Grounds Keeper

Organization: Houston Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, Texas, Country
Job or Internship: Job

The Houston Zoo aspires to be recognized by peers, staff, and general public as a leader among conservation efforts, delivering excellence in animal care, entertainment, education, and Guest service. Join an enthusiastic team that provides a fun, unique and inspirational experience fostering appreciation, knowledge, and care for the natural world.

Groundskeepers work within a group and in pairs in a goal-driven environment to ensure that our guests have the best experience in their visits. This position works in a variety of locations throughout the Zoo. This position requires employees to work outdoors 80% of the time.


•Must have a positive attitude, good communication skills and be a team player

•Portray a helpful attitude when interacting with our Guests.

•Project a professional image while in uniform and respond to radio calls in a timely manner.

•Provides assistance to Guest Services staff as needed and responds to Zoo-related emergencies according to established protocols and procedures.

•Provides information and directions to guests concerning the Zoo mission, rules and events.

•Comfortable giving and receiving performance feedback from supervisors and Guests.

•Proactive in reporting any questions, concerns, or supplies needed to the supervisor.

•Must be able to complete repetitive tasks while maintaining quality.

•Must be self-directed and able to work with limited supervision.

•Develops working relationships with other staff members, departments, volunteers, and vendors/contractors to achieve common goals.

•Adheres to Zoo policies and procedures to ensure the safety and welfare of collection animals, guests, and other staff members.

•Cuts and trims grass operating gas and electric equipment as needed by work assignments such as mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, etc.

•Picks up trash and debris in assigned areas including flower beds.

•Makes sure all trash cans and recycling bins are emptied and cleaned in assigned areas.

•Maintains driveways and parking lots.

•Checks all above ground ramps for trash.

•Performs routine cleaning and maintenance of gardening and grounds equipment.

•Utilizes push carts when out on Zoo grounds and is responsible for keeping them stocked.

•Maintains appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with chemicals and machinery that might be dangerous.

•Must be able to work Special Events and support Special Events staff.

•Other duties as assigned.

Staff will be required to work weekends, holidays, some evenings, rotating schedules and beyond scheduled work hours. Staff may also provide crowd control if necessary during peak times.



Two years of groundskeeping experience is helpful. Previous experience in a hotel, kitchen, theater, museum, amusement park or related a plus.


Must speak English, bilingual a plus.

High school diploma or GED.

Basic computer skills required.

Basic knowledge of grammar, spelling, punctuation and simple mathematical functions like percentages, ratios, etc. as might normally be acquired through attainment of a high school diploma or a GED are required.

Groundskeepers are required to meet high standards of Zoo knowledge and Guest service. In addition, this position is required to complete an on-going program of continuing education in order to maintain a high level of customer service.



The position involves standing for long periods of time. It may also involve considerable physical exertion, such as extensive walking, bending, stooping and regular lifting of heavy objects 80 pounds on a highly frequent basis and/or assuming awkward positions for long periods of time.


This position requires employees to work outdoors 80% of the time. There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position may involve periodic exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises and minor burns.


Groundskeepers require excellent hand/eye co-ordination, the ability to work outdoors for long periods of time and clear speech, with good audio skills.


Requires attention to detail and a concern for public comfort through providing a clean and pleasant environment for both Zoo guests and staff. Heavy public contact is required, involving considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with guests, members, donors and the media. A high degree of appreciation of Guest service is necessary.