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Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

Assistant Groundskeeper (Full-time, union, $23.02/hour)

World-renowned, Brookfield Zoo is set within a 216-acre nature park that is home to 2,000 plus animals and is also an accredited arboretum.   The beautiful setting has meticulously landscaped grounds providing our guests with colorful native plants surrounding Roosevelt Fountain, shrub sculptured animals outlining our formal pool, and entrances decorated with a variety of plants, flowers and trees to welcome our over 2 million guests each year.  Our grounds team is also responsible for 7 working greenhouses, a compost facility that processes 300 cubic yards of yard waste, and setting up over 1 million (mostly LED) twinkling lights for Holiday Magic. 
The Assistant Groundskeeper contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by performing routine and standard Grounds duties and functions in accordance with standard operating procedures under supervision in order to meet operating needs to contribute to the cleanliness, beauty and aesthetics of the park and provide an exceptional guest experience.

Primary duties and responsibilities:

Performs general park duties, landscape maintenance, and horticulture as assigned.  Maintains work records as directed.  Occasionally directs work of seasonal employees as assigned during specific tasks.  Reports performance to supervisor as necessary.  Observes standard safety procedures and the appropriate use of safety equipment.  

  • Horticultural duties include, but are not limited to: care of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, planting, watering, weeding, mulching, propagation, tilling, lawn care, pruning, fertilization, plant protection from hazardous conditions, pest control, plant selection, design, interior tropical plant maintenance, and other horticultural duties as assigned.
  • General park duties include, but are not limited to: waste disposal, manure collection and disposal, recyclables collection, snowplowing, construction activities, equipment maintenance and repair, installation and maintenance of irrigation systems, road repairs, and other general park duties as assigned.
  • Quadrant maintenance duties include, but are not limited to: section cleaning, sweeping, raking, blowing, paper-picking, safety inspection and other duties as required, repair of sentinels, picnic tables and seating benches, inspection and repair of playground equipment, litter/paper pick-up, maintenance of drainage systems, animal yard surface repairs, leaf raking and pick-up, snow and ice removal, pavement power-washing, paver maintenance, minor road cold patching, path mulching, and other duties as required.
  • Assists and participates constructively in all departmental activities, including but not limited to meetings and non-routine and emergency assignments.  
  • Performs daily inspections of assigned areas and reports to supervisor, as necessary, with regard to safety issues, needed repairs, or other issues.  
  • Inform and assist the public.   Maintain an awareness of park schedules and activities to provide to the public as necessary.  
  • Other related duties as required.   

Experience Required

This position includes the following requirements: • High school diploma or equivalent (GED) required. • Knowledge of the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems may be required. • Pesticide operator's license may be required within one year of hire. • Certified arborist license may be required within one year. • English fluency at professional working proficiency required. • Good communications and interpersonal skills. • Reliable, dependable individual. Flexible. • Warm, personable demeanor and customer service orientation. • One or more of the following licensures may be required within 6 months of hire: Valid "C" or "B" (CDL) Driver's License. • A valid driver’s license is required. The preferred qualifications include: • Associates or Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture desirable. • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus. Additional Information: This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. The incumbent is expected to acquire knowledge and skills needed to perform all tasks at a satisfactory level (or above) in this position within one year of hire. Incumbent must demonstrate proficiency in areas, including but not limited to: developing proficiency in the safe and correct use of various hand tools such as rakes, brooms, hoes, shovels, hand pruners, saws, loppers, or other hand tools; correct use of small power equipment such as blowers, mowers, chainsaws, power washers, tillers, edgers, snow blowers, weed whips and other small power tools as assigned; safe and correct use of small tractors, water wagons, plows and brooms, riding mowers and other equipment, and basic operating knowledge of Bobcats and backhoes. Must become familiar with the Severe Weather Emergency plan. The incumbent is expected to provide positive internal and external customer service, working cooperatively with others to achieve departmental and institutional goals. Assure work areas and self, represent the Society in a safe, clean, professional and orderly manner at all time. Incumbent is expected to incorporate the Society's mission, vision, and values into daily work performance. The anticipated work schedule for this position is 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Assigned days off are typically Friday/Saturday or Sunday/Monday. Work shifts and day off schedules are assigned based on the needs of the operation. The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer



How to Apply

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile.  Please visit our website at  Please look for requisition number 2232BR.

Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60526

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