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Iowa Arboretum-Curator of Collections and Grounds-Wed, 02/12/2020 - 6:10pm

Curator of Collections and Grounds


Iowa Arboretum
1875 Peach Ave
Madrid , IA 50156

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Job Description 

The Curator of Collections and Grounds (CCG) is responsible for all aspects of managing the plant collection and expected to take a leadership role in the design, construction, and ongoing maintenance of established and new plantings. The Curator of Collections and Grounds reports to the Executive Director. The Curator of Collections and Grounds is responsible for the coordination and supervision of full and part-time horticulture staff members along with supervising volunteers. Working with the Executive Director, they will develop the protocols necessary to uphold excellent management and horticultural practices. This position will also work with the Executive Director in the development of programs and managing budgets to reach or exceed annual goals. The Curator of Collections and Grounds maintains detailed records and program evaluations.

Duties & Responsibilities 

• Coordinate and monitor living-collections curation, including plant specimen labeling, mapping, inventory, and other forms of collection documentation
• Plan and coordinate projects ranging from small garden or exhibit renovation to major construction projects including obtaining funds, grants and/or sponsorships to complete projects (design, materials, labor, and maintenance).
• Establish horticultural goals for subsequent seasons and years; develop and manage annual budget based on these goals
• Serve as a leader for the horticulture staff, providing a good example for others to follow, and insuring good morale. Supervise, coach, and appraise the skill development of the horticulture staff and volunteers. Provide clear and concise staff evaluations.
• Select and grow plants in the arboretum’s greenhouse for the annual spring and fall plant sales.
• Develop environmentally friendly and sustainable management practices; research the best practices in the area.
• Assist with training and educational programs by planning and participating in lectures, workshops, and tours. Write articles for the arboretum’s newsletter.
• Serve as a technical resource for the public and professional colleagues.
• Ensure that all vehicles, tools, materials, plants, equipment, and other resources are procured and available when necessary and used safely, effectively, and efficiently. Ensure that these resources are well maintained, well organized, and re-ordered promptly. Implement and oversee inventory control systems.
• Develop a plan and process for snow and ice removal, including the use of plows, shovels, ice chippers, snowblowers, and salt spreaders for weekdays and weekends.
• Write requests for project proposals, specifications for contracts and supervise all horticultural contractors working on the site. Ensure that written specifications are fulfilled and work is conducted in a safe and timely manner. Manage contracts.
• Collaborate with the staff of other non-profit organizations on diverse projects related to the mission of the Arboretum.
• Assist with special events.
• Implements the policies established by the Board of Directors. Present department report at each board meeting. Lead the Plant Collections Committee.

Education and Experience 

A) a four-year baccalaureate degree or commensurate experience; B) horticultural, organizational, fiscal, and managerial experience in a professional setting; C) Strong public speaking, communication, and presentation skills; D) supervisory, collaborative and interpersonal skills; E) Knowledge in gardening, horticulture, plant propagation, greenhouse management, habitat restoration, and environmental ecology; F) Computer experience to include Excel, Filemaker Pro and Microsoft Office; G) A valid driver’s license is required.

The Curator of Collections and Grounds must be an energetic, creative, and strategic thinker along with having organizational leadership, public relations, and planning skills and a proven record in arboretum/and or horticulture management. The CCG must have the ability to oversee the development of educational programs that involve people from diverse backgrounds. The CCG is required to build rapport with donors, volunteers, and the public with diplomacy, discretion, and customer-service orientation.

Application Instructions 

Please send a copy of your resume, a cover letter, and names of three references to Mark Schneider - Executive Director at

Full Name 
Mark Schneider