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Chicago Master Gardener

A blog for Chicago Master Gardeners providing information on volunteer opportunities, training, workshops and resources.

Horticulture Position Open in North Cook

Posted by Ron Wolford -

University of Illinois Extension

Academic Hourly (part time)

Cook County Extension Position Description

Job Description

Title: Horticulture Assistant

Purpose and Scope of Position

The Horticulture Assistant will work as a team member with other Cook County personnel. This person will implement assigned educational programs that are designed to foster the acquisition of knowledge and the development of individuals and communities in Urban Horticulture. Horticulture Assistants secure and coordinate the efforts of volunteers, facilitate planning and marketing efforts, and network and/or collaborate with community organizations and groups to address their educational needs.

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list will be conducted.

Administrative & Organizational Relationship

The Horticulture Assistant is administratively responsible to the Cook County Director and/or Associate County Director with program guidance, leadership and supervision from the Urban Horticulture Educator. This position is a part time hourly position and is contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated annually. The work will be done in a 25- 30 hour work week and a maximum of 7.5 hour day.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity policies and guidelines.
  2. Prepare and maintain necessary records and reports
  3. Schedule and attend Master Gardener classes and meetings.
  4. Submit weekly itinerary of planned work activities.
  5. Schedule and coordinate Master Gardener office coverage for response to public.
  6. Assist in marketing the Master Gardener program and recruitment of Master Gardeners.

Major Responsibilities

1. Comply with all University of Illinois Extension and Cook County policies and procedures in programs, outreach and employment.

2. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator in implementation and reporting of program evaluations for Master Gardener and Interns activities such as Master Gardener Information Desk, Speaker's Bureau, Urban youth gardening projects, and other community based volunteer programs.

3. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator to maintain a database of all Master Gardener projects, collect and report all data and contact reports in the regional web-based Master Gardener reporting site.

4. Coordinate the development of the monthly Master Gardener Newsletter, Hort Happenings Newsletter.

5. Coordinate development of resources for the Speaker's Bureau program, confirmations, record keeping, promotion and publicity.

6. Assist in the scheduling of Master Volunteer's monthly meetings, continuing education opportunities, field trips and special events.

7. Assist in the coordination of Master Gardener project confirmations, program logistics and activities for specific program related tasks, such as travel, equipment, facilities use and other supplies.

8. Work with Extension Urban Horticulture Educator to respond to all consumer and volunteer requests for assistance in a timely manner and make concerted efforts to have University of Illinois Extension programs reach diverse audiences.

9. Assist in the dissemination of program efforts and horticulture information to the general public, targeted and underserved audiences and local politicians.

10. Networks and collaborates with community organizations to enhance the urban horticulture program.

11. Adhere to the University's and local unit's use of leave time (both vacation and sick).

12. Perform other duties that contribute to Extension programming as assigned.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications

Credentials verified by placement office

  1. Experience and/or training in Urban Horticulture or related field.
  2. High school diploma (College degree is optional) 3. Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing.
  3. Evidence of strong interpersonal skills and teamwork.
  4. Skill in dealing with people from varied ethnic/social/economic backgrounds.
  5. Ability to organize and manage time.
  6. Ability to compile, organize and maintain complex files, records and/or reports.
  7. Knowledge and use of basic computer technology.
  8. Ability to learn marketing and promotion techniques for program activities.
  9. A personal automobile available for work.
  10. Evidence of a valid driver's license and a minimum of automobile liability insurance.


  1. Two years of experience in work related to the job to be performed.
  2. Experience and/or training in Horticulture or related field.
  3. Familiarity with the community, the unit and Master Gardener program activities.
  4. Skill in collaborating and working with diverse audiences.
  5. An understanding of the history, objectives, organization, scope and methods of University of Illinois Extension.
  6. Ability to work flexible day, evening and weekend hours.
  7. Personal transportation ( candidates must be in compliance with state laws regarding automobile insurance)
  8. Knowledge and use of computer technology (Computer literacy).

Office Locations:

Third District Circuit Court Building

2121 West Euclid Ave., Room 251

Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

Tel. 847-818-2901

Cook County/North Suburban Unit

1699 Wall Street, Suite 500

Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Tel. 847-437-6449

Application Procedures:

Letter of Interest relating to the position available

Current Resume

Three (3) current letters of reference (preferably sent directly by those providing the reference and should have full contact addresses).

High School Diploma and (any other diplomas or certificates you might possess).

Send Application materials to:

Deadline for application is June 30th, 2007.

Theresa Tracy

Personnel & Outreach Coordinator

1699 Wall Street

Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

847-437-6449 X202

For more information regarding the position, you can contact:

Anne Gachuhi

Horticulture Educator,

Cook County/North Suburban Unit

Lake Park Corporate Center

1699 Wall Street, Suite 500

Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056


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