The Horticulturist reports to the Superintendent of Grounds and is responsible for working with the team to plan and implement the planting, cultivation, propagation and care of turf, trees, shrubbery, groundcover and flowering plants; installation and care of ponds and landscape features such as stone walls and landscape furnishings.
Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: planning and implementing campus wide horticultural practices and schedules including dethatching, seeding applications, topdressing, over seeding, repairing/patching, sod soil testing, mowing, chemical applications of fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. Responsibilities also include mulching, cultivating, weeding of all beds, edging walkways and beds and weed control, and performing specialized gardening including flower planting (annuals and perennials) and the proper fertilizing of flowers.
Horticulturalist responsibilities include pruning trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, fertilizing, and winter protection. Irrigation maintenance, opening and closing systems, repairs, adjustments, head cleaning, and water management scheduling. Inspection process to include drainage issues, rut management, washouts, and rip rap maintenance. The incumbent also oversees the care of ponds, stone walls, stone dust, and maintenance edging.
The incumbent also participates in the long range planning and development of the campus landscape, including plantings, lawns, hardscape, and water features. S/he maintains a computer database which inventories plant and landscape features and works collaboratively with the Superintendent of Grounds to establish an ongoing maintenance schedule for the preservation and improvement of the campus environment.
Duties and responsibilities also include all work related to the maintenance and repair of lawns, roads, parking lots, gardens, and other grounds. Specific duties include, but are not limited to: routine cleaning of grounds, shoveling snow, operating trucks and power equipment, leveling off ground, hauling and spreading topsoil, felling and removing trees, branches, etc.; digging ditches with pick and shovel, moving furniture and equipment, loading and unloading trucks and trailers, assisting trades-people in their duties, performing minor painting, and other duties as assigned.
The successful candidate:
1. Will have a degree in Environmental Horticulture, or related field, and a minimum of 3 years of experience as a professional Arborist or Horticulturalist. Candidates with 10 or more years of professional horticultural experience who do not possess a formal degree will be considered.
2. Must be able to identify plant species commonly used in New England, and be knowledgeable in their proper installation and maintenance including: proper pruning techniques, irrigation, fertilization, identification, and treatment of disease, identification of common pests and knowledge of the proper use of pesticides. A current RI Pesticide Applicator’s License is required.
3. Should be knowledgeable in landscaping, including the selection, planting and care of trees, shrubs, flower beds, and ornamental ground covers, etc.
4. Must be able to perform tasks that require physical strength.
5. Must be willing and able to work in high places from ladders, staging, and various forms of mechanical lift equipment.
6. Should have a good understanding of the operation and maintenance of all types of hand tools, power equipment, and vehicles used in the maintenance of the campus grounds. A current valid Rhode Island Class 2 Operator’s License is required.
Certain requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities.
Position requires exposure to discomfort arising from having to work for long hours in the sun and heat, dampness, snow and cold. Assignments may require climbing ladders, staging and working from heights. Position also includes the handling and applying of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
Regular attendance at assigned job site and the ability to work collaboratively with co-workers and constituents are essential functions of this position.
Position requires considerable physical effort in lifting and swinging an axe, pick, and shovel; pushing lawn mowers and other grounds-related equipment; lifting, moving and swinging dead weight when necessary, and carrying supplies and materials.