Garden Coordinator

POSITION OVERVIEW

The Garden Coordinator will guide the overall creative vision for Oxbow’s Kids’ Farm, Living Playground and other garden spaces, and will also lead management of the 2-acre Kids’ Farm and Living Playground, and other garden features. This space is a centerpiece of Oxbow’s public engagement activities, including environmental education programming, regular events, and volunteer opportunities.

The Garden Coordinator must be organized, detail oriented, an excellent communicator, and have an eye for creating engaging and magical spaces.  The ideal candidate will have experience and passion in horticultural design and aesthetics, organic farming, inspiring youth, and working collaboratively with external (guests, volunteers) and internal stakeholders (staff, board)

This is a full-time 9-month temporary position, with the potential to convert to full-time year-round regular position.

The Garden Coordinator will work closely with staff from across Oxbow’s programs and must be experienced in balancing priorities across a diverse set of stakeholders.  The Garden Coordinator will partner most closely with staff in the following areas:

  • Education – this team develops and delivers diverse programs for children to directly experience and relate to the natural world through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell – the Kids’ Farm and Living Playground are central teaching tools in their programming.
  • Farm – this team manages Oxbow’s on-site production farm, as well as the pumpkin patch that makes up part of the Kids’ Farm.
  • Public Engagement – this team drives Oxbow’s events, membership program, partnerships and creative vision for the site, as part of Oxbow’s strategy for engaging people to experience nature and learn about healthy food and a sustainable environment.

 

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

Garden Design (20%)

  • Guide the horticultural vision for the Kids’ Farm and Living Playground, based on their history and design, Oxbow’s overarching public engagement strategy, and your knowledge and experience.
  • Work to ensure the Kids’ Farm meets the diverse needs of the organization and serves as Oxbow’s outdoor classroom, where all learners and guests feel empowered and confident while learning about, caring for, growing, harvesting, and cooking produce.
  • Collaborate with an outside consultant to help develop the Living Playground as a visually attractive and engaging teaching, and growing space.
  • Develop visually appealing “teachable moments” in the spaces, through plantings and other horticultural elements.
  • Provide input on other garden spaces at Oxbow, as needed.

Garden Management (65%)

  • Plan, plant, and maintain the Kids’ Farm using regenerative agriculture practices that include, for example: intensive and successive planting, companion planting for pest and weed management, composting, crop rotation, and other practices deemed integral to an organic learning garden.
  • Plan, plant, and maintain the Living Playground and other garden features as engaging and aesthetically inviting spaces, ensuring that all cultivated spaces are safe, highly productive, visually appealing, cultivated in an environmentally sound manner, and supply year-round interest.
  • Plan, conduct, and delegate general maintenance tasks such as: planting, weeding, mulching, pest and disease management, seed-saving, fertilizer needs, watering, and upkeep of farm tools, hoop house, and storage spaces.
  • Keep detailed calendar records of plantings, plant growth and health, harvest yields, produce donations, etc.
  • Harvest Kids’ Farm crops for programming and donation, ensuring minimal food waste.
  • Ensure crops and layouts meet the organization’s needs for programming.
  • Establish and oversee schedules for staff and volunteer assistance on farming tasks.

Environmental Education (15%)

  • Contribute to the development of farm-based lessons and activities during field trips, summer camp, and special projects.
  • Working closely with a liaison from the education team, identify and assign farming tasks to education team members who serve as “kids’ farm assistants.”
  • Oversee volunteer projects in the Kids’ Farm and Living Playground.
  • Serve as a “special guest” for Oxbow’s education programs—including summer camp, field trips, family farm adventures, and other farm-based lessons.
  • Assist in preparing for and supporting public engagement events with Kids’ Farm tours and workshops, which may involve occasional weekend work

PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • Working in all kinds of weather, including smoke (wild-fire potential), cold, heat over 90 degrees.
  • Working in an environment that may have allergens—dust, mold, grasses, etc.
  • Wearing and working in personal protection (e.g., masks) when appropriate or necessary.
  • Working after-hours or on weekends on an as-needed basis, especially during early season when watering seedlings is needed.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 2-3 years of experience in the following areas:
    • Organic vegetable farming, preferably in the Pacific Northwest.
    • Creating visually appealing garden-based teaching spaces which demonstrate a variety of cultivation methods/practices.
    • Safe use of farm equipment, including tractors, plows, tillers, and backhoes.
    • Use of irrigation systems, as well as soil management and soil fertility.
  • Ability to work with a wide array of personalities in a complex environment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational, and planning skills.
  • Public speaking, community engagement experience.
  • Flexibility and adaptability; ability to thrive in a highly dynamic work environment.
  • A commitment to Oxbow’s culture of valuing diversity, fostering equity, and cultivating inclusion.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team
  • Flexible, creative, and able to perform well in diverse conditions and under pressure

Equivalent education (such as Bachelor’s Degree in horticulture, agriculture, or a related field) will substitute for minimum qualifications.

Additional desired qualities include: environmentally conscious, detail oriented, self-motivated, energetic, and professional

The Oxbow Education  is part of a larger non-profit organization. A commitment to Oxbow’s overall mission and working as part of a team is critical.

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMITMENT

Oxbow is committed to cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion. We value the individual differences, life experiences, and knowledge that our staff members bring to their work and their communities. Valuing diversity is a significant part of our culture, our values, and the success of Oxbow’s mission.

Oxbow provides equal employment opportunities to all staff members and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Oxbow is committed to fostering a racially diverse team. People of color are encouraged to apply.

 

COMPENSATION: This is a temporary, 9-month, full-time position, paying $17-$18 per hour DOE, with some paid time-off and access to food from the fields.

 

TO APPLY

Please email a resume, letter of interest, and 3 references to Tara Baron- Recruitment Specialist at thedirt@oxbow.org

Please write Garden Coordinator in the email subject line and include where you found this position in the message body.

Applications received by Sunday, April 04, 2021 will have first consideration. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after this date until all positions are filled.