Horticulturist Section Leader; The Morris Arboretum

Horticulturist Section Leader; The Morris Arboretum

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Horticulturist Section Leader; The Morris Arboretum

Job Profile Title
Supervisor, Grounds/Gardener

Job Description Summary
This position is responsible for the physical maintenance of the Arboretum, including wetland, woodlands, and meadows. It is additionally responsible for design, installation, care, and maintenance of plants and landscape features to the highest standard of excellence. This position regularly interacts with guests, occasionally teaches for the Arboretum's Education Department, and helps maintain accurate plant collection records. This position also supervises interns, seasonal employees, and volunteers.

Job Description

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania - located in the beautiful Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia - is one of America's oldest arboretums. We are seeking an experienced, full time Horticulturist with a passion for plants and public horticulture to join our team. This position is responsible for the physical maintenance of the Arboretum. This position is responsible for design, installation, care, and maintenance of plants and landscape features to the highest standard of excellence. This position regularly interacts with guests, occasionally teaches for the Arboretum's Education Department, and helps maintain accurate plant collection records. This position also supervises interns, seasonal employees, and volunteers. Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent professional development, health, and retirement benefits through the University of Pennsylvania.

Duties include planting, formative pruning, staking, fertilizing, irrigating, frequent inspection of plants for cultural or pest-related problems using accepted IPM strategies and subsequent treatments (pesticide application and/or cultural treatments). Other duties include, developing and planting annual flowering displays, lawn care, weed control, debris removal, mulching, and other practices which enhance presentation and plant health.

  • Is an enthusiastic ambassador for the Arboretum and the University though positive and helpful interaction with guests, members, staff, students, and donors.
  • Participates in garden development, plant selection, and planting of his/her section in consultation with the Director if Horticulture.
  • Coordinates pruning of large trees with the Chief Arborist.
  • Teach courses in the Arboretum's Education Department for amateurs and professionals. Participates as an instructor in training programs and field trips for interns and staff. May publish articles and lecture on horticultural topics to both the general public and professional audiences.
  • Occasional weekend work required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Associate degree in horticulture, natural lands management, environmental studies, or related field required. Bachelor's degree strongly preferred. Minimum of three years of strong field experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience preferred. Previous public garden employment a plus. Teaching and writing skills highly desirable. A valid driver's license is required, practice operating machinery preferred. Must be able to lift 50 pounds, work outside in all weather, walk, stand, and stoop for long periods. Must be able to obtain a Pennsylvania Pesticide Applicator License upon employment.

Working Conditions

Exposure to chemicals; outdoor exposure to weather; high noise environment; high dust, dirt, grease environment; requires extensive safety training or protective devices; exposure to moving machinery.

Physical Effort

Typically standing or walking, bending, crouching, stooping; intermittently sitting, standing, stooping; frequent lifting 25 lb

ing ladders / scaffolds; using tools requiring high dexterity

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Morris Arboretum

Pay Range
$17.58 - $26.96

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit: https://www.hr.upenn.edu/PennHR/benefits-pay

To apply, visit https://wd1.myworkdaysite.com/en-US/recruiting/upenn/careers-at-penn/job/Morris-Arboretum/Horticulturist-Section-Leader--The-Morris-Arboretum_JR00048278

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