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Category: Clerical

Chicago, Illinois

Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014




Title:                                    SPECIALIST, PLANT HEALTH CARE

Exemption Status:             Non-Exempt  (hourly)

Department:                       Plant Health Care

Reports to:                          Tom Tiddens

Regular or Seasonal:          Regular

Full-time or Part-time:      FT

Supervises:                          Interns, Seasonals and Volunteers


Position Overview:

To maintain quality plant collections in gardens, grounds, and turf through the use of an integrated pest management program including preventive, biological, cultural, and chemical control methods.



In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Monitor, identify, and determine appropriate control measures for pest activities including insects, diseases, weeds and animals.
  • Carry out treatments in a safe and legal manner including but not limited to applications of herbicides, insecticides, miticides, fungicides and repellents.
  • Perform fertilization of collections in the garden areas and grounds as required.
  • Carry out animal management activities in a safe and legal manner including but not limited to spraying repellents and trapping.        
  • Keep accurate records of all pest control activities and daily accounting of work performed.
  • Safely operate small equipment such as sprayers, chainsaws, mowers, leaf blowers, weed whips, and snow removal equipment.
  • Perform required maintenance on department vehicles, tools and equipment.
  • Prune the collections as required.
  • Serve as a horticultural resource for the Garden by teaching for the School of the Botanic Garden, leading tours, answering visitor and staff questions, writing articles, doing demonstrations, and giving media interviews.
  • Assist with other projects such as special events as requested.


Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture or commensurate experience
  • Two years hands on work experience with an emphasis on Plant Health Care and Integrated Pest Management
  • Maintain a valid Illinois pesticide applicator’s licenses in Ornamentals and Turf. 
  • Must be able to operate backpack sprayers and large hydraulic sprayers after minimal training.
  • Must be a licensed driver insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society. 
  • Must be able to work overtime as required by the operational needs of the Department.
  • Maintain a high level of computer literacy for purposes of interdepartmental documentation and communication.


Physical Demands:
Must be able to lift and carry 50 lbs.  Frequent bending, lifting, walking, pulling, pushing.  Must work outdoors in all types of weather conditions year-round including extreme heat and humidity, snow and ice.

Why Apply?
Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today.

Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.  

Candidates can apply at

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.     


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