Powell Gardens, Inc

Kingsville, Missouri

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 39,000-43,000
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

About Us

As Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, Powell Gardens provides 175 acres of recreation, adventure, and exploration. Established in 1988, Powell Gardens is a non-profit, public garden containing display gardens with rotating botanical displays, notable plant collections, seasonal programming and events, a three-mile nature trail, educational classes, art, architecture, breathtaking views, and more.

We believe our team members are our most important asset. By building strong relationships with each other, we can ensure that our guests have the best possible experience. If your passion is conservation, we would love to talk to you! If you love working outdoors and want to combine your love of lands and plant conservation with a beautiful botanical garden, Powell Gardens is the place for you! Experience our gardens and join our team of experts.


The Full Time Conservationist plans and executes habitat management in the natural communities at Powell Gardens and Ona’s Prairie. In this role the Conservationist is responsible for identifying and developing outreach programing and acting as a liaison for Powell Gardens. Conservation at Powell Gardens focuses on stewarding ecosystems to support species diversity and a mosaic of landscape features for the next generation and conserving the human connection to our regionally distinct natural communities.

This position is responsible for the overall stewardship of display and maintenance of native plantings in gardens, naturalized spaces, meadows, and trails at Powell Gardens continuing land management practices in place and exploring new options. Responsibilities include offsite areas owned and/or managed by Powell Gardens including Ona’s Prairie and Timber acreage. A leadership position, the Conservationist supervises the Natural Resources and Mowing teams that may also include seasonal employees and interns. Environmental education outreach and volunteer management are important components. Oversee collaborative partners in assigned areas including Good Oak, a regenerative agriculture partner of Powell Gardens, and Missouri Prairie Foundation, a partner of Ona’s Prairie.

Essential Functions: 

Ecological Stewardship

  • Plan and carry out appropriate stewardship tasks within priority ecological communities at Powell Gardens and Ona’s Prairie.
  • Identify and prioritize classification of ecological communities at Powell Gardens and highlight their restoration or reconstruction potential.
  • Manage Wildflower Meadow, Butterfly Meadow, and Susan Lordi Marker Native Plant Garden for visitor experience and educational use.
  • Maintain and develop floristic inventories of natural communities at Powell Gardens.

Trail Management

  • Plan and lead management of the Byron Shutz Nature Trail System for a positive visitor experience and conservation of the natural communities among the trail system. Provide communication of conditions as needed.


  • Advocate on behalf of Powell Gardens to relevant regional and national conservation communities.
  • Build awareness of conservation at Powell Gardens through networking opportunities.
  • Support public engagement through education classes, tours, citizen science, and article development for internal and external sources.
  • Identify and develop opportunities for interpretation.


  • Provide ecological based consultation for development projects at Powell Gardens including collaborations with Good Oak.
  • Integrate current scientific publications and stewardship practice into the work at Powell Gardens.
  • Guide staff, interns, volunteers, and contractors in conservation projects.
  • Manage relevant budget(s).


  • Work across departments to support the mission of Powell Gardens.
  • Complete conservation work with collaborating partners when possible.


  • Lead Prescribed Burn Team
  • Manage and provide training with assigned staff including Turf Technician, Mower, Natural Resources Technician, interns and seasonal staff.
  • Participate in leadership development.

Other Duties: 

Seasonal Festivals, Exhibitions, Programs, and Outreach

  • Lead two trail days at Powell Gardens in collaboration with other Powell departments and outside collaborators.
  • Collaborate with the development and Wildflower Week at Powell Gardens.
  • Lead tours, provide educational programs, create conservation content, share images with the marketing team.
  • The horticulture team is an integral part of planning, designing, installing and tearing down seasonal festivals and annual exhibitions. Participation in meetings, creating designs, hands-on construction, and working festival shifts beyond traditional garden hours will be required.

Garden Manual

  • Assist with annual content updates for the area’s garden manual.

Plant Accession and Plant Tags  

  • Assist with accurate documentation of the area’s plant records and requests for new and updated plant tags.



  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resources management, environmental science, or related field.


  • 5 years combined experiences with Midwest ecosystems, native plants, environmental education, ecological research, or related work.
  • Proven experience coordinating multiple projects and corresponding budgeting.
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and manage multiple priorities with assignments coming from many sources and projects.
  • Strong administrative skills.
  • Writing and communication skills sufficient to prepare and present information in a coherent, objective, and technically sound manner.
  • Experience in natural resource management decision making.
  • Experience with equipment.
  • Supervising staff, interns, volunteers, and/or contractors.


  • Missouri Flora and Fauna
  • Methods for restoration of degraded ecosystems
  • Knowledge of the methods, materials, tools, and equipment used in the management of natural areas, invasives species control and the knowledge of occupational hazards and safety precautions.
  • Database management.
  • Social awareness of natural resource decisions.
  • Chemical handlers license required within 3 months of employment.
  • Prescribed burn experience, licensing required within 1 year of employment

Physical Requirements/Work Environment

Must be able to lift 40 lbs; accomplish strenuous work on an ongoing basis in various weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold; willingness to don waders and enter the garden pools; must have dexterity and be able to groom plants and prune with speed and accuracy; ability to work evenings, holidays  and weekends as required.



403b Plan

Employer Paid Life Insurance

Employer Paid Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance

Generous PTO Plan


To Apply

Applicants interested in this position must submit the following to hr@powellgardens.org

  • Cover letter addressing interest in the role and how your experience applies
  • Resume
  • Three references: professional or academic

To view all of our current openings, please visit https://powellgardens.org/careers-at-powell-gardens/

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship , Outdoor Recreation
Tags Trail Maintenance , Outreach