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Contract Position: Resident Caretaker

Location: Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Drive, Yakima, WA  98901

Posted: 4/20/2018

About the Yakima Area Arboretum (YAA):  The YAA is a 46 acre tree museum and botanical garden with over a 1000 labeled trees, numerous gardens and an Interpretive Center.  The YAA provides an assortment of educational opportunities and events to people of all ages.  The grounds are open to the public dawn to dusk 7 days a week.  The Jewett Interpretive Center is open Monday thru Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM or by appointment.


Hours: The Resident Caretaker will provide regular maintenance activities (described below), requiring an average monthly commitment of up to 70 hours, possibly more during the busy summer months.


YAA Management Responsible for Caretaker Relations: Co-Exec. Directors, Colleen Adams-Schuppe and Jheri Ketcham

Compensation: As compensation for the maintenance activities regularly performed by the Resident Caretaker, the Resident Caretaker will be allowed to occupy rent free the recently remodeled 2 bedroom house located on the Arboretum grounds. YAA will provide garbage pickup and water.  The Resident Caretaker will pay for all other utilities.  The Resident Caretaker will be required to sign YAA’s Resident Caretaker and Lease Agreement, containing other terms and conditions concerning the Resident Caretaker’s maintenance activities and house occupancy responsibilities.


Work Description: The Resident Caretaker acts as the eyes and ears of the Yakima Area Arboretum.  The Resident Caretaker will live on the property, open and close the gates, secure the grounds and buildings, assist with events and provide any other help as needed on a daily basis.  The average time commitment for the Resident Caretaker will be up to 70 hours/month (possibly more in summer months) in exchange for occupancy of the house. 


Regular activities include

  • Daily - Opening and closing the entrance/maintenance gates.  Locking the public restrooms in the evening.  Ensuring the Jewett Center is locked down for the night.  Patrol the property looking for vandalism, campers and picking up garbage as needed. Be the first to be notified when the alarm is activated.  Call 911 if needed.  Note:  If a crime is in progress the Resident Caretaker is not expected to engage, but to call 911 and alert law enforcement.  The estimated time commitment for performing these activities is 35 hours/month, with an additional 35 hours estimated for the following activities.
  • Assisting with events, which could include facilities sitting, helping with security, working in the gift shop, emptying garbage cans, moving chairs and tables around, or any other assistance that might be needed.
  • Helping with snow removal, e.g., shoveling sidewalks, spreading ice melt, and plowing the road if needed to make it safe for staff and visitors.
  • Helping with after-hours irrigation or downed limb/tree issues when needed, e.g., shutting off the pump, securing dangerous areas to protect the public.


Criteria for filling position include

  1. Experience as a police officer, security guard or military service.  (Desired)
  2. Friendly disposition and enjoy working with people in a professional manner. (Required)
  3. Good critical thinking and observation skills.  Be adaptable to new situations.  (Required)
  4. Ability to operate a tractor and other maintenance equipment.  (Required)


If interested, please reply in writing to Jheri Ketcham  Feel free to include any supporting information and/or documents demonstrating why you would be a good fit for the position.


Additional Info

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10 North 9th Street • Yakima WA 98901
Phone (509) 248-2021