on weekends.  Mandatory attendance at special events (i.e. Fall Faire, Summer Soiree, etc.)
    7. Additional duties as assigned.


    Qualifications & Requirements

    1. Commitment to the mission, vision and core values of the Environmental Nature Center.
    2. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and demonstrate flexibility.
    3. Knowledge of California native plants highly desirable.
    4. Knowledge of appropriate planting and watering methods required or willingness to learn.
    5. Knowledge of native plant maintenance (trimming, dead-heading, etc.) highly desirable.
    6. Knowledge of native plant production, including asexual and sexual propagation is desirable.
    7. Knowledge of transplanting techniques is desirable.
    8. Knowledge of seed collection, viability assessment, storage, and packaging is desirable.
    9. Ability to operate power tools, gardening equipment, etc.
    10. Ability to memorize and recall facts, figures, and information.
    11. Ability to move up to fifty pounds and set up equipment.
    12. Ability to hike on trails, and traverse stairs and uneven terrain while carrying equipment.
    13. Ability to make independent decisions and respond to immediate needs of students, emergency situations, and program needs.
    14. Ability to work outside in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures.
    15. Regular, reliable and punctual attendance is essential because of limited resources, costs, productivity and quality continuity.
    16. Ability to work irregular hours, including occasional weekends and nights.
    17. Ability to interact successfully with supervisors, co-workers, teachers, parents and students.
    18. Fingerprinting for a background check will be required.
    19. Computer (Macintosh, Microsoft Office, Filemaker) experience required or willingness to learn.
    20. Must possess a valid driver’s license. Must have reliable transportation to work.


    Skill to:

    1. Communicate effectively in the English language, in both oral and written forms.
    2. Understand and carry out oral and written instructions in an independent manner.
    3. Understand and apply pertinent personnel policies, laws, rules, and regulations.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding, patient, and receptive attitude toward visitors of varied age groups, including adults in small as well as large group activities.


    Education, Training, and Experience:

    1. Botanical, nature center, and/or native landscaping experience is preferred.
    2. Bachelor's degree in horticulture, botany, natural sciences or a related field preferred.
    3. Current CPR and First Aid Certificates are required within two months of employment.


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