Position Title: Horticulturist
Reporting Supervisor: Deputy Director
Location: Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, Virginia
Status: Exempt-Full Time
Compensation: $55,000 - $65,000; eligible for benefits, paid vacation and sick days
Gunston Hall is a small museum with a highly collaborative, energetic staff dedicated to the power of place, historical objects, and storytelling to create meaningful experiences for visitors of all ages. We offer an exciting opportunity for an energetic and action-oriented professional to join our team in the development and maintenance of gardens and historic landscapes on our 550-acre historic site. Having recently adopted a twenty-year Campus Master Plan and reconstructed the historic riverside garden at Gunston Hall, we are seeking a passionate and collaborative horticulturist with the vision, expertise, and ability to continue to establish the one-acre riverside garden.
The ideal candidate will possess expertise in horticulture and landscape management, a compelling vision for the educational potential of gardens and landscapes, an enthusiasm for their work, a commitment to collaboration, and a strong belief in the importance of ongoing personal and professional development. Although knowledge of 18th-century horticulture is a plus, it is not a requirement and the ideal candidate will be interested in learning more about the subject on the job.
Description of Duties
The horticulturist is a full-time, exempt-status position working within Operations under the direct supervision of the Deputy Director. This position directly supervises those assigned to and assisting with the care of the historic gardens and landscape.
Gardening: The horticulturist is responsible for
· Taking the lead role in all garden and historic landscape work at Gunston Hall.
· Completing the implementation of the riverside garden planting plan.
· Maintaining the riverside garden.
· Ensuring that Gunston Hall’s horticultural work implements and reflects current best practices in the field and that the organization’s plant holdings and landscapes are documented appropriately.
· Establishing goals and providing daily technical and physical work to ensure the success of garden and historic landscape related activities.
· Adhering to the best care and management practices for planting, pruning, replacing, harvesting, seed collecting, and the overall care of a variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables, herbs, trees, and shrubs.
· Assuming responsibility for amending the soil within the garden enclosures as necessary.
· Identifying, controlling, and treating weeds, diseases, and pests including the safe and proper use of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
Working with others: The horticulturist is responsible for
· Assigning work, evaluating employees, reviewing and acting on personnel grievances and complaints, and is directly involved with hiring, disciplinary actions, and termination.
· Assuring OSHA guidelines are being followed in the work place and is safe for employees and visitors. Assures staff has the proper tools and equipment and the proper training to use and maintain all items safely.
· Supervising the Senior Gardener, which is proposed to be hired in 2024.
· Working with our landscape contractor who assists in maintaining the garden.
· Maintaining and expanding the volunteer corps
· Supervising the timely harvesting of produce, including fulfilling requests by the education and guest experiences department and the museum shop.
· Communicating with internal and external audiences about Gunston Hall’s garden and landscapes.
· Cultivating and maintaining professional relationships with other historic gardens and greenhouse facilities to exchange ideas and information.
Supporting the mission: The horticulturist is responsible for
· Conducting research on Gunston Hall’s gardens, plants, and landscapes including the sharing of findings with staff and the public through lectures, publications, tours, new media, and similar formats.
· Interacting positively with visitors, answering questions, and giving directions.
· Working closely with the Deputy Director to prepare the annual horticulture budget and work plan.
· Serving as the authority on Gunston Hall’s horticultural efforts, representing these initiatives and work to visitors, donors, the media, and the public at large.
· Collaborating with the executive director and development staff to raise funds necessary to complete needed horticulture initiatives and projects.
· B.S. degree in agricultural sciences, horticulture, or a closely related field.
· Two to three years of progressive work experience either at a historic site or park or for a private company.
· Sound knowledge of the philosophy and fundamental principles, theories, and best practices of horticulture and landscape management.
· Ability to supervise and manage volunteers.
· Ability to work with staff of other departments and outside professionals.
· Proven ability to establish and maintain strong lines of communication.
· Ability to operate safely a variety of hand tools, power equipment, and gas-powered equipment (i.e. shears, blowers, chain saws, tractors, weed eaters, loaders, and trucks).
· Ability to obtain a Virginia pesticide applicator’s license.
· Ability to prepare and manage budgets
· Must be available to work weekends, holidays and evenings as needed.
· Ability to lift 50 lbs.
· Ability to work outdoors for long periods in various weather conditions.
This position is full-time, salaried, and classified as exempt. Compensation will be based on qualifications. Performance will be evaluated based on the achievement of collaboratively determined team and personal goals specific to the requirements of the position. To be personally fulfilled and successful in this position, the Horticulturalist must value authenticity, inclusiveness, stewardship, and civic engagement. The Horticulturalist should bring a positive attitude to their work and promote good will and wellness within the organization. Finally, the Horticulturalist should be an enthusiastic and willing learner, one that is committed to their own continual development and growth, and one who is passionate about facilitating the success of their colleagues.
Additional benefits of employment at Gunston Hall include:
· Opportunities to enjoy 554 acres of recreational and environmental amenities along the Potomac River.
· An organizational commitment to wellness and personal fulfillment.
· Access to comprehensive professional development programs.
· The ability to create flexible work experiences.
· The opportunity to collaborate with a creative team of individuals committed to the organization, our mission, and to each other’s success.
The mission of Gunston Hall is to stimulate the exploration and understanding of the principles expressed by George Mason in the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a National Historic Landmark, Gunston Hall was built from 1755-1759. The almost 6000-acre plantation was the home of George and Ann
Mason, their children, and hundreds of enslaved people, indentured servants, wage workers, and tenant farmers. Today, the site strives to tell the stories of these diverse people and how their stories contribute to our greater American narrative. The physical plant includes the house called Gunston Hall; five reconstructed outbuildings; a visitor center, museum, event facility, and museum shop; an on-going restoration of the 18th-century garden, and 550 acres of diverse landscape situated along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.gunstonhall.org.
Gunston Hall is an equal opportunity employer.