Curator of Horticulture & Grounds


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Position Title: Curator of Horticulture and Grounds
Department: Grounds and Horticulture
Position Status: Full-time, Salaried, Exempt


This position is responsible for overseeing the day to day operations of the grounds and horticulture departments.

Essential Job Functions:


  • Works with the Vice President of Living Collections and CEO to create and manage the Department budget and long range planning.
  • Coordinates with V.P. of Living Collections to plan new exhibits, exhibit maintenance, and grounds maintenance.
  • Assist Development Department in preparing funding proposals for horticulture projects.
  • Represent zoo in meetings and interaction with current and potential donors, partners and other stakeholders.
  • Develop individual and group volunteer opportunities in collaboration with the Director of Volunteer Services.
  • Create a positive work environment where horticulture staff, interns and volunteers feel supported and valued.
  • Manages plant collection and consults with Curators regarding management of plant life in exhibits.
  • Sets goals for department with management team.
  • Monitors plant collection care, risk reduction plans (tree care).
  • Maintains / monitors contracts with waste hauler and organic waste hauler.
  • Attends Animal management and Department Head meetings as required.
  • Assists Education Department with Docent Training Program.
  • Assists with day to day zoo operations as needed.
  • Actively participates in senior staff retreats.
  • Monitors performance of department management team, assists with disciplinary actions as needed.
  • Completes annual performance review of management team.
  • Maintains good working relationships with related organizations:
    • Association of Zoological Horticulture
    • Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden
    • National Aviary
    • Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
    • Garden Clubs, particularly Garden Club of Allegheny County

Staff Management

  • Provides leadership, supervises and schedules department management team.
  • Monitors staff schedules, safety procedures and training.
  • Maintains an ongoing understanding of the Bargaining Unit Contract and its implementation.
  • Provides coaching and counseling of Assistant Curator and Grounds Manager as needed.
  • Reviews procedures, protocols and staff schedules as needed.
  • Coordinates, with management team, various zoo programs and events (rentals, special events, zoo gala, etc.) and related zoo operations.

Other Functions:

  • Performs all other duties as assigned and directed.

Performance Factors:

  1. Attendance and Dependability: The employee can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work. Employee can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments.
  2. Communication and Contact: The employee communicates effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society.
  3. Relationships with Others: The employee works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society. Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others, and works to maintain constructive working relationships.
  4. Provides excellent customer service in the areas of guest relations and park beautification:
    • Answers visitor inquiries or finds someone who can;
    • Is knowledgeable of location of exhibits, restrooms, concessions, rentals, etc.
    • Disposes of litter and waste throughout the park and zoo facilities.


Bachelor of Science in ornamental horticulture, related area or equivalent experience is required and ten or more years’ experience is preferred; working knowledge of computers and Microsoft software preferred; previous supervisory experience is required.

Physical Requirements:

Position works in an office setting as well as outdoors equally. Must be able to push, pull, carry, lift up to 50 lbs., bend, stoop, walk, stand, etc. Must be able to work evenings, weekends and holidays; local and out of town travel may be required.

Submit resume and cover letter with salary requirements to:

Zoological Society of Pittsburgh
Human Resources Department
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
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