Therapeutic Horticulture Instructor

Website The Horticultural Society of New York

Location: The Horticultural Society of New York, GreenHouse Program on Rikers Island Correctional Facility and various Supportive Housing sites through the city

The Horticultural Society of New York (the Hort) is seeking a Therapeutic Horticulture Instructor for our world-renowned GreenHouse program on Rikers Island. The ideal candidate has a background in horticultural therapy or vocational rehabilitation with an emphasis on horticulture. Candidates should be highly collegial, enjoy a mission-driven environment, have the ability to work independently, and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. Excellent knowledge of horticulture, botany, and environmental science is essential to this position. Experience with classroom management, curriculum development, lesson planning, and remote teaching is a plus.

The full-time Therapeutic Horticulture Instructor will predominantly work with women and men age 18+ who are currently incarcerated. The GreenHouse curriculum combines classroom instruction in botany, horticulture and landscape design, horticultural therapy, and year-round hands-on vocational training. The Instructor is part of a dynamic team, which include the Program Director, Program Managers, Department of Correction staff, Horticultural Therapists, and a team of fellow Instructors that consists of people with various related professional backgrounds. This position may also include conducting therapeutic horticulture workshops at Supportive Housing sites or with other social service programs within The Hort.


Program Delivery

  • Lead classroom instruction in horticulture, botany and environmental science rooted in the overall program foundation of therapeutic horticulture
  • Structure and facilitate horticultural therapy sessions and vocational/academic as well as life-skills sessions -Restoration of existing program gardens after the pandemic, and building of new green spaces allocated to the program -Enhance the program’s current curriculum and develop new lessons plans
  • Support all ongoing efforts to re-start in
  • person programming after a period of remote lesson delivery throughout the pandemic -Research and create supportive materials for lesson plans to influence operational excellence and collaboration
  • Work on remote lesson delivery, should the situation around the pandemic require a temporary switch from in-person to tablets

Administrative Tasks

  • Weekly and monthly reporting of relevant data for use by The Hort and the Department of Correction (DOC)
  • Collect and Evaluate student data -Collaborate with supervisors to procure program supplies, such as plants, workshop materials, books, tools etc. and maintain accurate purchase records
  • Assist with preparing and giving presentations about the program at conferences or to funders
  • Oversee volunteers or interns assigned to the group
  • Collaborate with other Hort programs, as needed
  • Other tasks as needed by the program and the organization

Required Qualifications

  • Excellent knowledge of horticulture, botany, and environmental science, hands on as well as theory -Work experience serving youth at risk, individuals with mental illness, individuals with a history of substance use, or individuals who are incarcerated. -Experience with lesson planning, curriculum creation, and strong classroom management skills
  • Demonstrated administrative skills including data entry and evaluation.
  • Flexibility with the work schedule and the ability to thrive in changing situations
  • A non-judgmental attitude towards people from all routes of life

Preferred Qualifications

  • Registered as a horticultural therapist (HTR) or holding a certificate in horticultural-or eco therapy
  • Work experience as an Environmental Educator -Being bilingual is a plus. -A “pull up your sleeve”, “can do” attitude with a sense of humor is desirable.

Details at a Glance

  • Schedule: Monday through Friday with an anticipated change to Tuesday through Saturday. On Island programming (4 days per week) begins at 7am.
  • Employment Classification: Full-Time Regular
  • Salary Range: $48,000 – $52,000
  • Reports to: Program Manager

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift and move up to 30 pounds
  • Must be able to squat, lift, stretch, bend, and stand for extended periods of time
  • Ability to perform physical labor outside in various weather conditions.
  • Comfort working seated at a desk and on a computer for prolonged periods


The Hort offers full-time employees a generous vacation package, sick leave, personal leave, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax transit benefits, flexible spending account, Employee Assistance Program, and the opportunity to enroll in our medical plan (of which the Hort pays a portion).

How to Apply

To be considered please email a thoughtful cover letter, resume, and two references to [email protected] with ‘Therapeutic Horticulture Instructor’ in the subject line. No phones call.

The Hort is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. It is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, political orientation or any other characteristic protected by federal state or local law. We provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations are also available for these individuals during the hiring process. Please email [email protected] should you require a reasonable accommodation during the hiring process.

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