Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
$14 adults, $8 children

View All Rates ›

Open Daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
$14 adults, $8 children

View All Rates ›

Horticulture Technician

Date Posted
July 6, 2021
Full Time

Job Details

Reports To: Horticulture Manager
Status:  Non-Exempt

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.


Under supervision of the Horticulture Manager accomplishes all aspects of zoo grounds, outdoor and indoor horticulture, equipment maintenance, and snow removal. Additional responsibilities include working with maintenance as needed.


The following duties are normal for this position. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Follows all protocols to maintain safe working conditions for staff, visitors and animals.
  • Completes tasks related to all aspects of grounds maintenance: grass mowing, leaf raking trimming, pruning, tree removal, turf maintenance and conservatory upkeep, etc.
  • Operation of skid loaders and other equipment.
  • Provides general labor as required.
  • Supervises Seasonal Horticulture Staff
  • Supervises volunteers and volunteer groups that work in the horticulture department.
  • Supervises Community Service.
  • Snow and removal (on call) - maintains safety of zoo grounds, walkways, parking lots and driveways during inclement weather.
  • Work closely with Animal Care, Maintenance, Guest Operations, Special Events, Education and Office Staff to help ensure smooth operation at the zoo.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Direct report: seasonal staff, volunteers and community service workers



The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Previous work experience in the horticulture field is preferred. 
  2. Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Foundation including occasional evenings, weekends and holidays.
  3. Must be able to maintain all proper licenses and certifications that relate to the horticulture field (such pesticide application, weed control, etc.).
  4. Must be approved to operate a Zoo vehicle
  5. Ability to operate light and heavy equipment such as skid loaders, mowers, snow blowers, etc.


  1. Resourceful - Understanding of or ability to research all applicable horticulture aspects as it relates to modern zoological horticulture.
  2. Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload and hours with a variety of assignments.
  3. Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  4. Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  5. Clear communication skills, both verbal and written
  6. Customer – Oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and all situations.
  7. Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to horticulture, pest and weed control and exhibit design.


High School Diploma or GED
Major course work in horticulture, forestry, plant biology or similar and one year of experience preferred but not required.


Ability to communicate effectively to all ages of visitors and staff, both verbally and written.


Ability to make decisions and implement practices
Ability to research horticulture related topics


Basic computer business skills.


Iowa motor vehicle license
First Aid / CPR training
Ability to maintain horticulture related certificates


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Ability to bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, etc. to perform horticulture and maintenance tasks.
Ability to walk on uneven surfaces such as hills, snow, ice, grass, mud, etc
Ability to be outside in all weather conditions including extreme heat and cold.


Ability to function in all types of weather. The majority of the job involves being outside.

Contact Information


Complete the Blank Park Zoo online application and attach cover letter and resume.

Click here to apply online.

« Back

© 2021 Blank Park Zoo. All rights reserved.