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Director, Landscape and Living Collections Cultivation

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #488
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Summary:  This position is responsible for directing and providing leadership for the development and curation of the living collections on the Gardens grounds and conservatories according to the department goals, strategic plan, and collections policy. Core responsibilities will be to organize landscape and plant maintenance activities and hold staff accountable to the highest standards of landscape maintenance and plant care. Develop and maintain long-range landscape plans, a canopy management plan, and garden area descriptions / assessments. Provide leadership in designing new landscapes and incorporating living collections as well as ensuring the health and survival of existing plant collections. Build staff capacity to support living collections development, landscape maintenance quality and ensure optimum plant care. Provide leadership to supervisors in requesting additional plant species for their areas, reviewing plant requests from a site wide perspective to ensure the highest relevance of the living collections, displaying maximum plant diversity in aesthetic designs while building ex-situ conservation and research capacity.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Direct and provide leadership to managers and supervisors to ensure the quality of landscape maintenance and plant care are maintained at the highest level, to include overseeing / guiding modification of soil conditions, irrigation, and other growing environment factors to support the plant health and highest level of plant diversity
  • Provide leadership to managers, supervisors, and horticulture staff to maintain excellent plant records on the gardens grounds including plant accessions, labels, and cultivation information recording and provide feedback on living collections database functions
  • Work with the SVP Horticulture and Living Collections to create, maintain, and implement a living collections development and management strategy for the Gardens grounds and conservatory plant collections
  • Develop and maintain a site wide canopy management plan including prioritizing trees to be included in the Garden
  • Select species for acquisition to the living collections in the targeting module of LCMS / Index Seminum and review and approve selections by horticulture supervisors and staff
  • Direct supervisors for collections planning at the individual area level and site wide to enhance conservation and research capacity of the collections
  • Provide oversite to maintain the health of plants in the living collections, ensuring propagation / acquisition requests are submitted to maintain the health of plants, landscape quality, and to develop new displays
  • Assess and develop recommendations for changes in policies and procedures within the division and submits recommendations to the SVP Horticulture and Living Collections and continually reviews operations and processes, implementing innovation and efficiency
  • Lead and participate in field collection of plant material and conservation horticulture related capacity building projects nationally and internationally and recommend horticulture staff to participate in fieldwork
  • Participate in horticultures curation and field collections review meetings and chair these meetings in absence of SVP Horticulture
  • Work with the landscape supervisors to develop short-, medium- and long-term landscape plans and designs including budgets oversee the landscape design process
  • Develop and manage budgets including landscape operational budgets, project budgets, horticultural capital equipment budget, and track and monitor performance towards budgets continually examining ways to improve efficiency
  • Participate in developing funding resources for the landscape, living collections and field work by assembling information for funding proposals, including preparing landscape designs, writing grants and participating in donor tours
  • Ensure the development, training, and mentorship of managers, supervisors, and staff by producing and implementing staff development plans and support supervisors in doing the same for their staff, seek out and present training opportunities for staff for inclusion into budgets
  • Work with the Volunteer Office to ensure efficient and effective use of volunteers by staff and encourage staff to value and show appreciation of volunteers
  • Manage the performance management process by setting goals, maintaining performance records, providing written evaluations, establishing performance development plans, and conducting on-going performance feedback
  • Provide leadership, training, and daily supervision to horticulture supervisor team; promote a culture of teamwork and mutual support, monitor employee productivity, workload, and morale with the goal of promoting employee satisfaction while accomplishing the Garden’s mission.
  • Participate in the selection and hiring of staff and their orientation
  • Act as the contact person for other Garden directors: Review proposals for events, construction / and temporary art installations, and ensure that the implementation of these are done so in a way that does not cause damage to the living collections and landscapes
  • Submit and follow up on Facilities and Construction maintenance requests for living collections landscapes and associated operations, coordinates with Facilities and Construction on irrigation, garden renovations, and equipment maintenance
  • Order supplies and equipment as necessary and maintain replacement schedule for large equipment
  • Establish compliance and safety standards/procedures for horticulture operations, and ensures that departments are compliant in these areas including ensuring staff are appropriately certified/trained


  • Senior Leadership:  Develops and implements strategies to fulfill the Garden’s mission; demonstrates innovative and strategic thinking, adaptability, and flexibility in problem-solving and decision making; applies understanding of business and financials into decision making, building capacity and process improvements that align with the Garden’s mission; inspires peers and staff; develops, coaches engages and mobilizes others to fulfill the Garden’s mission; develops and mentors staff for future roles to advance and secure the Garden’s mission.
  • CommunicationListens to others and asks questions for clarification; writes clearly and presents information accurately; speaks professionally and responds well to questions; supports positive visitor relations.
  • Collaboration:  Demonstrates teamwork and promotes respect in the workplace; engages in problem-solving and group initiatives; cooperates in implementing procedures and process improvements; strives for positive visitor experiences.
  • Accountability: Demonstrates commitment to responsibilities and adaptability to changes; effectively prioritizes, troubleshoots, and takes appropriate actions; follows policies and procedures, meets deadlines and safety or quality standards; strives to proactively address visitor and internal colleagues’ concerns.
  • Problem Solving: Identifies and resolves problems; recommends solutions and demonstrates creativity and resourcefulness; exhibits sound and accurate judgment in the decision-making process; includes appropriate people in making decisions.
  • Stewardship:  Promotes and adheres to sustainability, safety, and security protocols; fosters a culture of respect, diversity, and inclusion; demonstrates effective and prudent use of Garden resources; maximizes contributions during work hours.                                

Qualifications and/or Experience:

  • (7+) years’ relevant and increasingly responsible horticulture management experience, inclusive of developed strategies, executed business plans, staff supervision and managing a variety of horticulture operations at a botanical / public garden
  • Minimum of (5) years staff management experience
  • Minimum of (2) years’ volunteer management experience required
  • Significant plant and plant cultivation knowledge
  • Experience with designing and maintaining landscapes with large amounts of plant diversity
  • Proven knowledge of botanic garden living collections management and curation
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with internal team members and external organizations
  • Strong business acumen and understanding of financial operating budget process to effectively manage a divisional budget; ability to develop and analyze spreadsheets and reports to manage all aspects of business including expenditure trends and shifting needs
  • Scheduling flexibility that allows working occasional weekends and evenings is required 
  • Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by date of hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination will be required.
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required


  • Master’s degree in horticulture, landscape design, botany, biology, science, or related field required.
  • An equivalent combination of skills, education and experience may be considered.                                   

Computer Skills:

  • Proficient experience using Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Outlook, Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher)
  • Ability to use the Gardens plant records system and target database
  • Proficient experience using financial systems for tracking and reporting

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Certified pesticide applicators license
  • ISA Certified Arborist certification

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to lift and carry up to 80 lbs. (i.e., load, unload and move gardening supplies, medium to heavy weight tools and equipment)
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights (i.e., climb ladders, etc.)
  • Must be able to work outdoors in extreme heat and cold, year- round
  • Ability to walk about facility frequently throughout work day; requires standing, walking, bending, stooping, and reaching for extended periods of time
  • Ability to wear Garden issued Personal Protective Equipment, including a full-face respirator
  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing)

Work Environment:  

  • 60% office work at a computer; 40% standing inside or outside
  • Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions (i.e., in temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed)
  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions regarding horticulture collection

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:

  • Guests, Donors
  • Professional committees and peer organizations
  • Construction contractors, vendors, consultants
  • All levels of staff and volunteers

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
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Location on Google Maps
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America