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Gardener Leader

The Presidio Trust is seeking a Gardener Leader to engage work crews in the maintenance of outdoor areas on the Presidio, including designed landscapes, playgrounds, athletic fields, and concrete paving. Once an Army base, the Presidio is now a new kind of National Park. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark District, in part because of its beautiful historic landscapes. In addition to lawns and ornamental plantings, the managed landscapes include 2 ball fields, 10 playgrounds, 1 pet cemetery, the only campground in San Francisco, and the beloved Main Parade Ground. Presidio Trust Grounds Crews care for, clean, and maintain the grounds; and are instrumental in ensuring that our dedicated volunteers are prepared to help perform basic grounds maintenance.

Our ideal candidate is a pioneer, stepping up to leadership responsibilities amongst their peers, and they are eager to preserve the Presidio's landscape, work more seamlessly across landscape types, and more effectively implement green practices in the Presidio's natural areas and historic landscapes. You motivate your team in the same, and are reliable, responsible, and forward thinking towards ensuring the Presidio continues to be a model of ecological restoration and sustainable stewardship.

This is a full-time position with benefits, and a minimum salary of $31.34 per hour. Applications received by April 10, 2019 will receive first consideration. We are planning to hold interviews the week of April 22nd, make a job offer by the end of April, and set a work start date in May 2019.


  • Coordinate work with supervisor and plan and assign specific duties for crews depending on assignment; ensure there is enough work to keep everyone in the work crew busy.
  • Work with crew and perform both routine and more technical horticultural and work tasks in the maintenance of the landscape, playgrounds and athletic fields; instruct crew personnel in the safe and proper operation of a wide variety of maintenance tools and equipment; instruct crews on proper work procedures and methods.
  • Assure that safety and housekeeping rules are followed.
  • Maintain work records including daily work reports; communicate with supervisor on needed materials and supplies; review work of assigned crew; report to supervisor on the status/progress of work.  
  • Respond as appropriate to requests, questions, comments and concerns from public, residents, tenants and Presidio staff using the principals of good customer service; report any problems or issues to supervisor.
  • Work with volunteers including assigning tasks, and giving instructions on work procedures and safety.
  • May be required to complete assigned Quicktime and other clerical duties to support Supervisor.
  • Use knowledge of the individual needs or characteristics of plants to perform work such as adjusting the mineral content of soil; transplanting flowers, shrubs, and small trees; and pruning trees to maintain natural character, control growth and to insure safety.
  • Assess growing conditions and, as required, increase the lime, calcium salt, or sulphur content so that acid or alkaline conditions are neutralized in line with plant requirements; recognize and control infrequent plant diseases and cold damage.
  • Work from project plans, planting plans prepared by landscape architects, and other references; collaborate with landscape architects and other staff, making recommendations for appropriate plant coverage for particular purposes (shade, ground cover, erosion control, boundary lines, or pleasing appearance) and calling attention to related maintenance requirements.
  • Maintain landscape areas including trees, shrubs, ground cover, lawns, athletic fields, minor irrigation maintenance, playgrounds, picnic areas, campsites, park furnishings, walks, and patios.
  • Apply fertilizer and compost, and use a variety of foliage feeding, root feeding, and soil additive techniques in fertilizing different varieties of plants.
  • Mow and edge lawns and grass areas; prune shrubs and small trees to remove obvious defects and excess branches, to modify or retain the natural form, and/or to increase flower production.
  • Participate in meetings and events related to the Trust volunteer program and, as directed by the Gardener Supervisor, lead and direct small and large groups of Trust volunteers in grounds maintenance tasks.
  • Operate a variety of landscape equipment, hand  and power tools including push mowers, riding mowers, tractors, rototillers, push mowers, string line trimmers, power edgers, backpack blowers, chainsaws, and hedge trimmers.
  • Pick up litter and trash; maintain maintenance shops and storage yards.
  • Operate small utility vehicles or GSA vehicles.
  • Provide traffic control assistance as needed.

  • Requires high school diploma or general education degree (GED) and experience leading or guiding others in caring for and maintaining landscaped areas
  • Ability to lead and direct the work of others; to share information, objectives, techniques and work methods with employees; and to help others with assigned tasks. Ability to identify and describe needs for personnel, material and other resources required for meeting established operating objectives and standards of the Department.
  • Knowledge of the functions, qualities, characteristics, and irrigation and nutritional needs of most trees, shrubs, grasses, ornamental plants and other vegetation found in the Presidio.
  • Knowledge of climate, soil, insects, plant diseases, and other conditions affecting growth of vegetation and/or plants in the local area. Ability to plant, irrigate, fertilize and otherwise maintain plants in the landscape according to established schedules and procedures or according to changing conditions and needs.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods and practices for controlling pests. Ability to identify and take action regarding pests of park plants, trees and turf.
  • Knowledge of installation and repair of irrigation systems.  Ability to identify need for maintenance and repair of irrigation systems and equipment.
  • Knowledge of the purposes and uses of a variety of equipment and power tools.  Ability to operate mowers and a wide variety of other landscape equipment and tools.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of work safety.  Ability to perform work in accordance with safe practices, correcting unsafe situations and demonstrating proper safety procedures to other park employees.
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of good customer service.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, volunteers and other Trust employees
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees.
  • Basic computer skills and ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume.  Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry, and apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
  • Required to wear a Presidio Trust uniform and personal protective equipment.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver's License.
  • Department of Pesticide Regulation Pest Control Applicators Certificate required within 9 months of hire


  • Passion for working for a park, particularly the Presidio Trust.
  • Optimistic and positive attitude with a demonstrated deep commitment to the highest level of customer service.

About Gardening at the Presidio

The Presidio is rich in formal, ceremonial landscapes and historic neighborhood landscapes. Historic gates and tree-lined boulevards create a deep sense of place. The Main Parade Ground strengthens the dramatic setting of the Main Post and establishes it as the heart of the park. The Presidio's historic neighborhood landscapes represent a century in the evolution of military social and domestic life, from the small-scale Civil War-era Funston Avenue with its quaint Victorians and grander Queen Anne's to the enlisted men's housing above Baker Beach that was built in the 1950s and '70s. Rare ornamental plantings have been saved and historic gardens have been recreated with a contemporary sensibility, often with drought-tolerant native plants.

Driver's License Investigation & Review

This position requires a current, valid Driver's License prior to starting work, and maintenance of a driver's license throughout occupancy of the position. You will be subject to a driver's license investigation as a New Entrant, and annual driver's license reviews thereafter. An individual's granting of an investigation and resulting reports thereafter is voluntary, however, employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a driver's license investigation. The Trust may refuse to hire an individual, rescind an offer of employment, or review and terminate the employment of a current employee who does not successfully complete the driver's license investigation.