Director of Horticulture, Curator of Living Collections

Director of Horticulture, Curator of Living Collections
Organization Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum
Location St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Oct 31, 2019

Bellefontaine ( is a 314 acre historic, non-profit cemetery.  Founded in 1849 and considered one of the premier historic cemeteries in the United States, the cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is well known for its rich history and architecture, and engages the public through tours, lectures and events.   Bellefontaine is also a Level II arboretum with large specimen tree collections, added to annually.  Dozens of annual, perennial and native gardens are spread throughout the cemetery.  Under its Master Plan the cemetery is committed to preserving and enhancing its landscape, and recently constructed the first of several phases of new memorial Gardens, installing over 16,000 plants and 68,000 bulbs.  With over 100 acres of undeveloped land, the cemetery has great potential for horticultural development.  Landscape programs are supported by an endowment as well as by cemetery sales and gifts raised through the Friends of Bellefontaine.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Direct supervision of Horticulture Supervisor and duties of the Horticulture Staff, and occasional supervision of Grounds Crew when they are assigned to assist in horticultural duties
  • Supervision of contracted employees, when those employees are performing work pertaining to horticultural advancement. This includes regular communication with crew foremen, and subsequent communication of all relevant information with the Cemetery’s President
  • Development and advancement of the Cemetery’s arboretum classification to include the procurement of a Level III Arboretum designation through ArbNet’s standards of classification.
  • Approval of the design, installation, and maintenance of new tree plantings, with a goal of 100+ new trees each year
  • Approval of annual and bulb design, installation, and subsequent removal by Horticulture Staff
  • Assist in the maintenance of existing beds and annual installations, to include but not limited to weeding, mulching, fertilizing, irrigation management, and transplanting
  • Regular communication with Horticulture Supervisor regarding maintenance of trees and shrubs, young and mature, utilizing accepted cultural practices with regards to pruning, mulching, fertilizing, etc.
  • Development and implementation of adult and childhood education curricula pertaining to accepted horticultural practices with the goal of working with local area schools and programs. This includes communication with Marketing, Development, and other related departments for branding, advertising, and proliferation of Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum educational curricula.
  • Direct communication with Horticulture Supervisor on pest and disease management from an IPM perspective, keeping in mind that Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum attempts to apply natural alternatives for pest and disease solutions
  • Provide knowledgeable consultation to Grounds Crew regarding landscape maintenance, as needed
  • Communicate with the Grounds Superintendent and Cemetery President regarding grounds developments, new installations, tree care, etc.
  • Work within the scope of Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum’s 100-year master plan
  • Supervise maintenance of the Cemetery’s TreeKeeper database
  • Interact with local and national horticultural societies and organizations, seeking out learning opportunities and professional development for Director and Horticulture Staff
  • The supervision and implementation of any duty associated with horticultural excellence at Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum not specifically mentioned, but pertaining to the position and that could be logically assigned to the Horticulture Staff
  • Promote Bellefontaine through offering/participating in workshops, tours, and cemetery events, and upon occasion interacting with radio, print or television media

Skills and Experience:

  • A minimum of 3-5 years of supervisory experience; public gardens familiarity a plus
  • Exceptional presentation skills
  • Ability to identify funding sources and work with grant writers
  • Ability to perform outdoor, physically demanding tasks, often lifting objects up to 50 lbs
  • Ability to perform and manage multiple projects and deadlines
  • Proficient in the use of AutoCad and Microsoft Office programs
  • Strong communication skills, ability to represent Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum in a professional manner in both written and oral communication
  • Ability to teach and lead courses in horticulture and related practices to both adults and children.
  • Strong organizational and management skills
  • Skilled in promoting team work
  • Interact with media: sometimes asked to provide horticultural information via e-mail, conversation, or in person
  • Use of gas powered equipment including but not limited to line trimmer, auger, sod cutter, leaf blower, chainsaw, and pole pruner
  • Operate front-end loaders and tractor, as well as associated attachments
  • ISA Certified Arborist a plus
  • Missouri Certified Pesticide Applicator’s license, or the ability to receive within 6 months
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to work with the utmost consideration for health and safety of both the Horticulture Staff and any employee/volunteer that may be working under her/his supervision


  • B.S. in Horticulture, Forestry, or a related field required.

Competitive compensation package to include:  a competitive base salary and excellent benefits.