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Landscaping Assistant

Blogpost published on: Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Landscaping Assistant

12 hrs per week, year-round. Non-residential position.

Application Deadline: December 9, 2022 or until position filled

Start date: On or after January 2, 2023
(Check the OAEC website Jobs Page to see if the deadline has been extended)

Note: Landscaping Assistant applicants may also apply for our 24 hours/week Nursery Assistant position if qualified for both. See Job Announcement for the Nursery Assistant position on OAEC website.

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre demonstration, education and advocacy center and organic farm located in western Sonoma County, California. Now in our 28th year, OAEC’s work focuses on cultivating ecological literacy and building the capacity of civic and social movement leaders and organizations to guide their communities toward an ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially just future. We offer a diverse and interrelated set of programs and partnerships to achieve our mission, including modeling land-based resiliency, training change makers, building the capacity of communities and organizations, and policy advocacy.



OAEC is seeking a part-time Landscaping Assistant to create and maintain perennial beds around the many buildings within OAEC’s 10-acre developed core area, including guest housing, retreat center, and gardens. The existing plantings consist of drought tolerant California native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials as well as plants from other Mediterranean climates.

The Landscaping Assistant will report to and work closely with the Nursery Manager, particularly around plant selection, with the goal of featuring plants that are offered in our Mother Garden Nursery for public viewing in situ and for educational purposes. The preferred day for 8 of the 12 hours of the job is on Wednesdays, so that occasionally the landscaper can use volunteers from our Garden Volunteer Day to support their work.



  • Work with Nursery Manager to select appropriate plants for various landscapes.
  • Create and maintain landscaping in specific areas within OAEC’s 10-acre Core Area, including planting, watering, amending, weeding, maintaining, mulching and pruning established landscapes.
  • Occasionally harvest food crops in the landscaping for the OAEC Kitchen.
  • Occasionally supervise volunteers from our Garden Volunteer Day to support thelandscaping work.
  • Maintain a simple budget for the program, with support from OAEC’s Financial Controller.
  • Acquire or purchase necessary supplies and materials for OAEC’s perennial beds.
  • Continue to identify and label plantings and keep maps and records current withnew plantings.REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE JOB(Please do not apply if you do not meet the following requirements)
  • A love of plants and enthusiasm for OAEC Mother Garden Biodiversity Program’s broader mission to preserve biocultural diversity.
  • Experience as a landscaper and familiarity with watering, care and maintenance of perennial ornamentals and food crops.
  • Experience with installing and maintaining drip irrigation.
  • Basic experience with plant pests and diseases and knowledge of plant nutrition.
  • Being comfortable primarily working alone, while also having the ability to work well with others, including volunteers that attend OAEC’s Garden Volunteer Day.
  • Excellent organization and verbal communication skills.
  • Skill in energetic self-starting, ability to work quickly and efficiently.
  • Comfort and capacity to do sustained and occasionally strenuous physical work.



  • The current annual salary for the Landscaping Assistant is set at $16,221 per year for 12 hours/week. Compensation rates and raises for all staff are not negotiable, but are set by the OAEC Staff Executive Council, which is elected by the staff collective.
  • OAEC offers health benefits as well as an employee only contribution 401(k).
  • OAEC offers generous paid time off: a total of 5.5 weeks per year of vacation and floating holidays combined (at 30% full-time equivalent), as well as paid sick time off.
  • The Landscaping Assistant will work on-site at OAEC.
  • All staff may enjoy the use of OAEC’s beautiful facilities, including our swimming pond, hot tub and sauna, and wildlands. Staff are invited to harvest from the extraordinary array of organic produce, flowers, and fruit grown in our Mother Garden and orchards.
  • When working on-site, staff may participate in the renowned organic meals prepared for retreats and residents by OAEC’s kitchen staff. Staff may take OAEC courses free of charge, and attend the various theater performances, small concerts, talks and celebrations happening on-site throughout the year.



  • Before applying, please spend some time looking at the OAEC Nursery’s website ( as well as the OAEC’s website ( to better learn about the site, the organization, and to understand what we do in the world. You might also look at a recent Annual Update, and some of the various videos on our website, including about our Nursery, Resilient Community Design Program, and a visual tour of our Retreat Center.
  • OAEC actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. OAEC does not discriminate based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law.
  • We are accepting applications until 5:00 pm PDT, Friday December 9, 2022 but will accept applications after that until the position is filled. Check the OAEC website Jobs Page to see if the deadline has been extended. Early application is encouraged as applicant screening will begin before the deadline. The Landscaping Assistant position will start on or after January 2, 2023, or when the position is filled.
  • Qualified applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and list of three to five references to “Hiring Manager” at with the subject: “Landscaping Assistant”. Resumes without cover letters will not be considered.
  • Please do not contact OAEC directly with questions or inquiries, but refer to this Job Announcement on the OAEC Jobs web page for information. Applicants will be notified by email if OAEC requests more information or an interview. Thank you!