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Greenhouse Manager
Category: Horticulture

Cantigny Park
Wheaton, Illinois

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014

Greenhouse Manager

Cantigny Park


Position: Greenhouse Manager                                             

Reports to: Director of Horticulture, Cantigny Park

Cantigny Park:

Located in Wheaton, Illinois, Cantigny Park is the former home of Colonel Robert McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.  Cantigny Park is home of the McCormick Museum, First Division Museum,  spectacular gardens, picnic grounds, nature trails, a Visitors Center with banquet and dining facilities, educational and recreational programs, a championship golf course, and much more.  Explore Cantigny at


Cantigny Gardens:

The Horticulture Department at Cantigny Park currently has an opening for a Greenhouse Manager. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who loves to work with plants, enjoys working in a creative environment, and enjoys working with people. The greenhouse is an impressive 18,000 sq. ft. and produces all of Cantigny’s annual flowers and other unique, hard to find plant material.  Designed as a display garden, Cantigny is a 500 acre property with 29 acres of formal gardens which showcases trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that thrive in Midwest growing conditions. Created by renowned landscape architect Franz Lipp, the twenty-nine acres of formal gardens at Cantigny are a horticultural masterpiece.  Cantigny possesses one of the largest display gardens in the Midwest with more than 160,000 annuals, perennials, ground covers and flowering shrubs and trees.  Cantigny’s gardens are a source of education, recreation and inspiration to thousands of visitors annually. 


Principal Function:

The greenhouse manager is a “hands-on” position responsible for managing all greenhouse operations, overseeing and coordinating the production of high quality plants and identifying & implementing greenhouse operational efficiencies. Principle function is to develop and maintain an effective team of paid and volunteer staff to support greenhouse operations. This includes supervising Senior Grower, Grower/Crop Logistics, grower assistant(s), and volunteers.  Essential functions include assessing the efficiency of operations, assessing quality of plant material and working in collaboration with the horticulture manager to develop high-quality, innovative designs for horticulture displays.



  • Responsible for hiring, training and supervising the activities of; Senior Grower, Grower/Crop Logistics, Interior Florist, Grower Assistant(s), and Volunteers, assisting with greenhouse operations.
  • Provides for the safety of all direct reporting staff members by: a) training staff in all applicable areas of safety training including but not limited to the usage of personal protective equipment, proper operation of tools/machinery, and proper handling of hazardous materials; b) documenting the safety training completed by their direct reports and coordinating the filing of such documentation with Human Resources; and c) the timely reporting of accidents/incidents involving their direct reports to the Cantigny Security department. 
  • Works in successful collaboration with the horticulture manger to develop innovative plant designs and oversees all production & procurement of all plant material for horticulture operations.
  • Provides and assists in identifying necessary learning opportunities for staff to develop and innovate plant production, floral displays and greenhouse operations.
  • Responsible for planning and budgeting for the production of all crops and related materials necessary to fulfill Cantigny needs. Assists in monitoring budget activity relating to all greenhouse operations.
  • Serves on the Cantigny Green Team and provides leadership and coordination for implementing sustainable operations into all aspects of horticulture and conservation initiatives, as it aligns with Cantigny Master Plan and the Horticulture Strategic Plan.
  • Serves as an active member of the Horticulture snow removal team. Will be required to work during inclement weather conditions while overseeing greenhouse operations.
  • The greenhouse manager will be required to support the 7 day operations.
  •  Orders and/or oversees the ordering of materials and supplies for the greenhouse operations, receives shipments, maintains purchasing and receiving records, verifies invoices and forwards for director's approval.
  • Oversees and plans production schedules, space utilization, and procurement and storage of all production materials needed to fill crop orders.
  • Coordinates disposition of horticultural materials to non-profit organizations upon Director of Horticulture’s approval.
  • Oversees growth and maintenance of plants being produced through proper watering, fertilizing, pest control, spacing, sanitation and other horticultural techniques.
  • Oversees the control of the greenhouse environment management computer system. 
  • Coordinates an Integrated Pest Management Program relating to production crops. Maintains an Illinois Pesticide Applicator’s License and oversees the mixing and application of pesticides using safe practices as trained and in accordance with EPA and Illinois Dept. of Agriculture standards.     
  • Oversees interior horticulture & floral displays and interior floral displays throughout Cantigny facilities, gift shop garden and sales of plant material through the Gift Shop and Pro Shop. 
  • Insures that all production facilities and equipment are kept organized, clean and operating properly and notifies the Director of Horticulture if they are not.
  • Maintains cultural records and inventories of plant supplies and their designated use, vendor and contact information.  
  • Actively participates in various Cantigny activities and functions involving the recreation and education of visitors, including Open House, conferences, lectures, tours, demonstrations, etc.



  • Demonstrated management experience in fast paced, dynamic work environment.
  • Outstanding communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Passion for plants and flare for innovating plant production.
  • B.S. Degree in Horticulture or related field (minimum) Masters preferred.
  • 5 years experience in horticulture production or related field.
  • Proficient in operation of personal computers including Microsoft Office.
  • Ability to obtain an Illinois Pesticide Applicators license
  • Must have an Illinois Driver's License
  • Must be able to lift 50 pound items from floor to above shoulders.
  • Must be willing to work weekend days and some holidays when necessary.


How to apply:

Interested applicants must submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Human Resources at: MFResumes@McCormickFoundation.Org


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