Baltimore, MD
Maryland Zoo is an EEO employer - M/F/Vets/Disabled

General Summary:  The Horticulturist will provide grounds and landscaping maintenance of assigned sections and assist with horticulture planning, design, and overall appearance of the Zoo.   This position reports to the Horticulture Manager.

 Essential Functions:

Primary Function:

  • Provide routine maintenance to include, but not limited to, watering, spraying, weeding, fertilizing, pesticide application, pruning, mowing, mulching, edging, blowing, and leaf and debris removal;
  • Maintain landscaping of assigned exhibit;
  • Participate in the planning, designing, purchasing, planting, and maintenance of display gardens, exhibits and other related areas;
  • Harvest plants, and transplant or pot and label them;
  • Observe and document plant health for possible signs of insects or diseases;
  • Operate tractors and other machinery and equipment to fertilize, cultivate, harvest, and spray fields and plants;
  • Inspect plants and bud ties to assess quality;
  • Dig, cut, and transplant seedlings, cuttings, trees, and shrubs;
  • Move containerized shrubs, plants, and trees using  ball cart or tractors;
  • Maintain cleanliness at work stations;
  • Haul and spread topsoil, fertilizer, peat moss, and other materials to condition soil, using wheelbarrows or carts and shovels;
  • Maintain knowledge of plants and associated problems such as diseases, weeds, and insect pests;
  • Determine plant growing conditions, such as greenhouses, hydroponics, or natural settings, and set planting and care schedules;
  • Assist with preventative maintenance on all equipment;
  • Shovel areas clear of snow and ice;
  • Fulfill on-call duty twenty-four hours a day in order to report as emergency personnel for situations such as snow removal and storm damage;
  • Assist Exhibit Specialists with various projects;
  • Assist with greenhouse maintenance;
  • Maintain interior foliage plants in public areas and administrative offices;
  • Participate in professional development and obtain industry certifications, as assigned;
  • Ensure guest safety at all times;
  • Perform other duties as assigned; and,
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures of the Zoo.

 Communication (Internal and External):

  • Participate in keeper encounters, presentations and other educational zoo programs;
  • Attend area, department and All Staff meetings;
  • Respond appropriately to guests’ questions, comments, or concerns;
  • Communicate with fellow employees by a campus wide radio as needed following Zoo radio etiquette and protocol at all times; and,
  • Contact an appropriate staff member necessary to resolve guest issues.

 Management of Resources (financial, human resources, facilities):

  • Train volunteers to perform routine maintenance and special work assignments; and
  • Must be able to work with volunteers assigned to the department.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Associates degree in Horticulture, Science or related field preferred.  Related horticulture experience will be considered in lieu of a degree. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field may be considered in lieu of experience requirement.


  • Minimum of five years of horticulture experience in commercial landscaping or related industry strongly preferred;
  • Prior and/ or current industry certification(s) preferred;
  • Must possess plant knowledge; and,
  • Must be 21 years old and posses a valid driver’s license.

Working Conditions:

  • Physical demands are in excess of those for sedentary work- must be able to stand and remain active, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, push, pull, climb and balance for an eight hour shift;
  • Must be able to walk large areas of the Zoo as needed;
  • Must be able to work in an outdoor weather environment in all seasons and weather, including heat/humidity, cold temperatures, and/or wet conditions;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule to include weekends, holidays, and special events;
  • Must be able to exert up to 75 pounds of force occasionally, 50 pounds frequently and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects;  
  • Must be able to work around animals including bee hives;
  • Exposure to zoo animals and insects, Zoonotic diseases, and risk of animal attack;
  • Exposure to zoo collection animals, non-collection animals, poison ivy and other naturally occurring irritants, and stinging insects; and,
  • Potential exposure to Zoonotic diseases and risk of animal attack.


  • Must be able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including computer, telephone, two-way radio, vehicles, golf carts, hand tools, gardening/carpentry tools (tractor, weed eater, tiller, etc.), machinery, etc (non-motorized tools are predominantly used);
  • Will be trained and must be able to operate and maintain backhoe, skid steer, or any other equipment obtained by the department and necessary to perform the job; and
  • Must have proficiency with tiller, weed eaters, blowers and other landscape equipment.


  • Friendly and outgoing;
  • Able to work independently and as a team;
  • Possess a positive and patient attitude; and,
  • Possess excellent verbal communication skills.

Traits Desirable:

  • Ability to work with individuals from a wide variety of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds; and,
  • Self-directed, collaborative and detail-oriented.

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