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Director of Horticulture
Category: Horticulture

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Claremont, California

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014

Director of Horticulture

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden


Position Summary

The Director of Horticulture is responsible for management of the gardens, grounds and living plant collections of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in a professional, display quality manner with focus on plant care and health. Supervises departmental staff with regard to living collections and grounds, curation and records, and nursery. Works closely with inter-departmental colleagues, with emphases on those in Production and Sales, Visitor Services, and Development.


Essential Functions

  • Provides strong leadership for the Department of Horticulture at RSABG, guiding both people and plants to achieve RSABG’s mission.
  • Develops, manages and maintains existing gardens and plant collections at RSABG. Designs and installs new gardens and plant collections within the framework of the Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and Accession Policy. Responsible for oversight of routine and specialized maintenance of all areas of the Garden grounds, with emphasis on plant care, IPM and irrigation systems. Oversight of planting activities, including placement of all plants and record keeping. Creates a visually pleasing environment for garden visitors year around.
  • Responsible for departmental finances including preparation of annual budgets to meet operational and capital needs and monitoring of quarterly financial statements to achieve budgetary expectations; works closely with Director of Finance to ensure adherence to organizational policies regarding financial transactions and record keeping.
  • Establishes departmental goals and actively monitors progress in all areas, making mid course corrections as needed.
  • Manages, supervises and evaluates all horticulture department staff (currently ~10), including interns; provides direction to ensure optimal performance and productivity. Plans and implements professional development exercises and corrections to performance as needed.
  • Maintains appropriate files as required for the department’s operations and archival record keeping; exercises active oversight of the plants record staff and database.
  • Responsible for oversight of inventory of tools and supplies, maintenance of equipment, and ordering of supplies and equipment as needed to service Garden facilities and plant collection.
  • Develops scope of services, reviews contracts, selects and monitors outside contractors.
  • Directs departmental collecting and fieldwork activities in collaboration with other Garden departments.
  • Oversees sustainable best practices: develops environmentally friendly and sustainable garden management practices consistent with the overall goals of RSABG; researches best practices in the garden arena, including evaluating the work of other local and national organizations.
  • Facilitates, assists and develops departmental and institutional staff, researcher and graduate student use of experimental gardens.
  • Conducts guided tours of RSABG; lectures and writes on horticulture / native plant garden topics; attends events (e.g., exhibit openings, development events, dedications, media and PR events) as required; participates in community education and outreach (e.g., by teaching through the Garden’s Community Education Program or Volunteer training or in-service sessions).
  • Works cooperatively with colleagues in other departments to develop, install and enhance changing exhibits on the grounds, as well as organizational programs and activities, including but not limited to:  
  • Director of Development on fund raising efforts including proposal preparation, outreach and interaction with donors.
  • Director of Visitor Services on coordination and implementation of educational and interpretive programs, exhibits, and special events.
  • Directors of Conservation Program and Research on content of interpretive materials.
  • Develops and manages earned-income opportunities in collaboration with other Garden staff;
  • Networks and maintains connections with other horticultural professionals in the garden and nursery spheres. Attends training sessions and meetings to keep current in areas pertaining to the position.
  • Assists with other aspects of Garden operations as required.


Education, Experience and Skills Requirements

  • Master’s degree or greater in horticulture or related field and five years of experience in public garden or arboreta environments (extensive successful work experience demonstrating appropriate knowledge and skills may replace degree requirements).
  • Excellent management, supervisory, communication and leadership skills; ability to lead teams of diverse individuals to achieve small and large-scale projects. 
  • Knowledge of California native plants and their horticultural requirements (or willingness to learn quickly on the job and background necessary to do so [e.g., training in plant sciences]). 
  • Knowledge of the pests and diseases of California native plants and their appropriate biological and/or chemical controls (or willingness to learn quickly on the job and background necessary to do so [e.g., prior training in IPM or plant pathology]). 
  • Knowledge of irrigation systems (or willingness to learn quickly on the job and via professional development opportunities).
  • Computer literacy including BG-Base, FileMakerPro, MS Office applications. 
  • Ability to maneuver in narrow or confined places around fragile plants. Must be able to lift carry and carry 20 pounds for 100 yards. 
  • California State Drivers License (or ability to acquire such quickly). 


Qualified candidates please send cover letter and resume to:

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Attention:  Adeline Ojeda 

1500 N College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711

E-mail: or apply on our website at

Fax to (909) 626-3489




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