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Work in the Humber Arboretum Gardens

Do you love being outdoors and appreciate nature? Do you want to learn new skills and be part of a team? Apply to be a Student Gardener at the Humber Arboretum!

Throughout the year, the Humber Arboretum has a team of work-study students who help maintain the grounds, serve as nature stewards, and create an outstanding experience for Arboretum visitors.

About the Humber Arboretum 

The Humber Arboretum consists of roughly 250 acres of public gardens and naturalized areas connected to Humber College North Campus. It operates as a tri-partnership between Humber College, the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

The grounds of the Humber Arboretum are free to visit and open to the public during daylight hours year-round. Numerous programs at Humber College use the grounds to facilitate experiential learning opportunities, and the Arboretum's Centre for Urban Ecology offers events and programs for schools and the general public.

The Humber Arboretum's 2019-2024 Strategic Plan identified three priorities: World-Ready Citizens, Healthy Communities, and Thriving Nature.

Two students work in the Arboretum gardens

About the Job 

Student Gardeners play a vital role in maintaining the aesthetics of the grounds and botanical gardens. With over 50 annual and perennial bed displays along with planters, the Humber Food Learning Garden, and a variety of natural areas, students hired to a Gardener position at the Arboretum can look forward to learning a variety of horticultural and ecological skills.

Previous experience is not required. We are looking for positive and energetic individuals with a passion for horticulture and/or the environment who are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Working within a team environment, students will learn a wide assortment of landscaping techniques including:

  • Seasonal clean up
  • Planting trees, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, and perennials
  • Plant protection techniques
  • Deadheading and specialty pruning
  • Bed design
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Plant identification including pest and disease
  • Invasive species identification and control methods
  • Safe operation of grounds maintenance equipment

 

Status: 

We always accept applications for Student Gardeners. If you are interested in working in the summer, you should apply as early as January/February (however we will continue to accept applications throughout the summer). Send your resume, cover letter*, and a copy of your work study approval to Humber Arboretum Horticulture Technician Andrea Sudak at andrea.sudak@humber.ca

*In your cover letter, you must state clearly if you are applying for a general Student Gardener position or are interested in one of the specialized roles (see below).  

 

Job Location: Humber Arboretum, Humber College North Campus (205 Humber College Blvd)

Hours: All work takes place Monday-Friday; no weekends required

  • Sept-Apr: Part-time, adjusted to fit available work and class schedules
  • May-Aug: 35 hrs/wk

Starting Wage: $14.10 / per hour

Basic Qualifications for all Student Gardeners:

  • Must be a Humber College or UofGH work-study approved student (visit Humber Career Services to learn about and apply for Work Study approval)
  • Must be willing to work outdoors in varying weather conditions
  • Must be able to work cooperatively as part of a team
  • Must be able to work independently as needed
  • Being detail-oriented is a real asset
  • Related experience is an asset but is not required
  • First aid training is an asset but is not required
  • Valid driver's licence is preferred but not required
  • Must have own pair of C.S.A. (green patch) safety boots
  • Must be able to safely lift up to 30 pounds
  • Must be able to sustain physical activity necessary for the maintenance of gardens and grounds under adverse weather conditions including heat and humidity and light rain

Please note, these positions are open to students from any program.

Specialized Roles:

There are a variety of specialized roles available within the Student Gardeners team. If you think you might be interested in any of the following roles, please clearly state that in your cover letter when you apply for a Student Gardener position.

On a sunny summer day in a public garden, a student waters a flower bed with a hose attached to a truck

Turf Maintenance (summer only)

One Student Gardener will be offered the specific role of Turf Maintenance for the summer. This student works under the Humber Arboretum's Horticultural Technologist and Arborist to primarily assist with watering, lawn cutting, and trail maintenance, along with other duties as assigned. This position is suited to a reliable, independent worker who is comfortable operating vehicles. 

 *A valid driver's license is required for the Turf Maintenance position

Surrounded by large plants inside a greenhouse, an individual pours water onto one from a watering can

Greenhouse

While all Student Gardeners will spend some time in the greenhouse, one to two students will have the opportunity to work closely with the Humber Arboretum's Greenhouse Technician and learn all about how the greenhouse functions while caring for the plants within. They will mix soils, sow and transplant seeds, prepare trays, care for nursery stock, learn specific watering requirements for a variety of plants, and assist in plant sales. They will also work in the Humber Food Learning Garden, which may include assisting staff from Humber College's culinary programs when they visit the garden. Student Gardeners offered this role are generally enrolled in a related program or have previous experience. 

One young woman watches as another cut through stone with a saw

Landscape Construction

 Work alongside the Humber Arboretum's Landscape Technician to help with maintenance, repair, and construction of garden beds, bridges, benches, and other structures around the Arboretum. You must be comfortable working with tools, detail-oriented, reliable, and committed to excellence. While related experience is an asset, being eager, willing, and quick to learn is just as important.  

More Opportunities

If you don't think the Student Gardener role is right for you, students of Humber College and U of GH may also be interested in applying for employment in the office or as a summer Nature Camp counsellor, or volunteering in the Humber Arboretum Learning by Leading™ program. Learn about all of the opportunities for students at the Humber Arboretum.

Students install a wooden bird box on a metal pole in the middle of a fall meadow