Organization Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Mar 12, 2020

Established in 1883, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) oversees a renowned urban park system spanning 6,809 acres of parkland and water. Featured among its 180 park properties are 55 miles of parkways, 102 miles of Grand Rounds biking and walking paths, 22 lakes, 12 formal gardens, 7 golf courses and 49 recreation centers. The MPRB is proud to provide services, programs and activities that meet the park and recreation needs of diverse communities and ensure race equity, gender inclusion and universal access.  Altogether, MPRB properties receive about 23 million visitors annually, and employs approximately 570 full-time and 1,400 part-time and seasonal employees.

Park it here for an exciting career by joining the #1 urban park system in the United States as recognized by the Trust for Public Land in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The MPRB is seeking a dedicated Gardener to perform lead work in the design and management of landscape plants.  Gardeners maintain horticultural specimens including trees, shrubs, perennial plants, annual plant displays, and hardscapes in public parks, formal garden areas, and natural areas.  This position will work with horticultural, planning and other MPRB staff to design and redesign garden areas each year to provide safe, innovative and aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment for patrons.

  • Effectively designs, prepares, implements, and manages landscapes. Prioritizes, initiates, and implements horticultural projects on a daily basis for assigned area or garden to include formal gardens, service area garden beds, herbaceous plant borders, shrub beds, and other designated areas.
  • Coordinates and consults with designated staff regarding landscape design, plant selection, and site installation. Selects plant materials appropriate for site  conditions to provide an aesthetically pleasing and viable environment.
  • Efficiently inspects all herbaceous and woody plant material, trees, shrubs and grasses to diagnose and prevent damage from insect, disease, weather or nutrient problems to ensure health of plants and surrounding vegetation.
  • Understands and effectively implements Integrated Pest Management practices to prevent plant failure and ensure public enjoyment.
  • Creates work schedules to implement critical landscape management activity (e.g. irrigation schedules, soil preparation, pruning, transplanting, mulching, planting, and weeding) using methods, skills, and tools provided to maintain garden quality.
  • Trains Parkkeepers, Seasonal Park Maintenance Workers and Seasonal Gardeners regarding horticultural best management practices.
  • Educates and assists volunteers with planting, transplanting, dividing, and mulching in a thorough and knowledgeable manner ensuring volunteer enjoyment.
  • Communicates with and educates the public in a positive manner. Responds to all inquiries, complaints and concerns by answering questions or directing to proper resources.
  • Performs Parkkeeper responsibilities typically during off-season including ice rink maintenance, snow removal, and other duties as assigned.
  • Assist MPRB in identifying and addressing the park and recreation needs of underserved and under-represented communities.
Need to Have:

  • Associate’s degree from an accredited vocational college in Environmental Horticulture, Landscape Design, or Environmental Design, or related field.
  • Two (2) years of related experience to include one season of horticulture experience.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Certified Pesticide Applicator’s License (within six months of hire)

Nice to Have:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited vocational college in Environmental Horticulture, Landscape Design, or Environmental Design, or related field preferred.
  • Certified as a Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association Professional (MNLA CP) preferred.
  • Additional experience in greenhouse operation, landscape design and installation, nursery production, irrigation maintenance and repair preferred.
  • Previous experience working with public and volunteers preferred.

Physical Requirements (position requirements at entry)
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The physical ability to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, walk, stand, drive, reach, pull, push, lift, finger, feel, grasp, lift, talk, see, hear, and perform repetitive motions. Lifts and moves up to 50 pounds daily; occasionally lifts/moves 75 to 100 pounds. Frequent squatting, lifting, standing and walking in outdoor environment. Frequently uses hand tools and power tools. Required to wear personal protective equipment with occasional exposure to chemicals, fertilizers, fuels and pesticides.

Works primarily outdoors in all types of weather conditions including winter. Frequent exposure to insects, pollen, unpleasant odors, wind and sun. Occasionally drives local roads  using riding mowers and MPRB utility vehicles.

May work an altered work week schedule; work based on seasonal needs and hours of operation that may include days, nights, holidays and weekends.

Skills Crucial to Success in This Role:

  • Knowledge of plant disease, infestation and treatment and the care of flowers and plants.
  • Ability to use and safely operate tools necessary for the performance of duties.
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with fellow employees and the public.
  • Outstanding customer service principles and practices and standards for a diverse customer base.

FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Union Status: City Laborers Local #363

Job Information Session:  A 30 minute Job Information Session will be held on Thursday, March 5 at 9:00am in the Conference Room at MPRB’s South Side Operations Center (3800 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN).  This is your opportunity to ask questions about the position and to gain a better understanding of the civil service application process.  Interested parties are encouraged to attend. If you are unable to attend in-person, please join us via phone conference at (612) 230-6595.

View a full list of qualifications and job description
Learn more about Veteran’s Preference

Selection Process:
To apply for this full-time civil service position, applicants must complete an online application with supplemental questions at  Late applications will be rejected.
What steps the selection process involves:

  • We review your minimum qualifications.
  • We rate your training and experience based on application materials and supplemental questions (30%).
  • We conduct a structured panel interview (oral exam) (70%).
  • We calculate your civil service score based on the above components and place you on the eligible list if all testing components are passed (passing score for each component and as an overall score is 70.00 or above).  Eligible list will expire in six (6) months.
  • We refer the top finalists to the hiring manager for an interview.
  • References, including verification of employment and work performance, may be considered.
  • We conduct a background check.  Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, the applicant will be asked to sign an informed consent allowing the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to obtain their criminal history in connection with the positions sought. View the MPRB Background Check Policy at
  • Upon receiving a conditional offer of employment, applicants will also need to successfully pass a pre-employment physical examination paid for by the MPRB.

Please note that HR reserves the right to limit the number of people invited to successive testing events.

The MPRB is a tobacco-free workplace and park system.
The MPRB is an Equal Opportunity Employer.