Boston Natural Areas Network hiring Urban Grower

Boston Natural Areas Network

Boston, Massachusetts

Urban Grower

Seasonal, Part-time Position

About the Organization

Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN), organized in 1977, works to preserve, expand and improve urban open space through community organizing, acquisition, ownership, programming, development and management of special kinds of urban land–Urban Wilds, Greenways and Community Gardens. In all its endeavors, BNAN is guided by local residents advocating for their open space and assisting them to preserve and shape their communities.

About the Position
We are looking to fill our Urban Grower position with someone who is excited about sustainable farming, working with youth and urban food systems and who is up to the challenge of the physically demanding schedule, tasks, and pace of the growing season. BNAN recently expanded its Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program to introduce youth to farming and food systems through cultivating two unique farm sites in Boston – the Northampton Square Rooftop Garden in Roxbury and the Stony Brook Youth Garden in Hyde Park. The Urban Grower is responsible for managing these two sites and supervising the youth and volunteers who cultivate them.

As the Urban Grower, you will be working with many people including both adult volunteers and youth, and groups large and small. Ideally, you are flexible and personable, have a great sense of humor, have at least one year of experience at an organic production farm, and can be effective directing a farm crew of 10-12 energetic urban teens.  There is a strong collaborative aspect of this position, which will require that you participate in team and individual work planning and implementation. The Urban Grower reports to the Director of Property and Horticulture and works closely with the Youth Conservation Corps Program Manager.


  • Develop seasonal soil preparation, planting, management, irrigation and harvesting plans for both farm sites, 12,000 square feet total; Organic management practices required
  • Develop annual budget for the cultivation of both sites; Manage purchases and expenses within budget
  • Manage the implementation of plans referenced above with volunteer and YCC support
  • Supervise and educate the 10-12 member YCC crew to carry out cultivation tasks and develop an understanding of the urban food system and their place in it
  • Propagate plants and perform nursery maintenance tasks to support both farm sites
  • Develop and integrate YCC curriculum within work plans
  • Operate and maintain tools and equipment in a safe and proper manner and instruct volunteers and YCC in same
  • Participate in BNAN and YCC staff meetings designed to establish goals and priorities
  • Interact effectively with BNAN staff and property owners to communicate issues with infrastructure, maintenance, safety and support at both farm sites

Skills and Experience Desired: 

  • Bachelor or Associate degree in Horticulture and Agronomy or related field preferred.
  • Relevant youth development, education, intern and or work experience important
  • Two or more years of organic farming or related horticulture experience required
  • Experience with previous youth agriculture or environmental programs, ideally with urban teens
  • Proficiency in use of farming tools and equipment required
  • Must have a valid US driver’s license in good standing
  • Regular access to vehicle
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends
  • Ability to work independently when required in an effective manner
  • Strong attention to detail in all aspects of job performance
  • Possess strong organizational, technical and analytical skills, and contribute to a positive team environment
  • Enjoy working in fast paced, multi-generational, multi-cultural urban setting
  • A willingness to learn and advance one’s skill sets
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills and commitment to a positive public experience, and concern for the environment and people’s relationship to it
  • Must be able to work outside in all types of weather, kneel or stand for periods of time, and able to lift and carry 50 pounds
  • The accepted candidate will be required to have a successful completion of a CORI background check with emphasis on their suitability to work with youth
  • Knowledge of a second language is a plus

Compensation and Schedule:

This is a part-time, seasonal position with a work period of March 2014 through November 2014.

Spring Session (March – June): 20-25 hrs./wk., must include Friday afternoons 4:00 – 6:30 pm and   Saturdays 8:30 am – 3:00 pm to include supervision of YCC teens

Summer Session (July and August): 35-40 hrs./wk., requires supervision of YCC and other youth,     generally between the hours of 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday

Fall Session (September – November): 20-25 hrs./week, must include Friday afternoons 4:00  – 6:30 pm       and Saturdays 8:30 am – 3:00 pm to include supervision of YCC teens

Compensation is $18-20 per hour, commensurate with experience. As a part-time employee the Urban Grower has the option to take part in a 401(k) retirement savings plan.

How to Apply:

Please send the following:  (a) one page cover letter, (b) resume, and (c) the names and contact info of three references to: with the job title in the subject line. Please include your first and last name in the names of the file attachments.

Or mail materials to: Boston Natural Areas Network • 62 Summer Street • Boston, MA 02110 • Attn: Urban Grower Application

No phone calls, please. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis; applicants are encouraged to send materials soon. Position will begin in March.

BNAN is an equal opportunity employer. Learn more about BNAN at

 BNAN is an affiliate of The Trustees of Reservations.