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Garden Ecology Youth Program Coordinator

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John Bartram Association

Job Title : Garden Ecology Youth Program Coordinator
Reports to: Director of Youth Education & Lead Gardener and Land Manager

Date posted: March 6, 2024

Bartram’s Garden is seeking a Full Time Garden Ecology Youth Program Coordinator. Bartram’s Garden is a 50+ acre public garden in Southwest Philadelphia, situated on Lenape territory on the banks of the lower Schuylkill River. It is a venue for art, access to the tidal river and wetlands, an outdoor classroom and a living laboratory. Bartram’s Garden attempts to hold the colonial legacy of the land with a commitment to learn and share the whole truth about the plants of Southwest Philadelphia and the people who grow them.  For more information on Bartram's Garden visit

Since 2012 the Garden has hosted an award-winning, culturally relevant paid youth internship, employing more than 150 local high school students since the program’s inception and maintaining a 4-year graduation rate of 95%, in stark contrast to the local school’s 59%. Historically, the Garden has employed roughly 40 local students annually through parallel programs with the Sankofa Community Farm, Roots Tree Crew, and Denkyem River Guardians. Within these programs youth focus not only on technical skills like urban agriculture and watershed health but also on personal development in areas such as public speaking, cultural traditions, and team building.


Bartram’s Garden is looking to add to our current youth programing through the introduction of an incoming Horticulture focused youth intern cohort. Bartram’s Garden is seeking a program coordinator to recruit and manage a youth intern cohort, as well as support the current Horticulture team in overall garden maintenance and stewardship.


Core Responsibilities include:

  • Participate as integral hybrid member of both Youth Education and Horticulture teams.



  • Working as member of Horticulture team in the year-round maintenance and overall care of Bartram’s natural/botanical gardens including special focus on planning, monitoring, and maintenance of the trolley and Lindbergh Entry gardens, Orchard Pavillion and Pedestrian entry gardens, Parking Loop Plantings, Sankofa Farm rain gardens, and 56th St. Bandstand plantings.
  • Volunteer Engagement: Participate in hosting second and fourth Saturday volunteer days; support volunteer land stewardship efforts in collaboration with Horticulture and Development teams.
  • Participate in biweekly horticulture department workdays and meetings.
  • Participate in snow and leaf removal activities.


  • Plan and coordinate Horticulture youth intern program including the recruitment and hiring of youth interns.
  • Develop and implement programming and curricula for youth interns in key horticulture skills including plant identification, tool competency, ecological landscaping, propagation basics, basic design, soil and water science, pruning, adaptability to outdoor work, and traditional ecological knowledge.
  • Ensure documentation and compliance with all policies and procedures, including following all state mandated guidelines for clearances.
  • Support the Bartram’s Education and Development teams in compiling quantitative and narrative reports of proposed and completed deliverables, including required grant reporting. 
  • Participate in monthly Youth Education team meetings, and work in collaboration with other program coordinators.


Position Requirements:

  • Previous training in Horticulture with at least three years of relevant work experience or vocational training; Knowledge and fundamental understanding of natural ecosystems and restorative gardening practices.
  • Enthusiasm for connecting and working with young people of different ethnicities and backgrounds.
  • Ability to operate equipment and tools safely and efficiently.  Recommended experience in safe operation of machinery, small power equipment and power tools (Utility cart, tractor, mowers, chipper, etc. )
  • Experience working in diverse communities with respect to race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, orientation, and place of origin; Lived commitment to racial, economic, environmental, and social justice.
  • Personal or professional familiarity with Southwest Philadelphia
  • Proficiency in utilizing and integrating office technology into daily workflow (Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook, Teams, Zoom)
  • PA Criminal Background Check, Federal Bureau of Investigation Clearance, PA Child Abuse Clearance, PA Mandatory Reporter training
  • Preferred but not required: Red Cross CPR, First Aid certification.


Physical Demands:

Gardening is a physically demanding job that must happen regardless of weather (hot, cold, wet, and dry). While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly be required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; sit, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee will frequently be required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance upon ladders. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. The administrative components to this position require the ability to sit/stand at a desk, work on a computer, and use a monitor for extended periods of time.

Schedule and Compensation

This is a full-time, exempt, year-round position with a annual salary of $45,000 to $47,000. Our site is open daily, and the Garden Ecology Youth Program Coordinator’s schedule will require flexibility to include occasional holidays, weekends, early mornings and late nights throughout the year. Benefits include  healthcare and dental coverage, short and long-term disability coverage, and generous paid time-off including holidays, vacation, and sick time.


To apply please submit your cover letter, resume to  Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please. The John Bartram Association is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.



About Bartram’s Garden
The mission of the John Bartram Association is to create equitable relationships among people and nature through immersive, community-driven experiences that activate the Bartram legacy, Garden, and House, on land and on the Schuylkill River, in Southwest Philadelphia. The garden was founded in 1728 by John Bartram, whose passion for plants and the natural world inspired generations of horticulturists. Located in Southwest Philadelphia, the 45-acre public historic garden is preserved, enhanced, and maintained by the John Bartram Association as America’s oldest botanic garden in cooperation with the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Philadelphia.

Today, Bartram’s Garden offers opportunities for visitors to connect with and learn about plants, nature, history, art, and science. It encompasses the 1731 Bartram house and farm buildings, historic garden, reclamation meadow, tidal wetlands, community farm, recreational trails, and the Schuylkill River front with a public boat dock.

Bartram’s Garden has been working to build its local Southwest focused programs and activities and strengthen its local community partnerships. Continuing to broaden and deepen these relationships and build sustaining relationships with families, local institutions, churches, schools and academic institutions utilizing the Bartram legacy as inspiration for learning and environmental stewardship is at the heart of our vision for a great civic common and river garden. The garden is in the midst of transformation, with unprecedented opportunities for growth and renewal. With the construction of the Bartram’s Mile Trail and the first major house and garden restoration in nearly a century, the profile and visitation at Bartram’s Garden has increased immensely. Capitalizing on this momentum, we are about to embark on planning for a riverfront restoration, freshwater mussel hatchery, and a kayak dock expansion among numerous other projects. These opportunities are focused on building our capacity to serve as the outdoor classroom and living room of Southwest Philadelphia, expanding our role as an anchor community open space and cultural asset.


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