Growing Native Plant Species for Environmental Enhancement Trainee – Indigenous Worker

Contract Full Time @Native Plants in Claremont (Karen Abrahams) in Paid Training
  • Post Date : May 4, 2023
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Job Detail

  • Job ID 25461

Job Description


Full-time, fixed-term contract (35 hours/week – June 2023 to October (flexible) 2023) 

Compensation: $19.00/hour 


Native Plants in Claremont is a nursery devoted to the increased awareness and restoration of Ontario’s native plants and their habitats; to growing a large diversity of quality native plants and to providing an enhanced retail experience for our customers.   The nursery was opened in 2006.  Proprietor Karen Abrahams operates Native Plants in Claremont with her husband Robert and knowledgeable staff and shares the love of Ontario’s natural area and native flora with native plant gardeners across the Greater Toronto Area. Duffins Creek flows through our 15 acre nursery property, conveniently located in Ontario’s Greenbelt land in picturesque Claremont (north Pickering).  At Native Plants in Claremont we specialize in sustainably harvested seed-grown, native perennial wildflowers, grasses and shrubs. We are a fairly small, manually operated nursery.  We supply plants to conservation agencies, wholesale customers such as landscapers and nurseries and to the public for their home gardens.  We value a healthy, natural environment, showing respect to our staff and customers, operating with integrity and lifelong learning. We love establishing connections within our community. We would like to improve the diversity in our workforce and take actions so that Black, Indigenous and People of Colour join the staff and feel comfortable when they do. In particular, we have an interest in broadening our outreach to and engagement with Indigenous people and their communities.  Inspired by our life experiences and also by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report’s Call to Action, this Miziwe Biik project will provide an educational and employment opportunity to an Indigenous participant and fill a gap as outlined in Call to Action 7 of the Report. We want to increase awareness of traditional indigenous knowledge and values and native plants, to contribute to nurturing a respectful relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous people in Ontario in restoring and healing the land. 


This project will involve the participant in all aspects of growing, caring for, selling and promoting native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs and in maintaining the greenhouses and outdoor nursery area; including: 

  • transplanting young seedlings and bare root shrubs into pots for sale and distribution. Transplanting includes moving large bales of soil, mixing the soil with water and fertilizer, setting up trays of pots, filling pots with the moist soil, moving the seedlings from the germination trays to the new pots and moving the trays outdoors  to where they will stay until they are sold. 
  • Watering, fertilizing and weeding the plants; 
  • Establishing compost bins and learning about the complex biology and benefits associated with properly made compost; 
  • Establishing, weeding and enhancing seed orchards and gardens on the property. These orchards/gardens are beautiful, help pollinators and the broader environment, demonstrate possibilities for our customers and provide a source of seed for future growing. 
  • Recycling of soils, plastics and shipping materials; including washing returned pots and trays for re-use. 
  • Providing friendly customer service and discussing with customers about the importance of restoring and sustaining natural habitats and ecosystems and the benefits of native plants, orienting customers to the layout of the nursery and helping customers bring their purchases to their cars. 
  • Participating in community events and tours to profile native plants;. 
  • Preparing boxed plants which we courier out each week 
  • Preparing educational materials and signage for select plant species to help raise awareness of traditional indigenous knowledge and use of and respect for various native plants.  


  • Knowledge of or intense desire to learn about native plants and their habitats and their role in restoring the health of landscapes and in improving habitat for wildlife 
  • Experience and involvement in and passion for the natural environment, gardening and restoration work and/or past work in helping promote environmental health, and biodiversity; 
  • A desire to learn about over 100 species of native plants and their essential role in healthy environments, about interesting planting projects and related initiatives being undertaken by various customers across the GTA, and about the native plant industry; 
  • