The Curatorial Director of Horticulture & Facilities is a hands-on position requiring a strong combination of horticultural expertise, scholarship and administrative skills. With a small staff, this position requires that the Director works side-by-side in the gardens with the Deputy Director of Horticulture, as well as with other horticulture staff and volunteers, creating a positive work environment where all feel supported and valued. The Curatorial Director is responsible for the implementation of institution-wide horticultural design goals and objectives, and facilities management/maintence, as established in collaboration with the Executive Director and the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees.
1. Horticulture / Grounds Management
a. With direct input from the Deputy Director of Horticulture, oversee maintenance, improvement, and repair of the grounds, historic gardens, propagation facilities, workspaces, historic structures and equipment.
b. Perform horticultural maintenance tasks such as planting, pruning, weeding, mulching, edging, and watering, utilizing accepted cultural practices.
c. Design annual and perennial garden displays (apart from those assigned to the Deputy Director) and select woody plants for addition to RRA’s collection.
d. Bid out and secure annual contracts for lawn and leaf maintenance, tree pruning, plant health care, irrigation maintenance, and other horticultural and facilities services as necessary. Serve as the main organizational point of contact for grounds contractors and supervise all contract work on the grounds.
e. Based upon previous experience, act as Project Manager to work with staff, board, contracted professionals, and others, to plan for and implement capital projects related to RRA grounds and gardens (ex. disaster response and recovery, landscape improvement and renovation, grounds master planning).
2. Personnel Management / Recruitment
a. Directly oversee and work collaboratively with the Deputy Director of Horticulture.
b. Support the Deputy Director of Horticulture in the recruitment and oversight of Assistant Gardener, seasonal gardeners, volunteers, and interns.
3. Administrative / Operational Support
a. Develop annual Grounds budget and track all related expenses.
b. With input from Deputy Director, set departmental priorities on both a day-to-day and mid-term basis.
c. Assist Financial Manager and/or Director of Development in preparing funding proposals for horticultural projects.
d. Represent RRA in meetings and interactions with current and potential donors, partners, and other stakeholders. This is of particular importance in collaborating with the City of Summit, a major partner of RRA.
e. Assist in the planning and execution of RRA special events.
4. Collections Management / Curation
a. Maintain collections information currently in BG-Base, RRA’s electronic plant collections data platform. Accession and catalog incoming woody plant material, update accession records, work with BG-Base staff to maintain and troubleshoot software. *NOTE: We are willing to consider creating a new database under the Curatorial Director’s supervision.
b. Generate display labels for plant specimens in RRA collection and for memorial benches and trees.
c. Ensure that plant acquisitions align with organizational mission, educational priorities, aesthetic goals, and the Master Site Plan.
5. Adult Education
a. In collaboration with the Deputy Director of Horticulture and the Director of Education, promote RRA through offering/participating/leading workshops, tours (weekly), and events, and upon occasion interacting with radio, print or other media.
b. Interact with local and national horticultural societies and organizations, offering expertise, and seeking out learning opportunities and professional development for the Deputy Director and horticultural staff.
• Minimum of BS/BA from an accredited institution required (advanced degree preferred) with a focus in Horticulture, Plant Science, Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources Management, Forestry, or other related field.
• Minimum of 4 years experience working in a public garden.
• New Jersey Pesticide Operator’s License, or ability to acquire same within 6 months of hire.
• Excellent communication skills (blogging, writing and public speaking). Experience with social media a plus.
• Exceptional presentation skills.
• Ability to take initiative and set priorities.
• Must be able to safely operate tools, vehicles, and specialized equipment, and to lift at least 50 lbs.
• The Curatorial Director of Horticulture must be willing and able to perform duties of other divisions as directed and be available for “stand-by” work on a predetermined basis or in response to emergency.
• The Curatorial Director of Horticulture & Facilities will arrange with the Deputy Director of Horticulture and Assistant Gardener to alternatively cover weekend schedules.
To apply, please send resume and cover letter to