Meadow Ecologist

Meadow Ecologist
Organization Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc.
Location New York City, New York
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline

Pay Range: $20-$23 per hour

Benefits: Comprehensive benefits package 60 days following date of hire (health insurance, paid time off, etc.)


Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc. (RIPA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that works with the City of New York and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, public programs, cultural events, and environmental exploration. The Meadow Ecologist will report directly to the Horticulture Manager and the Director of Horticulture and work with other members of the Horticulture Crew to maintain Randall’s Island Parks’ existing gardens with a primary emphasis on two wildflower meadows. It is important to note that the maintenance practices of these meadows differ from the ecological practices of maintaining a typical meadow on a nature preserve or a private residence due to the location of the meadows inside a public park.  The Meadow Ecologist will also assist with volunteer events, tours and programming as needed.


  • Work with the Randall’s Island Horticulture Crew to maintain the two wildflower meadows on Randall’s Island. This requires specialized knowledge in management and maintenance techniques of a native ecosystem.
  • General maintenance work specifically in two wildflower meadows as well as general maintenance of all gardens.  Tasks include, but are not limited to: soil cultivation, digging, deadheading, thinning, mulching, watering, raking, weeding, edging, seed sowing, bed preparation, damage/corrective/structural shrub pruning, planting, and caring for existing gardens (including traditional and non-traditional techniques).
  • Prepare, support and teach a wide variety of field-based, educational programs to various ages, demographics, fitness levels and learning styles.
  • Act as an ambassador for Randall’s Island, answering questions from visitors, including horticulture, park design, history and general information.
  • Work on expansion of the existing educational program surrounding the two wildflower meadows on the Island.
  • Research, data collection and horticultural database maintenance as it relates to the Hell Gate and fresh water wildflower meadows on the Island.
  • Lead volunteer groups in the two wildflower meadows as well as other gardens on the Island.
  • Conduct tours of the two wildflower meadows for educational groups and the general public.
  • Hand water and monitor irrigation of plantings, especially during time of establishment and drought.
  • Operate small hand tools and basic power machinery, including hedge trimmers, weed whackers, and leaf blowers.
  • Collaborate on the design and maintenance of new meadow planting areas.
  • Participate in Island-wide seasonal clean-up activity.
  • General clean-up of garden beds and paths, clean-up litter.
  • Ensure all equipment is secured and well-maintained.
  • Perform other general tasks as assigned by the Horticulture Manager and/or the Director of Horticulture.

This job description is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of all job functions that an employee in this position may be asked to perform from time to time.


  • B.A. in Public Horticulture or related fields OR equivalent horticulture certificate/coursework OR 3 years hands-on experience in horticulture
  • Strong gardening skills and familiarity with gardening tools
  • Strong weed identification skills
  • Integrated pest management skills and techniques
  • Knowledge of invasive weeds and ecological techniques
  • Willing to work outdoors in all types of weather, under strenuous conditions
  • Willing and able to learn how to maintain and create containers for visual display
  • Ability to use light power equipment and tools
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects
  • Ability to perform physical labor; must be able to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Motivated and punctual, able to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Valid New York State driver license
  • Flexibility to work overtime and weekends


  • Experience working with volunteers and youth preferred
  • Knowledge of sustainable landscape design
  • Pesticide license
  • Familiarity with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and ability to execute in assigned zone
  • GIS knowledge


The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

RIPA maintains confidentiality of all applications and therefore will never contact a present employer without prior consent from the applicant.