The Trustees of Reservations

200 High St.
Boston, MA 02110

Date Posted:
February 08, 2019

Eastern Massachusetts



Director of Horticulture - Beverly (year-round, full-time)


Summary of Position:

The Director of Horticulture will develop the organization’s strengths and identity in horticulture and bring leadership, inspiration, and support to horticulture staff within the context of the organization’s investment in public gardens. With a vibrant and creative team, the Director of Horticulture will work collaboratively to engage the public with our horticultural collections on-site and online, bringing focus and audience engagement to this important aspect of our work.

This energetic individual leads a specialty team of talented horticulturists working on individual properties across the state and supervises living collections management. The Director is responsible for the strategic planning, communication, supervision and administration of the horticulture team including budget management, development and implementation of horticulture standards and best practices and annual and multi-year program planning. This individual works collaboratively with property-based staff, clearly communicating the role of the garden within the larger property and ensuring the tactics for implementing the horticulture vision are outlined, supported and moving forward.

The successful candidate will have the creativity and resourcefulness to shape The Trustees first-ever living collections program. They will have the management skills to inspire and lead a talented team, the communication skills to share department objectives with property colleagues and the hands-on skills to ensure the execution of a successful public garden and living collections initiative. As a key driver of program and organizational sustainability, this individual will oversee the administration and coordination of localized propagation, sales, and other enterprise activities related to horticulture.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead and manage a growing horticulture program that currently stretches among six properties across Massachusetts.

  • Supervise a team of horticulturists, seasonal staff, interns and volunteers across the state. Provides training and support to yield horticultural excellence under best practices policies.

  • Work with their staff team to build an understanding of the existing horticultural collections at each garden property and define the scope, focus and intent of those collections. Identify gaps in the horticultural collection, making recommendations and managing transactions related to propagation, acquisitions (gifts and purchases) and dispositions of living collections and horticultural specimens.

  • Oversee the team in garden research, cataloging, and mapping of the living collection and collaborates with property horticulturists to ensure that collections management standards are met across all properties.

  • Support the team’s identification of threats to the living collection including pests, disease, injury, storms and weather. Develops an IPM approach to plant protection that is implemented across all garden properties.

  • Serve as a partner with property staff and collaborate to move property goals and horticulture goals forward in tandem.

  • Act as a spokesperson for horticulture and living collections at The Trustees.

  • Identifies and prioritizes funding needs with attention to strategic goals, baseline standards, specialist team plan goals and property business plans.

  • Manages statewide garden budgets, special project and grant budgets, and capital projects as assigned.

  • Participates in donor and governance cultivation, identification and stewardship and contributes to grant and other funding applications as assigned.

  • Communicates and represents horticulture department initiatives with the Cultural Resources Program and the Program and Operations area of The Trustees including monthly department reports and occasional submissions for the Cultural Resources Committee and the Public Gardens Committee.

  • Other duties as assigned with or without accommodation.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree or equivalent experience preferred, in public garden management, horticulture, living collections management, horticultural practices, public garden protection and planning, or a related field. Demonstrated knowledge of horticultural care and conservation, living collections cataloguing, engagement, stewardship and applied practice.

  • Five or more years’ experience in a supervisory position and an employment history that shows increasing supervisory responsibilities in the public garden field, including horticulture, personnel and volunteer management, engagement and planning.


  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites 2010 and IrisBG. Familiarity with Power Plan, GIS and other systems helpful.

  • Proven experience as a budget manager. Experience with fundraising, grants and their administration a plus.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team of 5+ employees with a sense of excitement and self-confidence and motivate talented horticulturists, interns, fellows and seasonal staff.

  • Extremely strong ability to collaborate and communicate well with organizational staff to articulate and understand shared strategic objectives for each garden property.

  • Ability to seek partnerships in regional, national and international horticulture and public garden networks. Demonstrated program and project leadership to produce a high-quality outcome on time and on budget.

  • Strength in oral and written communications and the management of multiple tasks.

  • A proven, passionate commitment to the values, mission and purposes represented by The Trustees.


  • Valid driver’s license required for driving Trustees vehicles.

  • Position requires extensive travel across the state; access to a personal vehicle required.

  • Flexibility to work nights and weekends is required; access to a car is necessary.

  • May require satisfactory CORI depending upon base location.

Organizational Relationships/Scope:

Reports to Program Director for Cultural Resources; has 5 direct reports.

Working Conditions:

Combination of normal office conditions and variable outdoor weather conditions on uneven terrain. Driving around Massachusetts to various garden properties is a significant part of the role.

Please Note: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of employees assigned to this position.

About The Trustees of Reservations:

The Trustees is an organization with a fascinating past and an exciting future. Our places are open to all and we thrive by involving as many people as possible in what we do. Founded in 1891, by a group of visionary volunteers, we preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts and work to protect special places across the state. We have helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 26,000+ acres on 117 reservations that are all open to the public. We are a nonprofit conservation organization funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 60,000 member households.

In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees of Reservations aim to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.

We kindly request that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application. Those candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

How To Apply:
Please apply online via The Trustees' website linked here
Apply by:
March 31, 2019
About this Organization:
The Trustees of Reservations is one of Massachusetts’ largest non-profits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. We preserve and protect places of natural, scenic and historic beauty and hold these “reservations” in “trust” for public use and enjoyment. Our passion is to improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth, using our properties and their many programs as a powerful and compelling platform to engage more residents and visitors in our mission-driven work. We believe in protecting the irreplaceable forever, for everyone.  Today, we care for 117 special reservations -- from beaches to farms, gardens and historic sites – within minutes of every resident. Funded and supported entirely by our nearly 2 million visitors and supporters, and more than 60,000 member households, we invite you to find your place.