Gardener/Landscaper/Assistant Contract (Common Ground)

Job Opportunity: Gardener/Landscaper/Assistant Contract
Employer’s name: Common Ground
Location: St. John’s, NL

Common Ground is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to environmentally and economically sustainable urban agriculture and community development. Common Ground currently oversees a number of projects in St. John’s, including;

  • The St. John’s Safer Soil Project/Lead Safe Yard Pilot Program
    • Conducts public education about lead safe gardening and recreation in areas with elevated soil lead level
    • Conducts residential soil lead testing, develops landscaping remediation plans
    • Conducts demonstrations of phytoremediation, a process which uses plants to clean soil
    • Operates a downtown demonstration garden to promote lead safe gardening and sustainable urban agricultural practices.
  • Biochar Field Trials
    • Designed Atlantic Canada’s first successful field trial of biochar, an organic soil amendment which increases soil fertility, reduces water and fertilizer requirements and sequesters carbon in soil. Biochar can also be used for adsorption of soil contaminants.
  • Sustainable Greenhouse Demonstration Project
    • Plans include construction of an innovative energy-efficient greenhouse.

Common Ground is currently seeking to hire a Head Gardener/Landscaper to oversee activities associated with the Lead Safe Yard Pilot Project and the Safer Soil Demonstration Garden, and to provide some administrative and organizational assistance to the Common Ground Executive Director.

The successful applicant will report to the Executive Director and will be responsible for the following activities;

  • Overseeing the growing of food for local charities using lead safe gardening practices;
  • Organizing garden volunteers;
  • Conducting garden tours, organizing and delivering workshops and presentations on lead safe gardening;
  • Conducting residential soil tests, designing landscaping remediation plans, managing soil data and conducting homeowner education consultations;
  • Participate in construction of lead-safe landscaping demonstration models;
  • Overseeing phytoremediation demonstration sites and manage phytoremediation soil and plant data;
  • Overseeing biochar field trial and manage field trial data;
  • Provide administrative and organizational assistance to the Executive Director as required, which may include grant and report writing, event organizing, publicity and outreach, research and planning.

The successful applicant will be an outgoing, self-motivated and well organized individual who has a passion for sustainable food systems and community development. S/he will have the following qualifications and experience;

  • A great deal of experience in organic agriculture;
  • Landscaping experience;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Computer skills including word processing, simple graphic design and excel. Knowledge of Google Sketchup would be an asset.
  • Experience with environmental and/or social justice organizing, publicity and outreach.
  • Post secondary diploma or degree preferred. Educational background in chemistry, biology or business administration would be ideal.
  • Having access to own transportation would also be a definite asset.

Ideally, the candidate will be between 20 and 30 years of age. Salary will be $15 per hour for 30 – 35 hrs work per week (pending final funding approval). Some weekend work will be required (ie. for caring for plants, conducting workshops.)

This is a six week contract from mid-July to the end of August with a likely extension for an additional 12 weeks from early September through the end of November.

Interested applicants can email CV with three references to Lori Heath, Executive Director at no later than Friday, July 14. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For more information on this project, please leave a message for Lori Heath, Common Ground Executive Director by email or by phone at 738-7542. Some background information available at our website (under development) at