Horticulturist - ZOO

Date: Mar 25, 2024

Location: Wichita, KS, US

Company: Sedgwick County

Department:  ZOO

Pay:  $17.36 per hour  

Work Schedule:   


Sedgwick County offers a comprehensive benefits package for full-time employees that includes health coverages, paid leave, regular compensation reviews, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities.  For more detailed information, please visit our benefits page at SCBenefits.


In a team setting completes horticulture-related projects and maintenance. This position is responsible for caring for plant life in the zoo as well as creating and implementing landscape and hardscape projects for zoo improvement.  Interacts and provides customer service to all Zoo defined customers.  This position participates in a mandatory winter snow removal on-call rotation.


Plant Care

  • Perform a wide range of landscape/maintenance tasks related to cultivation, preservation, protection, and transplant of plants.
  • Plan and execute maintenance of landscapes and hardscapes while adhering to safety requirements for specific animals.
  • Examine health of botanical collection; resolve and/or report issues and concerns to supervisor.
  • Perform greenhouse management tasks, including production of consumable plants, structure maintenance, and plant rehabilitation.
  • Plant and/or transplant herbaceous and woody plants according to needs of exhibits, animal health, and human health.
  • Complete regular tree care in animal enclosures and the surrounding property to maintain safety for animals and guests.
  • Design, implement, and maintain plant protection measures including hot wire/grass, physical barriers, and other measures.
  • Maintain knowledge of browse and toxic plant materials and be able to identify species.
  • Monitor browse plants and inform zookeepers on plant harvest restrictions in the case of any diseases or chemical uses.
  • Perform regular tree care including use of chainsaws.



  • Plan and operate equipment and tools necessary for landscape projects.
  • Maintain hardscapes, including stone paths and walls, edging, fencing, and safety features.
  • Create and maintain ponds and water features, including regular inspections for safety and cleanliness.
  • Monitor zoo grounds for safety concerns; report issues to supervisor and develop possible remedies.
  • Drive Zoological Society owned vehicle, as needed for transportation of horticulture products.
  • Locate and mark underground utilities prior to starting projects.
  • Participate in the installation of turf areas.
  • Prepare cost estimates for projects and present to supervisors for approval.
  • Design, implement, and maintain irrigation systems throughout the zoo and surrounding property.
  • Create, read, and execute landscape projects from construction documents or landscape designs.
  • Work with zookeepers to develop projects.
  • Direct plant and hardscape choices, obtain all materials and equipment, and complete projects to zookeeper and horticulturists’ standards.
  • Assist maintenance with large construction projects, including concrete stamping, constructing horticulture-related structures, and other needs.
  • Maintain knowledge of greenhouse controls and maintenance.
  • Actively look for and create project plans for improvements within areas of expertise.
  • Participate in an on-call rotation during events, inclement weather, and high volume periods as assigned.
  • Assist with snow and ice removal.


Minimum Qualifications: High School Diploma or equivalent. One year of experience in the landscaping field, including work with hand tools or large equipment. Per Sedgwick County policy, this is a driving level position that requires a valid US driver’s license without restrictions and current proof of automobile insurance. Must have or obtain Kansas Pesticide Applicator License within one year of hire.


Preferred Qualifications: Two years of experience in Horticulture related field. Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture, Botany, or related field. Current Kansas Pesticide Applicator License.


It is the policy of Sedgwick County not to discriminate in its programs or services, including employment, on the basis of race, color, sex, including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry or citizenship, marital status, religious or political affiliation, genetic information, disability, status as a member of the uniformed services or any other similarly protected status.

Sedgwick County is committed to making the application, interview, and pre-employment testing process accessible to qualified persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you wish to volunteer information regarding any special assistance you may need, please contact the Sedgwick County ADA Coordinator at (316) 660-7050, TDD (Kansas Relay at 711 or 800-766-3777). Please do not use this phone number for employment questions. Applicants are contacted only if they are determined to be qualified candidates. 

Nearest Major Market: Wichita

Job Segment: Animal Health, Veterinary