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Grounds and Nursery Services Specialist 4

Organization: Central Washington University
City: Ellensburg
Job Category: Landscape Crew Lead
Job Type: Full-Time
Experience Requirement: 1-2 years

Job Description

Job Summary


Central Washington University is recruiting a Grounds and Nursery Services Specialist 4 to join our Grounds Maintenance and Shop team in Ellensburg, Washington. This role is an important member of our team as they enhance the appearance of outside spaces for the University. The role is a campus-based position, which means you get to see the lives you are impacting. We’re offering a salary, depending on experience, from $38,640 – $51,384 annually plus the awesome CWU benefits.


Who we are:

We are a team of individuals committed to Changing Students’ Lives. No matter what job, each of us plays a part in supporting and empowering our students to fulfill their dreams.  

Working in higher education provides career growth and career choice. Think of a university campus like a mini city, operating across 380 acres. You ll find diverse academics, libraries, athletics and sporting events, full service and quick serve dining, conferences and events from small to large, recreation centers, housing, health services, police and public safety for the campus population of ~10,000 students.

Central Washington University has been named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Top Producing Institution for the 2022-2023 academic year.  In addition, for the seventh time in eight years, CWU is a recipient of the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Come join us on our journey to encourage, inspire, and create spaces where all identities thrive on campus.

Tour our campus in Ellensburg here.


What we offer:

Our investment in you begins the day you join our team, a healthy and successful future for you is important to us. We offer medical, dental, life and disability insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, tuition assistance for you and your dependents, discounts across town, an employee assistance program for individualized counseling, and a wellness incentive program. Learn more:


The Role:

This position is responsible to lead, train, assign, and inspect the work of subordinate staff and performs all grounds activities to maintain the campus landscape. Grounds activities include, but not limited to: vegetation management, tree, shrub and turf care; installation of new landscape and/or renovation projects; irrigation systems, service drive and parking lot maintenance; snow and ice removal; and the operation and general maintenance of equipment used during ground maintenance operations. Work is performed professionally and efficiently, incorporating both personal integrity and mutual respect. All employees are expected to support CWU s commitment to diversity and to bring and support inclusion into the university environment.


Job Duties


Lead Duties:
– Effectively communicate and maintain positive working relations with     faculty, staff, students and the campus community as well as Facilities Management Department (FMD) management team. Perform work in a manner that provides excellent service with nominal to no inconvenience or disruption for the client. Perform quality work that meets or exceeds the expectation and satisfaction of the client.
– Perform work using Best Practices while maintaining compliance with applicable laws, policies and procedures to provide a safe workplace.
– Provide training.
– Lead and instruct subordinate personnel performing various grounds maintenance activities.
– Assign and inspect work assignments for completion; ensure departmental standards and deadlines are met; report status and condition to supervisors. Provide feedback to supervisor to assist with work assignments and job performance. Review time keeping and work order entries for accuracy. 
– Evaluate the performance of student/temporary assistants.
– Instruct assigned personnel in the proper use of equipment and safety practices while maintaining compliance with applicable policies and procedures to provide a safe workplace. Lead team safety discussions.
– Read, interpret, assign and process work orders as required.
– Prepare cost estimates, coordinate, plan and upon approval execute landscaping projects.
– Inventory materials including small equipment, pesticides and fertilizers.
– Assume additional responsibilities in supervisor s absence.


Perform all aspects of grounds maintenance duties to include but not limited to:
– Manage vegetation including plant, tree, shrub and turf care.
– Perform general gardening maintenance such as raking leaves, mowing lawns, laying sod, setting irrigation pipe and sprinklers, planting trees and other landscape material using a variety of manual tools and equipment such as rakes, pruning shears, edges, loppers, shovels, wheelbarrows, pesticide sprayers, lawn mowers, lawn sweeper.
– Operate tractors and carts with pesticide spray equipment for application of pesticides and herbicides. May diagnose and treat plant diseases and pests. Maintain throughout employment a Washington State Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicators License.
– Operate turf renovation equipment to top dress, aerify, over-seed and edge.
– Manually or with self-propelled equipment, remove debris/litter, leaves, brush snow and ice from areas such as walks, stairs, roads, ramps and parking facilities. Apply ice melt, sand and gravel as required for safety.
– Use aerial lifts as elevated platform to prune and remove trees. Use power saws to trim, shape and remove dead and diseased trees and shrubs.
– Operate motorized equipment such as automobiles, trucks, dump trucks, forklifts, small tractors and front-end loaders, street cleaning equipment, lawn sweepers, trailers, trenchers, turf renovation equipment, aerial lift devices, woodchippers and snow blowers.
– Operate tractors for plowing/hauling snow, hauling sand, dirt and gravel; tilling, fertilizing and landscape maintenance.  Operate one and two-ton dump and flatbed trucks to haul snow, sand, dirt, gravel, trees, equipment and lumber.
– Operate lawn mowing equipment including push mowers, large riding mowers for mowing turf and large power pto driven mowers for mowing raw areas.
– Perform general maintenance on synthetic turf such as sweep to remove foreign debris, groom for game ready conditions, spray to disinfect turf, wash turf and/or hard surfaces to clean spills and stains.  Identify low and high spots in infill material and correct elevation changes to safe standards. Repair/glue seam damage.
– Walk playing fields synthetic/natural to visually inspect for foreign and/or dangerous material, inspect for damage or dangerous conditions and make necessary repairs for safe game play. 
– Operate Tool Cat, turf sweeper, magnet, groomer, sprayer, blower, shop vacuum, and hand rakes to maintain synthetic turf. 

