Greenhouse Supervisor

Hiring Organization: The Park District of Oak Park
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Oak Park, IL
Application Deadline: April 15, 2019

Job Purpose:

The Horticulture Green House Supervisor oversees the daily horticulture operations of the Oak Park Conservatory, specialty gardens, and oversees the care of the Conservatory’s bee aviary, tropical fish & bird collection.  Horticulture operations include:  design, organization, scheduling, production and maintenance of all plant materials in the Conservatory collection, parks, gift shop, programs and annual plant sale.   

Essential Functions:

In order to effectively perform the functions of this position, the Horticulture Greenhouse Supervisor shall assume the following responsibilities and associated duties:

  • Facility Management/Programming
    1. Supervises ongoing production and maintenance of Conservatory collection & production greenhouses with emphasis on weeding, watering, fertilization, pruning, and pest control
    2. Leads the implementation of the Park District of Oak Park’s integrated pest management program including the acquisition, application, and monitoring of biological controls, application of chemical pest controls, and applicable record keeping
    3. Supervises technical, mechanical, and general greenhouse upkeep; manages showroom and greenhouse climate control systems
    4. Supervises maintenance and upkeep of Conservatory’s tropical bird & fish as well as bee hives
    5. Supervises the maintenance of Cheney Mansion & Pleasant Home gardens, and gardens at the Conservatory.
    6. Prepares and delivers workshops on horticultural topics based on background, expertise, education, and/or certification
    7. Supervises operations at the Conservatory as assigned  
  • Communication/Coordination
    1. Advises on the maintenance of the Conservatory’s plant collection
    2. Supervises the weekly University of Illinois Ask a Master Gardener Help Desk
    3. Coordinates with the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory volunteer coordinator
    4. Coordinates with Park District staff regarding horticultural operations at the Conservatory and selected parks and/or facilities  
  • Planning/Control
    1. Plans, selects, purchases, and produces plant materials for the Conservatory collection, parks, gift shop, programs and annual FOPCON plant sale.  
    2. Maintains daily production records that include records of plant production factors (i.e. temperature, water, pests, fertilization, etc.), crop production timing, environmental control system settings, and all other appropriate production records
    3. Maintains inventory and records for chemical storage room
  • Employee Management
    1. Hires, trains, supervises, and assigns work to Part-time and seasonal employees, and volunteers.
    2. Supervises and evaluates job performance of assigned staff on a continual basis and takes immediate action to recognize achievements and correct/address deficiencies or problems
    3. Performs volunteer evaluations & coordinates with the Friends of the Oak Park volunteer coordinator
    4. Uses, operates, and maintains horticultural tools and equipment; oversees the use and safe operation of horticultural tools and equipment by part-time, seasonal staff, and volunteers. 
    5. Acts as a leader and nurtures a work culture that promotes open, frequent, and dynamic communication and promotes teamwork to accomplish goals and objectives
    6. Becomes familiar with the personnel policies and manual of the Park District in order to facilitate routine day-to-day human resource matters
  • Budget/Finance
    1. Develops, tracks, and monitors budgets for Conservatory horticulture operations to ensure fiscal responsibility while meeting facility and Park District goals
    2. Purchases, maintains, and inventories horticulture-related supplies and equipment within budgetary allowances
  • Risk Management
    1. Completes accident and incident reports in a timely manner
    2. Promotes an environment of safe work habits and active participation in the Park District’s risk management and safety programs
    3. Maintains a complete actionable understanding of the Park District’s emergency action plans (EAPs); acts as a leader (as assigned) in the execution of EAPs when required
  • Additional Functions:
    • Collaborates with Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory (FOPCON) as assigned
    • Collaborates with Sugar Beat School House in the maintenance of the Cheney Mansion Vegetable Gardens
    • Plans and participates in Conservatory special events, programs, and activities
    • Performs committee work as assigned
    • Performs other tasks as assigned 

Knowledge, Skill, and Work Experience:


  • Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture or related field
  • Previous Supervisory experience
  • 5 years’ experience producing plant material, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 3 years' experience growing plant material in a production greenhouse, nursery, or greenhouse collection
  • Broad knowledge of annual, perennial, tropical, xeric, native and woody plant material including cultural growing requirements
  • Knowledge of principles and implementation of integrated pest management
  • Knowledge of greenhouse management and operations
  • Ability to operate medium and light horticultural machinery
  • Ability to maintain multiple projects in a dynamic environment
  • Strong interpersonal and customer service skills
  • Experience leading a group of volunteers, or staff.
  • Strong sense of self-motivation and independent work habits
  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and problem solve
  • Valid Illinois Pesticide Applicators license or ability to obtain within 6 months of employment
  • Must possess a valid Illinois Driver’s License
  • Certification in advanced Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within 3 months of employment
  • Should be in good physical condition and strength to lift up to 50 pounds without accommodation and 100 pounds with accommodation 

Physical Considerations

  • Frequently – Sitting, walking, standing, reaching
  • Occasionally – Climbing, balancing, stooping, kneeling, crawling
  • Strength – Work requires digging and handling heavy weight (up to 100lbs.) materials or equipment  

Environmental Considerations

  • Will be exposed to chemicals such as cleaning materials, acids, glues, chlorine, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides
  • Will be exposed to inclement weather including extreme heat, sun, humidity, cold, rain, snow, ice, and wind
  • Will include computer use
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required as it pertains to the particular job duty, including: safety goggles, glasses, face shields, steel tip work boots, protective rubber or leather gloves, hard hat, paint spray respirator, protective suits and outer wear, and back brace
  • Some exposure to noise, dust, fumes, elevation, and confined spaces

Cognitive Considerations

  • Ability to present ideas and recommendations in a concise verbal and written manner
  • Ability to maintain effective audio-visual and perception needed for making observations, communicating with others, reading and writing, and operating assigned equipment
  • Math skills including measuring, calculating, and estimating
  • Ability to interpret and explain Park District and department policies, practices, and procedures
  • Demonstrated safety awareness and judgment in all aspects of responsibility 


  • Internal: Park District staff, Board of Park Commissioners, FOPCON
  • External: Patrons of Conservatory and Park District, residents of Oak Park, WSSRA, partner organizations including governmental and non-profit groups, and the Oak Park business community 

This job description is intended to be an illustrative, and not an exhaustive, listing of experiences, skills and duties of this position.
The Park District of Oak Park is an equal opportunity employer.

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