Reports to: Grounds Manager
Department: Facilities & Grounds
Supervision: None
Employment Status: Full-time 30-hours weekly
FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Start date: May 1, 2022
Last Updated:  March 28, 2022

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $7.7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports making lives meaningful through making.


Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

Penland welcomes everyone. Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and other people who identify as people of color or BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply, as are people holding other marginalized identities related to gender, sexual orientation, ability, and class background.


We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. 


Position Summary

Penland School of Craft owns approximately 60+ buildings, all of which have adjacent landscapes – be it perennial gardens, lawns/greenspace, woodlands, and/or forest edge. The Gardener is responsible for maintaining the gardens and different landscape cover types on the core campus in accordance with the Penland Core Campus Master Plan, school needs, and budgetary requirements.

Central to this position would be monitoring the health of all plants and green spaces as well as the general maintenance of the perennial gardens, which includes, but is not limited to: soil testing and amending per soil test results, weeding, pruning, deadheading, dividing, propagating, mulching, and planting. This position works collaboratively with the grounds manager and land technician to evaluate existing landscapes for improvements as well as to implement new landscapes as needed and in accordance with the Core Campus Master Plan.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Weeding, pruning, deadheading, dividing, and mulching flower beds 
  • Redirect food waste from dining hall to compost for application on gardens/ grounds 
  • Identify, remove, and manage invasive species on core campus and in the vicinity of outlying buildings 
  • Annual maintenance of lawns which includes, but is not limited to: soil testing and amending per soil test results, aerating, dethatching, and edging
  • Ensures proper care in the use and maintenance of equipment and supplies
  • Promotes continuous improvement of workplace safety and environmental practices
  • Work collaboratively with grounds staff on seasonal leaf removal 
  • Work collaboratively with grounds staff to maintain and improve Penland’s hiking trails (there are currently eight trails of various degrees of difficulty, totaling approximately 3.8 miles)
  • Opportunities beyond maintenance here include, but are not limited to: increasing habitat, control of invasive species and understory, planting medicinal woodland plants along trails for ecological benefits, as well as enhancing opportunities for engagement by students, instructors, staff, and community, etc. 
  • Works collaboratively with grounds staff to identify and address grounds-related safety concerns such as loose walkway stones, broken pavement, etc.
  • General attention and care to Core Campus for safety, function, and aesthetics  
  • Other duties as assigned


  • At least one year of gardening or related experience is required
  • A general knowledge of horticulture methods, materials, landscaping, and cultivation is required
  • Ability to work as a team and willingness to help out as needed
  • This position requires a self-motivated individual able to set priorities and meet deadlines
  • Must have a high level of interpersonal skills
  • A love for the outdoors and plant life
  • A commitment to uphold and implement Penland’s mission, educational philosophy, and diversity & inclusivity statement.
  • Must have current COVID vaccination and boosters or a Penland-approved exemption.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to sit and work at a computer. The employee is frequently required to use tools or controls and speak fluently and hear. The employee is frequently required to stand and walk. The employee must regularly lift and/or move objects weighing more than 50 pounds and bend, lift, work in close quarters, confined spaces, and sometimes handle hazardous materials. The position demands frequent exposure to inclement weather conditions. 



This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position.  The starting wage for this non-exempt position is  $13.50 and is negotiable based on the applicant’s skills and experience they bring to the position. This is a 30-hour week position with opportunities for growth and development within the department and across the organization. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, attractive benefits, and a lively, creative work environment. 


To Apply

The position will remain open until filled; We would like this position to start as soon as possible. To apply, send a cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references, addressing relevant experience and interest in the position to Alyse Ostreicher, Human Resources Manager, Please include Gardener as the subject of your email.