Job Listing: Gardenfest Arborist

Job Postings,

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Richmond, VA

Closes - open until filled

Title - Gardenfest Arborist

Compensation - $30-$35/ hour 

Job Type - seasonal (Aug 5 - Nov 15); non-exempt

Apply - Please submit cover letter and resume to

Summary - Under the leadership of the Director of Exhibitions, the seasonal GardenFest Arborist will work closely with the Horticulture team to safely install lighting in trees for the annual GardenFest of Lights display. In addition to installing lights, this person is responsible for tracking and reporting light counts, troubleshooting lighting issues, and leading groups of staff and volunteers to light smaller trees and shrubs. The arborist will provide all necessary up to date equipment needed for tree climbing. 


  • Primary duties include: o Install light strands in trees both large and small using American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved arboricultural tree climbing methods.
    • Safely climbing to any and all tips of tree branches to install lights.
    • Accurately recording hours and strand counts for specific trees.
    • Troubleshooting lighting issues during and after trees are being wrapped.
    • Other lighting projects as assigned.
  • Secondary duties may include:
    • Training LGBG staff climbers.
    • Testing strands on the ground for all aspects of functionality before using in tree.
    • Leading groups of garden staff or volunteers to light smaller trees, shrubs, or other lighting duties as assigned.
    • Periodic after hours walkthrough to inspect progress at night.

Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to safely and efficiently climb and work position in all sizes of tree.
  • The Garden’s living collections are our livelihood, and care must be given to prevent damage to surrounding plant material at all times. Additionally, climbers must use non-damaging climbing methods (friction savers, SRS techniques, no gaffs/spikes).
  • New applicants may need to perform a short climbing test to demonstrate abilities and methods, to ensure they are up to the tasks as hand.
  • Prior knowledge of and experience with wrapping trees with lights is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and group facilitation
  • Must be able to initiate, build and sustain relationships with fellow staff, volunteers, and community partners.
  • Enthusiastic, energetic, quick-thinking, cheerful, courteous, capable, diplomatic, and solution oriented.
  • Well-organized and detail-oriented, able to work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • Access to a car on a daily basis and a valid state driver’s license or ability to transport self as needed.
  • Must be able to work consistent hours for duration of lighting projects. 

Each employee of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

  • Must comply with provisions of the current Employee handbook, all published personnel policies and the requirements of their individual job descriptions.
  • Must perform all duties in a manner consistent with a public garden serving multigenerational and multicultural individuals, families in accordance with directed practices and procedures.
  • Must be aware of surroundings and vigilant to threats to the safety of visitors, volunteers, and staff or to security of their property, ensuring that all concerns are reported promptly.
  • Must report all injuries and incidents immediately and ultimately in writing to supervisor(s) and to Human Resources.
  • Must ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Must perform other duties as assigned by supervisor. 

Physical Demands / Working Conditions

  • This is primarily a tree climbing position, and involves the physical demands of that work. Working at height, moving your body up into and throughout the canopy, and confidently positioning yourself for work aloft in difficult positions is all part of the day-to-day work.
  • Ability to carry up to 70 lbs.
  • Must be able to move throughout the 82-acre Garden property, as needed.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions including heat, cold, wind, and humidity.
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions for prolonged periods of time.
  • Must be comfortable working in immediate proximity to the general public in a safe and friendly manner. Note: Duties described above, other duties, and physical demands have been identified as essential functions as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Education and Experience

  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in arboriculture, or ISA Certified Arborist.
  • A minimum of 1 full year of production tree climbing experience, or ISA Certified Tree Worker.
  • Able to complete tree climbs beginning to end without assistance from outside help (setup/install of system, working climb, removal and storage of gear/system).
  • Prefer prior experience with wrapping trees with strand lights.
  • Experience with S4 brand Professional lights a strong addition.