8411 Groundskeeper/Horticulturalist


TITLE Groundskeeper/Horticulturalist





MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Assistant Director Facilities Management-Grounds Services


The Groundskeeper/Horticulturalist performs semi-skilled work in the maintenance, care, and modification of University grounds and landscapes, which includes the operation of electrically-powered and gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment and machines and the use of small hand and power tools or equipment in planting, cultivating, and trimming grounds and landscaping. The Groundskeeper/Horticulturalist promotes good plant health and prevents deterioration by advising and performing horticulture work as directed (about 70% of work time) either alone, as a member of a team, or as a team leader. The Groundskeeper/Horticulturalist also performs work in planning and preparing designs (about 30%) of work time for landscape projects. Work is reviewed in progress and upon completion.


Education: A high school diploma or the equivalent is required.

Experience: At least two years of experience in groundskeeping is required, where knowledge of the methods, materials, and equipment used in planting, cultivating, and trimming a variety of types of trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, and grasses has been gained; an Associate’s degree in horticulture or a related field may be substituted for the two years of experience required. Drafting experience is preferred.

Skills: The ability to read the English language sufficiently to understand written work orders and instructions as well as directions for the proper mixture, use, and disposal/storage of cleaners solvents, chemicals, fertilizers, and similar products used in groundskeeping is required. Skill in the proper operation and maintenance of grounds maintenance tools, equipment, and machinery is required. Knowledge of the use and proper disposal of chemicals used in groundskeeping (horticulture, turf management, and floriculture) is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. The ability to identify and eradicate disease or insect damage to plant and turf materials is preferred.

Certification: Licensing by the State of Missouri as a Certified Public Operator, License Category 3, for Spraying Pesticides is required within 120 days of hiring.

Effort: The ability to lift and carry groundskeeping supplies and equipment weighing up to 50 pounds on a frequent basis and up to 100 pounds on an occasional basis, prolonged walking or standing, and frequent bending, stooping, kneeling, and reaching on a daily basis is required. A full range of physical motion is required in order to operate manual, electrically-powered and/or gasoline-powered groundskeeping equipment and machines. The ability to access facilities and areas which may only be accessible by climbing stairs or by climbing ladders to a height of 20 feet (e.g., for tree trimming) is required. The ability to move throughout assigned areas, as 70% of the work is performed out-of-doors, year round, is required. Employees in this job classification (job title) are designated as essential employees and must report to work as scheduled when University offices are closed due to severe weather.

License: Must have a valid Missouri motor vehicle operator's license.

Other: The scope of the position requires exposure to and use of chemical compounds for application on trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, and grasses which may be hazardous and cause injury if specific instructions regarding their mixture, application, use and disposal/storage are not properly followed.


1. Prepares general drafting work, such as site plans, maps, and working sketches for landscape projects, gives recommendations regarding sustainable practices and natural surroundings, and reviews landscape plans forwarded from the Office of Planning, Design & Construction.

2. Performs tasks common to the care of grounds and landscapes by seeding, watering, mulching, fertilizing, and applying chemicals to outside plantings, lawns and turf; inspecting plant materials for insects, disease, physical and mechanical damage and identifying replacements; transplanting, pruning, trimming, and cultivating trees, shrubs, ground cover, and flowers; and storing and caring for bulbs and cuttings in the winter season.

3. Performs regular and directed grounds and landscape maintenance by trimming and edging around trees, shrubs, ground cover, flowers, sidewalks, and buildings; weeding, thinning, and cleaning flower beds and other grounds by hand or utilizing proper tools and equipment; and setting up, adjusting, repairing, and cleaning irrigation systems.

4. Provides a record of grounds and landscape watering and chemical spraying by keeping daily logs of areas watered, duration of watering, and the application of chemicals, including areas sprayed, amount and type of chemicals used, substances sprayed and reason, and the wind speed and direction at time of spraying.

5. Performs campus-wide general maintenance and repairs by installing, removing, repairing, and maintaining landscape lighting, parking meters, signs, cables, chains, barricades, gates, bicycle racks, feeders, posts, fences, and rock walls; and repairing streets, parking lots, athletic fields, tennis courts, track and omni turf.

6. Removes unsightly trash and debris from public areas by regularly inspecting grounds, drains, manhole covers, etc., for debris; raking, sweeping and bagging leaves, debris, dirt, and trash from streets, sidewalks, parking lots, tunnels and transporting the trash to designated central collection points on a daily basis.

7. Reduces the likelihood for the spread of diseases and unsightly appearance of trash containers in public areas by emptying, cleaning and disinfecting trash and cigarette receptacles on a regular basis, and removing, repairing, and installing trash and cigarette receptacles on University property on an as needed basis.

8. Promotes good plant health and prevents deterioration by performing horticultural work (either alone, as a member of a team, or as a team leader) including assessing and reporting the health of plants.

9. Assists in preventing accidents resulting from snow or ice covered walkways by removing mowing decks and installing snow removal equipment on riding mowers and tractors; operating snow blowers, tractors, or mowers with blades and using shovels to remove snow and spread sand, chat, and salt on snow- or ice-covered surfaces.

10. Prepares outdoor locations and athletic fields for use by painting and marking athletic fields, moving bleachers and seating, and erecting portable goals or other athletic equipment.

11. Applies chemicals used in groundskeeping (horticulture, turf management, and floriculture) properly and safely by wearing prescribed protective clothing, masks, and/or rubber gloves and boots, following either written or verbal directions for mixing chemical compounds according to specifications, applying the chemicals properly on grounds and landscapes designated for their use, and disposing of residual chemical products as directed (or storing and labeling them for future use).

12. Ensures that grounds maintenance equipment is operational by performing routine and preventative maintenance and cleaning tools, equipment, and machines within reasonable capabilities to do so.

13. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

14. Contributes to the overall success of the Grounds Department by performing all other related duties as assigned.


The Groundskeeper-Horticulturalist is supervised by the Grounds Supervisor, generally does not exercise supervision of others, and trains groundskeepers, student workers, and/or temporary employees in plant care operations.