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About the Horticulture Department

Cantigny's 30 acres of newly remodeled gardens and display beds are nestled amidst the 500-acre estate of Robert R. McCormick - former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Cantigny Horticultural Fellow (CHF) will be part of Cantigny Park's Horticultural team and support significant department initiatives. The CHF is expected to engage fully in the professional activities, operations, special projects, and maintenance of Cantigny's diverse array of garden spaces to include: The Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Pond Garden, Upper / Lower Display Gardens, Idea Garden, The Perennial Border, The Logarium Shade Garden, as well as Native Prairies, Wetlands, and Woodlands.


Are you interested in learning more about the role of the Horticulture Department? This one-year fellowship provides a front-row seat to the process. The CHF will also have the opportunity to experience the inner workings of the construction processes during the final phase of our 5-year renovation - Project New Leaf. This is a hands-on position responsible for designing, planting, and maintaining existing and new gardens at Cantigny Park. Ideal candidates are experienced in horticulture maintenance operations and the use of various tools, equipment, materials, and techniques applicable to horticulture; gathering and compiling data for plant-related studies; and knowledgeable of botanical and horticultural plant nomenclature to maintain accurate plant database records and maps.


• Design and maintenance of innovative horticulture displays, and assist the Horticulture Design Manager in designing, installing, and maintaining specialized new garden areas built as part of the Landscape Master Plan
• Collaborate with other horticulturists and the greenhouse staff to create and maintain exceptional horticultural displays within the garden and golf course
• Oversee plant documentation and record-keeping for our plant collection, including maintaining accurate, organized, and up-to-date plant records and labeling for the gardens
• Oversee the planting and maintenance of garden beds, including bed preparation, planting, transplanting, watering, mulching, raking, hoeing, digging, weeding, fertilizing, deadheading, and edging
• Collaborate with other horticulturists and the greenhouse staff to create and maintain exceptional horticultural displays within the garden and golf course
• Supervises and plans for indoor projects such as greenhouse work or shop cleaning and organization when weather or schedule prohibits outdoor work
• The CHF will participate in and lead garden tours, contribute content forsocial media platforms, assist with invasive species management, native restoration processes, and garden bed design processes.
• Responsible for several park educational events, effectively communicating to the gardening community, Cantigny Park's members, and daily visitors through garden tours, lectures, workshops, and visitor interactions
• Perform general office duties, maintain, and organize horticulture materials, such as work calendars and plant databases
• Trains staff in all applicable areas of safety training, including but not limited to the usage of personal protective equipment, proper operation of tools/machinery, and proper handling of hazardous materials
• Member of the snow removal team. Perform snow removal activity such as hand shoveling, spreading salt, and the Safe and comfortable operation of snow removal equipment
• Participates in and maintains an active interest in the field through contacts with local and state professional associations
• Other duties as assigned.


• Bachelor's degree in horticulture, landscape architecture or with 1-2 years of work experience in ornamental horticulture management in a public garden setting, and thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of ornamental horticulture within our climate
• Must be safety-conscious and able to operate equipment without injury to themselves, others, property, and plants
o Able to safely drive and operate larger equipment such as skid steers, trucks, and tractors
o Able to safely drive and operate small equipment such as golf carts, rototillers, leaf blowers, etc.
o Able to safely use hand tools typically used in routine garden maintenance, such as pruners, saws, rakes, etc.
• Strength, agility, and endurance to perform in all types of weather and terrain, able to lift 50 pounds to shoulder height, and able to work kneeling or standing for up to eight hours per day
• Experience managing, coaching and building productive relationships staff and volunteers
• Ability to manage complex projects, competing priorities, and deadlines independently
• Excellent listening, written, and verbal communication skills; must be proficient in English
• Demonstrated passion for the Foundation's values with commitment to deliver results measured against the Foundation's mission
• Must have or be able to obtain Illinois Pesticide Spray License
• Familiarity with IPM/PHC to help make thoughtful decisions on the use and reduction of pesticides
Basic computer skills, including use of Microsoft Office Suite, ESRI ArcGIS, ACAD, and Adobe Lightroom
• Valid Illinois driver's license
• Must be available to work weekends, evenings, and holidays
• Must attend Cantigny Park's Child Safety Training and become a mandated reporter
• All offers are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screening