– Set-up, tear-down and clean for special events using safe standards for synthetic turf.
– With the assistance of staff team members, safely and efficiently setup and take-down goal posts for all sports and events. 
– Operate forklift to move benches, sandbags, parking rails, lumber, pipe and other materials.
– Assist trades or crafts in maintenance and construction such as repairing and installing sanitary storm drains and sewers, building and repairing parking lots and sidewalks, removal of asphalt and concrete, installing light bases and protection bollards.
– Work on the construction of new/renovated landscape projects including the planting of trees and shrubs, hydro seeding large turf areas, installing mulch and bark. Also, to include installing concrete landscape blocks and pavers and the conversion of raw areas into lawns including rough and fine grading.
– Clean catch basins, storm sewers, roofs and gutters. Install sandbags in flooding situations.
– Operate power tools and equipment such as electric and gas engine-driven compressors, pneumatic tamper, jackhammer and portable pumps.
– Make walkways or temporary bridges to cover flooded areas. Build forms for walkways and planting areas.
– Repair and replace fences and signs.
– Assist in activities such as removing construction debris from job site or digging ditch for pipe. Assist in installation and repair of lawn sprinkler system components.
– Enter Time and Attendance daily with accurate work order numbers.
– Respond in emergency situations.
– Ensure all tools, equipment and vehicle are maintained in good working order.  Keep all work areas clean, well-organized and safe at all times.
– Attend departmental meetings, safety meetings and actively participate in training sessions.
– Perform other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • WSDA Pesticide Applicators License obtained within 6 months of employment and maintained throughout employment.
  • Forklift Operator certification obtained within six months of employment and maintained throughout employment.
  • Valid Washington State driver s license.
  • Experience in:
    • Two years working in professional landscape maintenance.
    • Operating chainsaws, trucks, dump trucks, small tractors and front-end loaders, street cleaning equipment, lawn sweepers, riding lawn mowers, trailers, trenchers, turf renovation equipment, aerial lifts, woodchipper and snow blowers.
    • Care of plants, shrubs and trees including treatment for disease and stress.
    • Pruning, shaping and removing trees.
    • Using Word, Excel, e-mail, and/or similar software applications to produce written correspondence, documentation, create simple reports, receive and respond to e-mail inquiries, report time, etc.
  • Knowledge of:
    • Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and proper applications.
    • Proper mowing techniques.
    • Irrigation.
  • Ability to:
    • Perform the job duties of the position and meet the physical demands of the working conditions.
  • Demonstrated willingness and/or experience working with students and/or co-workers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and experiences.
  • OR applicable combination of education and/or experience which demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the position.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in:
    • Three-years gardening, plant/tree care, landscape construction and grounds maintenance.
    • One-year Lead or supervisory position.
    • nterpreting diagrams, sketches, blueprints and maps.
    • Managing time and priorities of self and subordinate staff to meet multiple deadlines.
  • Knowledge of:
    • Construction principles, methods, and codes for trenching, shoring and soil compaction.
    • Synthetic turf and athletic field maintenance.
  • Training in:
    • Accident and general safety.
    • Arboriculture, Horticulture.
    • Synthetic turf and athletic field maintenance.
    • Related course work.
  • Ability to incorporate multicultural perspectives and issues into everyday conversations.
  • Life experiences that demonstrate an ability to contribute to CWU s commitment to inclusion and diversity.


  • Perform our Best: Interact daily with faculty, students, staff and others in the campus community in a professional manner. Treat others and be treated with respect; perform with integrity, honesty and professionalism; participate constructively in open communication; help to resolve issues and difficult situations in ways that reduce conflict and maintain good working relationships; improve work performance and take an active part in generating a mutually supportive environment. Recognize that diversity is an asset and value cultural, physical and professional differences.
  • Accountability/Dependability: Accepts responsibility for quality of own work; acknowledges and corrects mistakes. Shows up on time, meets standards, deadlines and work schedules.
  • Judgement: Makes timely, informed decisions. Analyzes options and determines appropriate course of action.
  • Teamwork: Promotes cooperation and mutual support to achieve goals. Encourages participation and mutual support.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Responds positively to changing business needs and responsibilities. Adapts approach and methods to achieve results; recovers quickly from setbacks and finds alternatives.
  • Commitment to Diversity: Recognizes the value of diversity and helps create environment that supports and embraces diversity.
  • Leadership: Ability to plan, organize, coordinate and promote the efficiency of team members. Ability to train employees in all job-related activities. 

