Turf Operations Specialist - The Esplanade

Tuesday, November 07, 2023 10:40 AM | Anonymous

Position Description:

The Esplanade Association (EA) is seeking an experienced landscape professional with a strong turf care background to support EA’s in-park horticulture program which maintains areas of the Charles River Esplanade including hardscapes, gardens, lawns, trees, shorelines, playgrounds and architectural features. The Turf Operations Specialist position requires the ability to recognize and adhere to horticultural best practices in an urban state park setting and wetland.

Expected knowledge includes but is not limited to plant identification, soil health, organic landscape practices, pruning, cultivation techniques, and general maintenance. The Turfs Operation Specialist will execute projects independently, as well as with EA’s Horticultural and Programs staff and scheduled volunteers; many projects will require coordination with state staff and outside contractors. This position will be most rewarding for those who can be both self-directed and collaborative, and who are passionate about urban greenspace!

About the Esplanade Association (www.esplanade.org):

Founded in 2001, the Esplanade Association (EA) is the community-supported non-profit dedicated to expanding the care of and for the historic Charles River Esplanade through projects, programs and plantings that amplify the park experience for over 4 million visitors annually. The Esplanade is downtown Boston’s 64-acre state park maintained by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). This cultural landmark is revered for its natural and cultivated beauty, history, riverfront access, miles of populated running trails, and dynamic programs with numerous organizations. EA’s contributions include funding and implementing the following enhancements, revitalizations and activations: over 100 free educational, recreational and cultural programs offered annually; 150 new trees planted through the Lasting Esplanade Arbor Fund (L.E.A.F.); repair or reconstruction of beloved amenities including Lotta Fountain and the Community Boating docks; both temporary and long-term public art commissions; playground maintenance and accessible design, including the forthcoming Gronk Playground in 2024; plans underway to introduce a new building and two-acre landscape improvement at Charlesbank Landing that will equitably welcome many neighborhoods to a year-round destination in the park; and much more. It's an exciting time to join a growing, impactful and community-engaged non-profit.


Turf Maintenance (50%)

  • Develop a turf management plan that adheres to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.
  • Service and maintain all irrigation systems for all gardens and turf fields that EA manages.
  • Identify, diagnose and treat insect, disease, and cultural issues on EA maintained turf areas.
  • Identify and evaluate contractors, solicit bids and oversee the execution of turf-related projects.
  • Stay updated on industry trends and advancements in turf management techniques.

General Park Horticulture (50%)

  • Assist Director of Park Operations to develop, integrate and implement a park-wide IPM and Horticulture Plan.
  • As prioritized and directed, execute park landscaping, maintenance and improvement projects and needs, including soil testing and monitoring compaction; adapt organic procedures as soil data dictate.
  • Monitor, maintain and plan for the installation, care and/or replacement of the park’s tree, shrub, and herbaceous collections.
  • Perform thorough maintenance and servicing of mowers, blowers, chainsaws, string trimmers, etc.
  • Maintain benches, chairs and other fixtures as needed.
  • Manage and interpret soil data; create databases for monitoring annual soil health trends.
  • Manage and update tree inventory, labeling and mapping in ArcGIS and other databases.
  • Manage special projects related to horticulture/green infrastructure/freshwater/invasive plant management.
  • Communicate with DCR staff on on-going projects (construction, events, maintenance, safety, etc.) and ad hoc issues (fallen tree limbs, graffiti, animals, repairs, etc.).
  • Assist Director or Park Operations with presentations and reports to board members and key stakeholders.
  • Assist Director or Park Operations in research, contribute to and/or write grants as appropriate.
  • Assist Director of Park Operations with the development of horticulture/maintenance budgets.
  • Assist Volunteer & Engagement Manager (Programs team) in managing volunteer events.
  • Assist in supervising summer interns, dedicated volunteers and others, as directed.
  • Attend meetings (public + internal) pertaining to DCR updates, horticulture, freshwater, and construction issues.


  • Bachelor or associate degree in Horticulture or a related field, or 3+ years of horticulture, field and turf care experience required.
  • Proficiency in installation and maintenance of irrigation systems required.
  • Strong plant identification skills required.
  • Must be able to work outside in all types of weather and bend, stoop, reach, carry up to 50 lbs., crawl, climb, and lift as necessary to carry out duties.
  • Must hold and maintain a Massachusetts pesticide applicators license with ability to obtain a Massachusetts Pesticide Commercial Certification (category 37) within 6 months.
  • Must possess a valid Massachusetts driver’s license in good standing at time of hire and for duration of employment.
  • Ability to safely operate and/or drive a variety of light and heavy equipment.
  • Demonstrated experience in, and knowledge of, vehicle and equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Strong communication, organization and prioritization within an on-site and off-site team.
  • Fluency with Microsoft office suite and related programs.
  • Demonstrated capacity to effectively work independently with a proactive approach to problem solving.
  • Demonstrated commitment to positively interact with a diverse array of volunteers and park patrons in a courteous and professional manner, to maintain a welcoming and safe public park atmosphere.
  • A love for public parks and appreciation for the management of a dynamic, historic public space


  • Work hours are Monday through Friday, 7am to 3pm, and occasional weekend days will be required.
  • Participation will be required for select evening and weekend events, and an occasional holiday; these may include but are not limited to Board, volunteer, fundraising, and programming activities as assigned.
  • Applicants are subject to Criminal Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I) check, however, we believe in rehabilitation and will provide any applicant the opportunity to address past work and life experiences
  • Selected Candidate will be requested to test negatively for Covid-19 before joining the team in person, or if symptoms arise.


EA offers a competitive salary for the Boston non-profit and parks sector. Performance and compensation are reviewed regularly, and management provides all employees with transparent benchmarks and paths for professional development and promotion within the organization. The annual salary range for this position will be $50,000-60,000, commensurate with prior experience and demonstrated skills.


  • 15 vacation, 12 sick & 2 personal days per year
  • 7 holidays & 4 floating holidays to use as employee chooses
  • Health and dental insurance, 80% of monthly premium paid by EA
  • Health savings account with $2,000 EA contribution for those enrolled in EA health plan
  • 403(b) retirement plan
  • Commuter benefits, pre-tax deduction up to $300/month
  • Paid professional development opportunities, along with reimbursement for required certifications
  • EA uniforms provided and clothing & boot allowance/reimbursement up to $300

Application Process:

Please send your resume and a brief cover letter, including your preferred pronouns at jobs@esplanade.org.

NESTMA | 67 West Street | Medfield, MA 02052 | (508) 653-1241

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