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Facilities and Gardens Manager

Facilities and Gardens Manager

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is looking for an enthusiastic and positive team player who is passionate about gardening and education to care for our beautiful 7-acre Garden and Nutrition Education Center in National City, CA.

Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Facilities and Gardens Manager is an integral member of the Olivewood Team. The Facilities and Gardens manager supervises the maintenance of the grounds/property of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center and supports the garden and nutrition education programs on the property. Specific responsibilities include all aspects of maintaining a large facility including an organic and sustainable teaching garden site, historic home, offices, and 6.85 acres of property. Also responsible for supporting program staff, interns, and volunteers to utilize the gardens as a teaching environment for youth, adult, and families interested in organic gardening, nutrition, and environmental stewardship.

Maintains the Olivewood Gardens property in a sustainable, bountiful, attractive, safe and accessible manner, consistent with available budget and aligned with the mission of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, with particular focus on the following:

Gardens and Grounds Maintenance

  • Maintain three large organic gardens, totaling approximately one acre
  • Supervise maintenance of additional 5.5 acres of non-edible landscaped property
  • Responsible for managing and supervising routine garden maintenance including: soil preparation, garden bed construction, crop rotation, propagation, watering, transplanting, weed and pest control, mulching, pruning, and feeding of all plants and fruit trees
  • Directs workers engaged in ground maintenance activities, such as maintaining the gardens including irrigation systems, composting, growing food, caring for animals, mowing lawns, trimming hedges, removing weeds, and raking and disposing of leaves and refuse.
  • Designs and maintains watering, irrigation and garden drainage systems
  • Manages all composting activities in the gardens
  • Maintains signage, garden paths, and walkways throughout the gardens
  • Creates a good working relationship with arborists, landscape crew and the different contractors that are also an integral part of the upkeep of the property

Food Production

  • Develops and implements annual planting and harvesting calendar
  • Prepares garden and provides produce (including flowers) to support special programs and events
  • Directs workers in harvesting and preparing produce to support edible education programs and events
  • Directs workers in setting up and building garden plots, seeding, and planting
  • Maintains logs and records of planting, seeding, fertilizing, and composting
  • Establishes or adjusts work procedures to meet production schedules.

Building and Vehicle Maintenance

  • Schedules and supervises repairs on all structures including the 2,500 sq ft, 120 year old Victorian House on the property plus 800 sq ft poolhouse and 1,200 sq ft converted craftsman house/offices and multiple storage sheds
  • Directs workers assisting with moving furniture and unloading and storing supplies.
  • Monitor’s use and maintenance of all equipment including vehicles
  • Purchases tools, equipment, and supplies and stays within budget.
  • Schedules and supervises annual inspections including termite and other pest inspections, alarm system, and privacy gates
  • Inspects completed work for conformance to blueprints, specifications, and standards.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Directly supervises three staff, interns, volunteers, and manages outside contractors.
  • Responsibilities include training employees; planning, assigning, scheduling and directing work; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
  • Communicates and coordinates volunteer and intern needs with volunteer management staff
  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.
  • Enforces safety regulations
  • Suggests changes in working conditions and use of equipment to increase efficiency of work crew.
  • Analyzes and resolves work problems, or assists workers in solving work problems.
  • Initiates or suggests plans to motivate workers to achieve work goals.

Garden Education Program Support

  • Meets regularly with the program team to discuss facilities, programming, and garden needs
  • Plans gardening schedule according to education program needs
  • Attends all staff meetings to coordinate scheduling, intern, and program needs
  • Collaborates with program team to develop planting and harvesting schedule to support nutrition education programs and events
  • Works with programs team to support garden education lessons

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • More than 5 years related experience and/or training in facilities and grounds management, organic gardening and/or farming; or equivalent combination of education and facilities and grounds management experience in garden or farm setting.
  • Proven ability to manage and work with gardening and maintenance team
  • Commitment to sustainable agriculture and environmental education
  • Proven experience with soil building techniques, organic control of insect and disease, companion planting and greenhouse propagation
  • Proven experience managing multiple gardens simultaneously
  • Proven experience with cultivating and maintaining food and flower gardens using organic/sustainable methods, experience French Biointensive methods a plus
  • Proven experience in planting, maintaining, and harvesting production gardens serving weekly program needs
  • Proven experience in creating and maintaining garden operations logs, tracking harvests, and developing planting plans and crop rotation schedules for successful and sustainable garden operations
  • Experience gardening without use of motorized implements
  • Ability to lift 75 lbs and perform strenuous outdoor tasks related to garden maintenance
  • Must have basic knowledge of building codes and ADA requirements
  • Must have ability to read blueprints, sketches, and drawings

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills
  • Comfortable working with supervisor, co-workers, employees, interns, and volunteers
  • Proven experience working with people of different cultures and backgrounds

Language Ability:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • 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 or employees of organization.
  • Spanish and English is preferred.

Reasoning Ability:

  • Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
  • Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.

Computer Skills:

  • To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)

Certificates and Licenses:

  • Acceptable DMV record and valid driver’s license required

Work Environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly exposed to outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include Close vision, Distance vision, Peripheral vision, Depth perception and Ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear and taste or smell. The employee is occasionally required to sit. Much of the duties are performed outdoors.

This is a full time exempt position. A competitive compensation package is available including paid holidays, and a monthly stipend for health care.

About Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center:
The mission of Olivewood Gardens is to connect and empower students and families from diverse backgrounds to be healthy and active through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education. Once the home of the Walton family, the organic gardens on the property have been cultivated for over 20 years, providing organic produce for the community. Now the site of our nutrition and garden education center, the unique 7-acre property is located in National City, where the rates of childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are higher than the County average. In just 5 short years Olivewood has received over 38,000 visits from children and family members from throughout San Diego County who are interested in learning about food, health, and the natural environment. Olivewood has developed a children’s field trip program, a parent education series, community classes and events, and family programs – all with the purpose of improving health through food. Olivewood serves over 2,000 students per year, with a special emphasis on low-income, urban populations who have limited opportunities for nature-based learning. Our volunteer team of over 500 includes horticulturists, chefs, nutrition educators, graduate students, and community members.

How to Apply:
Please send your letter of interest and resumé to healy@olivewoodgardens.org with the subject title “Facilities and Gardens Manager”. Please include in your letter of interest your requested salary range.