Don t meet every single requirement? At CWU we re dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you re excited about this role but your experience doesn t align perfectly with every requirement, we encourage you to apply anyway. This may be the job for you!


Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule


Salary: $3,220 /month with periodic increases up to $4,282 /month

Schedule/Appointment: Generally, Monday – Friday, 6:00am-2:30pm (30 min lunch) / Schedule may vary depending on department need / WFSE Bargaining Unit 1


Working Conditions: This position will work indoors and outdoors, including work in inclement weather during daylight and dark hours and at times in hot/cold/noisy/dirty/wet/confined areas such as mechanical rooms, manholes and excavations. Will need to physically access work areas with the equipment and tools necessary for completion of the job.  This position often requires standing/crawling/bending/walking/climbing/carrying (up to 50 pounds) /pulling/pushing/lifting associated with moving of equipment and tools. Some stooping, kneeling, repetitive motion of arms and hands, and other physical movements as required by assigned tasks and essential functions of the position. Must be physically able to ride/operate equipment for an 8-hour workday 5 days per week in areas that include pedestrian traffic, vehicles and buildings as well as open spaces. In addition, this position will work with and be exposed to machinery, tools, electrical equipment and chemicals associated with pesticide application. Will work around all utilities during excavations, maintenance and installations and be exposed to insects that may be in the environment. Must maintain awareness of immediate vicinity in order to recognize, respond to and/or avoid potentially hazardous conditions/ surroundings.  Frequent use of personal protection equipment such as ear plugs, safety glasses and filtration masks will be required.

Scheduled hours will vary depending on the needs of the department. Occasional overtime and shift work are required.  May be required to work weekends, days, evenings and holidays. Occasional travel may be required. This position is considered an essential position and availability will be required to respond to callback situations including University emergencies.


Benefits: CWU offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, life and disability insurance, along with vacation and sick leave plans depending on employment classification. For additional information please visit:


An employee of CWU may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if the employee has student loans. To learn more visit:


How To Apply


To apply for this position you must complete the on-line application and attach: APPLY HERE

  • A detailed cover letter clearly demonstrating how your education and experience: (a) meet the required (and as applicable preferred) qualifications and (b) demonstrate the ability to perform the responsibilities as described by the posting;
  • Resume including work history education training; and
  • Contact information for three professional references.

Screening Begins: September 1 2023 

**Priority will be given to applications received by the screening date. Incomplete applications may not be considered.


Contact Information

Name: Blair McNeillie
Title: Grounds Supervisor
Phone: 509-963-3469

Please contact Human Resources at or 509-963-1202 if you require technical assistance with the on-line application process.


Conditions of Employment


Background Check/Reference Check Process:

Prior to employment final candidate(s) will be required to sign a Sexual Misconduct disclosure in pursuant to RCW 28B.112.080 and submit to a background check. All information obtained through background investigations will be strictly confidential and revealed only to those required to have access.

This position is part of a Washington Federation of State Employees Bargaining Unit I.



Notice to Prospective Employees:

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Statement

Central Washington University is an EEO/AA/Title IX Institution. Central Washington University s policies and practices affirm and actively promote the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment. Discrimination on the basis of race color creed religion national origin sex sexual orientation gender identity and gender expression age marital status disability or status as a protected veteran is prohibited. The university provides an internal procedure for reporting discrimination and affords protection against retaliation for participating in the complaint process. Central Washington University complies with all applicable federal state and local laws regulations and executive orders including when soliciting bids and in the fulfillment of all contracts with governmental agencies. Direct related inquiries to Civil Rights Compliance 202 Barge Hall Ellensburg WA 98926-7501; Telephone 509-963-2050; or email

DEI Statement

Justice equity diversity and inclusion are all core to CWU’s mission vision and values to increase access to higher education for everyone regardless of identity. At CWU we work to ensure everyone’s voice is not only heard but recognized and valued. We consistently strive to provide a safe welcoming and forward-thinking institution for all employees students and community members.

Reasonable Accommodations

Central Washington University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. Employment opportunities will not be denied because of the need to make reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability. If you need assistance or accommodation in applying because of a disability please contact Human Resources at or call 509-963-1202. This job announcement and other material on this site will be made available in alternate formats upon request to an individual with a disability.

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (Clery Act)

For the Central Washington University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (i.e. Clery Report) which includes statistics about reported crimes and information about campus security policies available online here or call CWU Police and Parking Services at 509-963-2959 for a paper copy.