Garden Ecology Program Developer

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Deadline to Apply:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 5:00pm


San Jose, CA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



Garden Ecology Program Developer:

Full-time, Exempt


Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature is Children’s Discovery Museum’s new half-acre garden and nature play space,designed to encourage children and their caregivers to experience the creativity, curiosity, fun, and magic of outdoor play in the middle of an urban  environment. Including a tree climbing area, fort building, gravel dig pit, dry creek and vegetable garden, this fun and interactive space will encourage children and their caregivers to explore the natural world, inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards. The Garden Ecology Program Developer will have overall responsibility for Bill’s Backyard, developing innovative environmental programming, training and coaching part-time nature play facilitators and youth volunteers, aligning Bill’s Backyard efforts with Museum-wide initiatives, managing program materials, and developing community partnerships. With support for regular maintenance, the Garden Ecology Program Developer will oversee plantings, prunings, and general health of the outdoor nature space and be responsible for seasonal planting,and harvesting of the vegetable garden.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

This is a highly visible position, especially with external communities. Responsible for achieving goals and results, and focused primarily on project and/or program execution while managing impact on financials. Expectations follow:

  • Develop innovative interactive programming for CDM’s outdoor play space that provides opportunities for young children and their families to connect with nature, play in an unstructured and beautiful natural environment, and learn about local habitats and creatures;
  • Design nature and garden-based activities to encourage engagement with plants, habitats, sustainable food practices, home gardening, composting, and connecting the Museum’s café to the Garden;
  • Provide ongoing training for part-time staff and volunteers who facilitate activities in Bill’s Backyard, including child development and environmental information about the relevance and learning goals of activities, coordinated with Floor Supervisors;
  • Plan and maintain seasonal vegetable beds for education and tastings;
  • Oversee and continue to develop the physical site of the Museum’s garden and nature play area including operations and maintenance, budgeting, and long-term sustainability;
  • Manage materials for hands-on activities including procurement, preparation, and storage in collaboration with the Exhibits Department and the Museum’s Materials Coordinator;
  • Develop culturally relevant activities in conjunction with Museum-wide community events and coordinated with other facilitated spaces in the Museum;
  • Identify and develop content connections to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, and create curricular materials for onsite school programs and garden-based learning;
  • Develop youth-focused initiatives to support Bill’s Backyard including service learning and volunteer opportunities, after school programming, and garden planting;
  • Create and sustain partnerships with regional community-based organizations with similar goals (urban ecology, garden, environment) to leverage services, realize mutual benefits, and expand programming;
  • Departmental duties as required, including participation as Education Department representative on cross-departmental teams;
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned.


Any combination of education or experience providing the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. Minimum employment standards are:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in environmental studies, science and/or education
  • Experience implementing hands-on gardening and/or science curriculum for diverse ages
  • Strong commitments to early childhood education, inquiry-based learning, and youth development
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work with a diverse audience and staff
  • Ability to build professional relationships within the community
  • Ability to work outdoors lifting and carrying materials and equipment up to 30 pounds
  • Spanish speaking skills are beneficial but not required

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Your complete application will include cover letter, references, and either a resume or completed Job Application, available on the employment section of the museums website

If you choose to complete the online Application, please send the additional items to:

Human Resources
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
180 Woz Way
San Jose CA 95110

Job Compensation: