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Athletic Field Crew Member (Gardener)

Apply now Job no: 494404
Work type: Full Time
Location: Swarthmore
Categories: Staff

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

At Swarthmore, 22 varsity sports and numerous offerings of club sports, student activity groups, and physical education courses offer a wealth of opportunities to pursue a healthy and physically active lifestyle. The Athletic Fields Crew Member (Gardener) provides timely and reliable support for maintenance and care of athletic fields, campus turf, gardens and the Scott Arboretum’s plant collections. Campus grounds keeping responsibilities include maintaining safe paths, roads, turf areas, fields, and additional properties of the College.

The Scott Arboretum was established in 1929. Its mission is to delight and educate all visitors and inspire them to enjoy the many benefits of horticulture. The Arboretum, which is approximately 425 acres that makes up the Swarthmore College campus is often named one of the most beautiful in the country, and is well known for its collections of flowering cherries, crabapples, magnolias, hollies, lilacs, tree peonies, organic rose garden and witchhazels and for the numerous courtyard gardens around the College’s academic and residence hall buildings.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Performs daily turf maintenance on the College’s athletic fields, artificial surface fields, tennis courts and track maintenance including mowing, line marking, site clean-up following athletic events, preparation of teams’ sideline areas with minimal supervision.
  • Performs daily maintenance and safe operation on various turf equipment including mowers, tractors, attachments to tractor, line painters, irrigation equipment and pumps in order to maintain eight fields and two outside tennis court complexes.
  • Performs, in a timely way, seasonal and/or daily set-up, moving and maintenance on athletic field goals, nets, track and field equipment, team benches and tables in order to provide this equipment to the athletic teams for their daily practices and contests.
  • Performs seasonal measuring and field layout for eight collegiate sports and intramural and club sports; must keep up to date on current NCAA and conference rules related to these sports in order to properly prepare the fields for intercollegiate contests.
  • Performs set-up of equipment and running of irrigation systems to safely and adequately supply water to provide for healthy and lush athletic fields. Decisions must be made on the method and frequency of irrigation to promote good turf without increasing diseases or acting environmentally irresponsible.
  • Performs seasonally the renovation of athletic fields in order to provide a safe and healthy field for the next athletic season. Assists with campus turf renovation.
  • Must be knowledgeable of growing conditions relating to various turf grass species, soils, fertility, pH and moisture requirements and be familiar with organic principles relative to growing turfgrass and improving soils.
  • Must be able to safely and effectively operate the following renovation equipment: aerator, drop and broadcast fertilizer spreaders, turf roller, slice seeder, top dressing applicator, drag mat and york rake.
  • Performs the above duties in a timely way with minimal supervision under the control of a strict schedule dictated by the coaches, athletic department and grounds department.

Horticultural Duties

  • Assists in performing horticultural tasks and maintaining the plant collections by doing timely planting, weeding, mulching, pruning, fertilizing, irrigating, leaf raking and other plant cultural practices in order to maintain campus aesthetics and provide proper horticultural care.
  • Assists in performing detailed horticultural work to maintain specialty garden areas consisting of Fragrance Garden, Winter Garden, Rose Garden, various courtyard gardens and major horticultural collections in order to provide proper horticultural care and maintain these garden areas as the most intensively-maintained gardens on campus.
  • Assists in performing maintenance on the College’s green roofs, stormwater control devices, Crum woods natural area and to give support to sustainability efforts within the department and across the entire property.

Grounds Keeping Duties

  • Keeps campus areas, turf, woods/natural areas, roads, sidewalks and patios maintained in an efficient way, and has the ability to prioritize this work, in order to provide a safe and aesthetically-pleasing campus.
  • Performs in a timely way trash removal, irrigation, turf renovation, turf mowing, snow removal and leaf raking in order to efficiently maintain safety and high horticultural aesthetics on campus.
  • Assists in maintaining stormwater management structures and landscape features.
  • Assists with special function set-up and tear-down in order to prepare the facilities in a timely way for College, Athletic Department and Arboretum-hosted events.
  • Assists in College emergencies, bad weather occurrences and special College functions in order to maintain campus safety for students, staff and visitors.

Operates and Maintains Equipment

  • Safely and proficiently uses all hand gardening tools, consisting of pruners, shovels, rakes, loppers, hedge shears and other gardening tools.
  • Use grounds power equipment consisting of tractor, loader, trucks, lawn mower, equipment attachments for turf renovation, chain saw, weed whip, snow plow and thrower, brush chipper and other grounds maintenance equipment.
  • Perform the daily maintenance of all grounds hand and power tools and equipment including in-ground and above-ground, turf irrigation systems.

Physical Demands:

  • Physical dexterity to perform the job and ability to work outside year-round are necessary.
  • Ability to frequently lift objects weighing up to 50 lbs. and possess the physical strength to perform grounds keeping/gardening operations.
  • Ability to carry a 35 lb. backpack sprayer for extended periods and hand, arm and back strength to do shoveling/pruning motions for extended time.
  • Ability to manipulate vibrating, hand-held power machinery for extended times.
  • Ability to perform kneeling, bending, squatting motions for extended times.
  • Visual ability to do detailed pruning.
  • Ability to read and understand pesticide labels, machinery safety manuals and new information related to horticultural practices is required.
  • Ability to maintain written maintenance and pesticide application records.

Working Conditions/Environment:

  • Ability to work under harsh weather conditions and perform emergency storm-related damage services is required. Emergency work may require time outside of the normal work day.
  • Required to work weekends in spring and fall to support athletic department game field readiness and support.
  • Occasionally works authorized overtime and weekends as business needs require in order to complete projects, meet heavy demand, or respond to weather or emergencies.

Required Qualifications:

  • High school diploma and a minimum of 3-5 years of turf grass, athletic field maintenance and gardening experience.
  • Maintains Pennsylvania pesticide certification for ornamentals and turf in order to legally and safely apply pesticides as part of job duties.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and maintain specific certifications as required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • High school diploma plus formal training in athletic field maintenance.
  • Minimum of 5 years of turf grass or athletic field maintenance experience.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications accepted until the position is filled. For full consideration, completed applications must be submitted by May 6, 2021.

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
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