The Natural Garden designs and installs living landscapes and restores natural habitats in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont. In our landscapes we work primarily with native plants to feed the pollinators and support the greater food web.
The Natural Garden is seeking both Level 1 (entry) and Level 2 (experienced) members for its Conservation Landscaping and Habitat Restoration Team. These individuals play a crucial role in both conservation native plant landscaping and habitat restoration. In conservation landscaping, the team members participate in all aspects of site work, stonework, planting, and maintenance to bring our native plant landscape designs to life. In habitat restoration, the team members participate in invasive plant removal, site preparation for seeding and reforestation, forb, shrub and tree planting, and ongoing management and maintenance.
No prior experience is needed for Level 1. Some previous experience (see below) is needed for Level 2. Individuals who like a balance of taking initiative and working cooperatively with others as well as working hard in the outdoors will enjoy being part of the Conservation Landscaping and Habitat Restoration Team.
- Show up with a positive and uplifting work ethic and collaborates well with team members.
- Assist conservation landscaping team with hand grading, hardscape work, planting, and maintenance.
- Assist habitat restoration team with invasive exotic plant treatment and clearing, planting, and management.
- Safely operate skid loaders and mini-excavators.
- Safely operate chainsaws, brush cutters, string trimmers, and similar equipment.
- Actively develop understanding of native plant communities through on-the-job learning and other professional development opportunities.
- Assist with, and actively develop skills for, dry set and dry stack stone work.
Required Experience and Knowledge
- Able to lift and carry at least 80 lbs. and be able to perform a variety of physical duties for 8+ hours daily with frequent bending, lifting and carrying.
- Able to work outdoors for extended periods of time in a wide range of weather.
- Strong desire to actively engage with the land to promote native biodiversity.
- Level 1 Qualifications: No technical experience or knowledge necessary.
- Level 2 Qualifications: Preference for those who have 1-2 years of work experience in ecological restoration, landscaping, farming, horticulture, arboriculture, forestry and/or logging.
- Familiarity with core equipment such as chain saw, brush saw, string trimmer and backpack sprayer, or desire to learn their use.
Desired Experience and Knowledge
- Experience dry setting stone patios, walks, steps, and dry stacking stone walls.
- Experience with the native plants of the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont of Virginia or the Mid-Atlantic Region at least.
- Experience operating mini-excavators and skid loaders.
- Experience driving manual transmission trucks.
- Experience pulling loaded trailers (two to seven tons).
- Education background including an Associates or Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, environmental science, ecology, wildlife conservation, conservation management, native plant botany/studies is preferred, but related training and program certificates will certainly be considered.