Metro Natural Gardening Educator (Close 1/29)

Natural Gardening Educator II - temporary

Salary $25.15 Hourly

Location Portland, OR

Job Type Temporary

Department Property and Environmental Services

Job Number 2018-2025-PES

Closing 1/29/2018 5:00 PM Pacific

Position Summary

Metro is looking for a passionate educator and gardener to develop and teach exciting, interactive educational and interpretive programming to youth and adults while maintaining the 7,000 square foot demonstration garden at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Oregon. Development and implementation of both gardening and educational resources may be done in collaboration with Metro Parks and Nature, community based organizations and area residents to achieve shared goals and objectives. 
The ideal candidate is skilled in natural gardening techniques with exceptional oral and social communications skills and is able to provide demonstrable success engaging youth and adults from culturally diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, this candidate will have the ability to engage people through a variety of teaching styles. The position will coordinate the work of volunteers and other staff from different departments across Metro.
This temporary position works an average of 20 hours per week throughout the year. However, hours are variable based upon the season and typically increase during the summer and decrease during the winter. The final schedule is negotiable based upon programmatic and employee needs. Temporary employees are limited to 1040 hours in a 12-month period.
Application requirements
1) Electronic application 2) a cover letter describing your experience as it relates to the duties of this position and 3) answers to supplemental questions.

Applications without these documents will be considered incomplete.
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. 


Essential Job Duties

An employee in this position must be able to perform all the essential job duties listed below with or without reasonable accommodation. This list is not intended to include all of the specific tasks which an employee in this position may be expected to perform.

  • Identifies gardening needs and performs semi-skilled and skilled work and manual labor in the planting and maintenance of native, edible and ornamental plants, trees, shrubs and flowers, including:
    • Weeding
    • Watering
    • Mulching
    • Fertilizing
    • Amending
    • Pruning
    • Path and edging maintenance
    • Garden design
    • Planting
    • Litter cleanup
    • Pest management
    • Repair and replace plant labels and interpretive signs
    • Drip irrigation system operation and maintenance
  • Researches and creates new educational offerings and materials in alignment with Metro's equity strategy, program logic models, identified learning outcomes and specific behavior change goals.
  • Delivers dynamic interpretive and educational programs to youth and adults visiting the Natural Discovery Garden at Blue Lake Park. Content focuses on, but is not limited to, natural gardening techniques, using all safe, organic and natural practices, not harmful or synthetic chemicals.
  • Builds rapport quickly with visitors and presents content in a manner that is relevant, compelling, and authentic.
  • Coordinates marketing and scheduling of presentations and communicates regularly with partners to confirm presentations and collect follow-up survey data. May take photos and videos at events for use with social and web-based media.
  • Coordinates, oversees and/or supports the work of Education Specialist I, interns and volunteers including OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners. Participates in training interns and/or volunteers in a variety of duties.
  • Creates and maintains spreadsheets and databases, sorts and tabulates data to assist in tracking and evaluating program outputs and outcomes.
  • Collaborates with a team of educators and volunteers while also having a strong ability to work independently when delivering presentations or performing maintenance at the Natural Discovery Garden.
  • Approaches work with a growth mind set and continually builds upon knowledge surrounding toxics reduction, natural gardening, conservation education and behavior change in order to help the team move our work forward.
  • Assists with coordination of joint program efforts including development of consistent natural gardening curricula, presentations and educational kits as well as facilitation of summer internship and volunteer projects at both the Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden and Oregon Zoo Wildlife Garden.
  • Must be available for weekend & evening shifts.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

This temporary position is not represented and is classified as an Education Specialist II (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.


Minimum Requirements

Two years of experience in environmental interpretation or education working with diverse youth and adult learners and a bachelors degree in education, environmental science, horticulture or any combination of education and experience which would provide the applicant with the skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job.  A valid drivers license  to drive to offsite locations is required. 

Experience and/or education in the planting and maintenance of native, edible and ornamental plants, trees, shrubs or flowers is essential.
Successful completion of the Childcare Registry (LEDS) background check will be required as part of the hire process. 

Preferred qualifications:
Experience and/or education that provide the applicant an in-depth understanding of the issues related to impacts of toxics and other consumer/commercial waste materials.
Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Knowledge of general teaching and interpretation methods for formal and informal settings
  • Knowledge of, experience in and enthusiasm for, natural, sustainable or organic gardening and pest management principles and practices
  • Ability to interact with the public and provide a favorable overall customer service experience
  • Ability to meet and deal courteously with the public and garden visitors
  • Knowledge, skill and experience in event coordination and logistics
  • Ability to relate well to youth and adult learners to build rapport with visitors in a short period of time
  • Ability to deliver interpretive/educational content repeatedly while keeping the material energized, fresh, and consistent
  • Ability to use interpretive methods and techniques to successfully give presentations to youth and adults from various backgrounds
  • Ability to work cooperatively as a team member, contribute to a positive team atmosphere, and collaborate and commit to common agency goals and values
  • Ability to effectively organize work, manage time, prioritize tasks, and both provide and follow written and oral direction
  • Ability to effectively communicate ideas and program concepts both orally and in writing
  • Ability to use standard office equipment including computers, printers, fax and copy machines, and computer software including Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings
  • Ability to fulfill Metro's employee values of Public Service, Excellence, Teamwork, Respect, Innovation, and Sustainability


Additional Information

Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.
Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources at 503-797-1570.
Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): New employees will pay the employee portion of the PERS contribution.
Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans' preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.
Criminal background check: In order to protect the wellbeing of its employees, the public and agency assets, Metro may conduct criminal background checks on candidates selected for Metro positions. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude employment and will be considered on a case by case basis. A background check will only be conducted if you are selected as a finalist for a position. If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted by Human Resources prior to the initiation of a background check.
Equal employment opportunity:  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer




600 NE Grand Ave

Portland, Oregon, 97232.