Horticultural Specialist

Requisition Number: 
Plant Information Service
Job Status: 
The work schedule is 20 hours per week and requires flexibility throughout the year. From April through October, the work schedule includes one weekend day. From November through March, the work schedule is generally on weekdays.

The Plant Information Service answers more than 38,000 garden related questions each year through a walk-up window, phone hotline, e-mail, mail, and social media. Working with approximately 100 master gardener volunteers, the Horticultural Specialist strives to ensure all technical horticultural information being disseminated to Chicago Botanic Garden members, staff, gardening public, and horticulture professionals is accurate and provided in a professional, timely, and courteous manner.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following:

  • Provide technical horticulture information to clients and support master gardeners who require additional information to answer client questions.
  • Keep up-to-date on current horticulture diseases and insects, including treatment options as recommended by the University of Illinois Extension.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise Plant Information Service master gardener volunteers.
  • Oversee work schedules for Plant Information Service master gardener volunteers, ensuring all shifts are fully staffed.
  • Maintain Plant Information Service books, resources, equipment, and inventories of office supplies.
  • Work at off-site Garden-sponsored events.
  • Produce monthly reports, keep statistics, coordinate schedules, and write e-newsletters, and other horticultural documents for the Chicago Botanic Garden.
  • Work with the manager of the Plant Information Service to evaluate office procedures and strategies to enhance the mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden and Plant Information Service.
  • Engage in a cooperative relationship with all areas of the Chicago Botanic Garden as needed and the University of Illinois Extension.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in horticulture, plant science, soil science, forestry, or similar subject.
  • Previous work experience in a public garden or horticulture industry.
  • Additional experience at a library reference desk, in customer service, or work with volunteers.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Expertise with computers including Microsoft Office products and Internet searching.
Physical Demands: 
Office setting. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.