Director of Grounds
Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
The Director of Grounds leads Dow Gardens in horticultural direction by serving as an expert in horticulture. The Director of Grounds will lead our grounds team by working collaboratively across campus to achieve the mission of Dow Gardens and play an influential and high-impact role in the success of the Gardens. The position will collaborate closely with the Executive Director of Dow Gardens and other leadership roles on a variety of strategic initiatives that address the evolving needs of the organization.
Since being established in 1899, as a home for Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow and family, the 110-acre Dow Gardens now welcomes more than 200,000 guests per year. Visitors are invited to leave the pathway and explore the uniquely-designed landscape, take a tour of the historic Pines Home, participate in one of many hands-on educational programs, stroll the nation’s longest canopy walk, and discover beautiful art and music in a relaxed setting.
Duties & Responsibilities
• Responsible for the daily oversight and upkeep of the campus grounds including historic preservation, maintenance, landscape management, and design.
• Will work under the direction of the Executive Director of Dow Gardens to develop and execute an overall grounds plan.
• Prepares and administers horticulture department budget to include budget monitoring, strategic planning, capital projects, and facility maintenance.
• Develops and Implements best practices and departmental policies and procedures for both small- and large-scale projects, by regularly meeting with team members to discuss successes, opportunities, technical challenges, and resolutions to achieve exceptional horticultural standards throughout the Gardens.
• Identify and address opportunities for efficiencies including operational processes, time management, staffing, and scheduling, for continuous improvement.
• Directly manages and leads the grounds leadership team, and provides overall management of the grounds through communication, planning, delegation, supervision, and active performance management; coaching, counseling, and recognition. Manages direct reports and others up to 85% of time.
• Fosters creativity and growth, and advocates for new ideas, to maintain relevancy in the botanical garden experience, while preserving the historic integrity of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Estate.
• Adopts a mindset of continuous education for grounds team and self, attending trainings, meetings, seminars/workshops, to enhance knowledge and skills.
• Has a pulse on the grounds team’s dynamics and well-being, addressing issues early and fostering a positive team culture that promotes collaboration, innovation, and success aligned with the organization’s goals.
• Delivers lectures, seminars, and workshops for internal programs and external groups including garden clubs, and horticultural professionals, and assists in educational programming and other broad horticultural-related activities as assigned.
Education and Experience
• 10+ years progressive experience working in a public garden setting
• Proven ability to lead and mentor team members to achieve their highest potential
• Positivity, enthusiasm, and energetic characteristics
• Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, plant science, soil science, arboriculture, turf or related field
• Broad hands-on knowledge of standard horticultural practices including but not limited to planting fertilization, irrigation, propagation, pruning, integrated pest management and turf care practices
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