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Americorps Positions - Cincinnati Zoo

Green Umbrella

Green Umbrella

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2023

Organization: Cincinnati Zoo

About the position:

Please note: Many Americorps positions are available at the Cincinnati Zoo.  Please see information below for a complete list.


The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers opportunities for everyone! CZBG and AmeriCorps have partnered to bring a variety of fun, engaging, and conservation-based opportunities to audiences including youth, visitors, animal ambassadors, and more! Together, CZBG and AmeriCorps will provide quality STEM education to economically disadvantaged PreK-12th grade students, will engage Zoo visitors, volunteers, Zooteens, and community members in environmentally conscious practices and behaviors, grow and maintain Zoo and community garden spaces, facilitate data coordination for animal welfare excellence and conservation research, and support a variety of sustainability initiatives.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is known for many things - our conservation efforts, our green initiatives, our beautiful botanical garden, our friendly staff… but did you know that we have a strong set of core values that make us the best team around, and a Top Workplace in Cincinnati? We’re more than coworkers… we’re family. By building Collaborative Relationships, displaying Positivity & Energy, having Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership, supporting Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect, and embracing Progressive Thinking, we have built a team of dedicated staff that focuses on our visitors, our community, & our future.

This is what we believe and how we act. If this gets you fired up, we look forward to having you join our team!

Service Term: 40 hours/week for 11 months (October – August), fully hosted under horticulture

Description/Support Function: The AmeriCorps Member in this position would support our goal of serving our community by contributing to the long-term success of zoo-affiliated community garden spaces. In addition to assisting with the creation of long-term garden maintenance plans for existing gardens, the member in this role will have the opportunity to connect community members to resources, provide educational opportunities, assist with the on-going maintenance of garden sites, and learn about the process of community revitalization. This position will not only help to enhance the aesthetics of our community, but also build upon the relationship that we are cultivating with the community of Avondale.

Primary Focus: The primary focus of this service position is to assist in ensuring the on-going value of zoo-affiliated garden spaces within the community through the evaluation of previous garden designs and plant selections as well as the creation of long-term garden maintenance plans for these sites. The service member’s role could expand to include: hands-on horticultural trainings/demonstrations for community members in community garden spaces, coordinating/leading volunteer groups in garden installation and upkeep, facilitating community relationships, assisting Horticulture Department with the planning & execution of REDS Community Project goals, and designs for future garden installations within the community.


The incumbent is a full-time AmeriCorps position serving 1,700 hours (40 hours per week) over an 11-month term of service (October 2, 2023 to August 31, 2023). They will report directly to and be supervised by the Horticulture department. Schedules will serve 5 days a week, 8-hour days, and assigned as needed. Due to the nature of this role, tasks may favor an indoor or outdoor setting for periods of time during the service year.

Service Goals

Primary Service Goals Include:

Evaluation of plant selection and design for existing zoo-affiliated community garden spaces

Creation of long-term garden maintenance plans and resources

Support for Horticulture Department in the planning & execution of REDS Community Project goals

Service member would have the opportunity to attend some planning meetings involving the Horticulture Department and meet community leaders, partners, and other stakeholders while learning what the process of community revitalization looks like

Research and create design ideas for potential future garden installations within the community

Evaluate, assess, and report program goals and outcomes

Measure impact of and goals for the program year

Participate in a mid-year and end of year performance review process with supervisors

Complete bi-weekly timesheets to accurately report hours served

Participate in professional development workshops through AmeriCorps In-Service days, service projects, and training opportunities

Secondary Service Goals Include:

Contribute to the physical maintenance and enhancement of community garden spaces that are affiliated with the zoo as well as community facing zoo gardens.

Tasks to accomplish this goal may include: growing plants, transplanting, watering, mulching, deadheading, pruning, weeding, string trimming, maintaining footpaths, reseeding/replacing sod, amending soil, overwintering plant material, and other garden maintenance tasks.

Assist in the coordination and leadership of volunteer groups in garden installation and upkeep as necessary

Provide hands-on horticultural trainings/demonstrations for community members in community garden spaces

Commitment to Service:

Ability to fulfill an 11-month, full-time AmeriCorps service commitment

Dedication to CZBG and AmeriCorps’ missions

Enthusiastic and positive attitude toward helping others

In addition to learning horticultural skills and plant identification from professional horticulturist well-regarded within the field, the service member will have opportunities to gain skills in leadership, communication, community collaboration, training/program development, and garden design.

Additional Qualifications

Bachelor’s Degree required

Ability to use basic and preferably advanced functions of Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Publisher) the internet and web-based forms

Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed


The AmeriCorps Member would support the mission and goals of our program and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden by assisting to ensure the long-term value of zoo-affiliated garden landscapes. The service member’s contributions would impact overall aesthetics of the community and serve to promote and build upon the positive relationship that organization strives to create. It would support our mission of inspiring people with plants every day and contribute to the five pillars of the Botanical Garden and Cincinnati Zoo:

Collection – contribute toward the installation and maintenance of plants that provide a variety of benefits to community

Education – providing passive education opportunities through plant labeling and active educational opportunities through trainings/hands on horticultural demonstrations for the community

Research – evaluating current community garden designs and plant selections as well as researching and creating designs for potential future garden installations within the community

Conservation – promoting plants for that provide multiple ecosystem services (aesthetics, food, wildlife value, erosion control, etc.)

Community – enhancing shared community spaces, encouraging community pride, and strengthening our organizations relationship with the community


Valid Driver’s License

Ability to travel locally when needed

To serve as an AmeriCorps member, individuals must be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.

Ability to stand, walk, climb and grasp objects

Willingness to work in a variety of weather conditions

Must be able to lift & move 50 pounds without mechanical assistance

Appointment is conditional upon passing a pre-start drug screen, providing a negative TB test, providing proof of full vaccination status as defined by the CDC, and providing information to establish eligibility and complete a National Criminal History Check.


Total living allowance of up to $26,880 to be paid on a bi-weekly basis over the course of the 11-month service term.

Eligible to receive an education award of $6,895 upon successful completion of 1,700-hour service term. *Value dependent on Pell Grant each year.

Health care and childcare benefit eligible

AmeriCorps status could qualify you for forbearance and interest payments on qualified student loans during service.

Extensive training, practice, and skill building in the fields of environmental and informal education, conservation communication, research, and horticulture for all audiences, as well as seasonal tickets and discounts provided within the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Making a difference in the community while being part of a dedicated service team.

We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity. We are a Ellequate Certified Leader in Workplace Equity. Non-traditional candidates of diverse backgrounds are not only welcomed, but highly encouraged to apply.

More information including a complete list of positions can be found here.