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Oregon Zoo

Horticulturalist (Oregon Zoo)

Company: Metro

Position Title: Horticulturalist 

Deadline to apply: September 27, 2021 @ 5:00 pm, Pacific Time

Salary: $23.36 - $29.80 hourly

Metro is committed to ensuring the health and safety for our employees and our community. As a part of this commitment, all Metro new hires will be required to provide proof of full COVID vaccination status. The required COVID vaccination is a minimum qualification requirement to be hired by Metro. Proof of COVID vaccination can be sent to the secure file sharing link provided at, under “Vaccine Documentation” or by email to

If you require an accommodation under this policy, for a medical condition, disability or sincerely held religious belief, please email  

Position Summary:

Entry rate: $23.36; 6 months: $24.83; 18 months: $26.38; 30 months: $28.04; 42 months: $29.80/hour

Work location: Oregon Zoo
Work Week: Shifts are generally Monday - Friday but can vary seasonally
Shift: 6 am to 2:30 pm, but can vary seasonally

Horticulturalists at the Oregon Zoo perform and coordinate horticulture and gardening duties, including installation and repair of complex irrigation systems, animal waste recycling, herbicide/pesticide applications and organic weed and pest control management, safety and emergency services, and general gardening duties. This position assists the Senior Horticulturist and other staff in horticulture planning, projects, construction, maintenance and other functions. 

Essential Job Duties:

An employee in this position must be able to perform the essential job duties listed below with or without reasonable accommodation; however, this list is not intended to include all of the specific tasks which an employee in this position may be expected to perform. A temporary position typically will not perform all job functions associated with the classification.
Identifies appropriate plant browse materials for specific animals throughout the zoo; cuts and distributes browse to enrich animals' diets.

  • Works with other agencies and the public to develop browse sources outside of the zoo. 
  • Assists and works with animal keepers and other staff in evaluating and planning landscape and horticulture needs, specialty zone area plant selection, landscape and gardening practices to ensure animal care, horticulture, safety and guest service requirements.
  • Fertilizes, mixes and conditions soil for different types of flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants; inspects for pests, disease and other deteriorating agents; selects and uses appropriate herbicides and pesticides; repairs damaged trees, shrubs and flowers.
  • Maintains turf areas by mowing, trimming, edging, fertilizing and spraying. Plants grass by laying sod or spreading grass seed.
  • Plants bulbs, trees, shrubs, flowers and exotic plant material; pots plants and transplants plants; maintains trees, flowers and shrubs by pruning, thinning, spraying, staking and arranging; pulls weeds, rakes leaves, cleans plant beds and replenishes bark dust covering.
  • Performs geographic zone area horticulture and gardening functions for designated zone areas such as the Africa, Elephant or Great Northwest areas, and works with keepers and other colleagues to diagnose, test, plant, and maintain unique and specialized landscape and gardening.
  • Contributes horticulture information for web page. Assists the public to ensure a positive and unique experience, and enhance Zoo use, appreciation, events and visitation.
  • Troubleshoots problems such as pathway obstructions, irrigation breaks, plant disease concerns, visitor safety or exhibit substrate issues.
  • Operates gas-powered lawn mower, tiller, sod cutter, chippers, blowers, chain saw, jack hammers, and edger and uses a variety of other hand tools, including sprayers, pruning saws and other garden tools; keeps all equipment clean and in proper working condition through preventative maintenance and by making minor repairs.
  • Operates motorized vehicles, pickup trucks, front-end loaders, tractors, backhoe, forklift, bobcats, lifts, street sweepers, dump trucks and other equipment necessary for performance of essential duties.
  • Picks up plants and tools from nurseries, garden centers and private donors; performs general maintenance tasks, collecting animal waste and sweeping and collecting litter from walkways, parking lots and animal exhibit areas.
  • Installs, repairs, modifies and maintains irrigation systems; programs irrigation timers.
  • Performs and assists in conservation and restoration activities and in landscape construction; performs duties such as excavation, site preparation and installation of drainage systems, rock walls, retaining walls, waterfalls and garden pools, plant material installation, prepping road beds and walkways, and fence construction.
  • Coordinates and performs first responder and emergency service duties such as participating in lost child searches, ice and snow removal, and sanding during inclement weather.
  • Performs assigned duties during an emergency situation.

Education and Experience

  • Three (3) years of progressively responsible professional horticulture and gardening experience, AND
  • An associate's degree or post-secondary equivalent; OR 
  • Any combination of experience and education that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to perform assigned tasks.

Additional Requirements:

  • A valid driver's license
  • Ability to obtain and maintain (within six months of hire) an Oregon Pesticide Applicator License and First Aid/CPR Certification. 

At Metro, we hire a workforce representative of the communities we serve, understanding that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We value diversity and support a positive and welcoming environment where all of our employees can thrive. 

To apply: visit  for the complete job announcement and a link to our online hiring center. Metro is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer


$23.36 - $29.80 hourly

How to Apply

To apply: visit

Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd
Portland, OR 97221
Phone: 503-797-1570

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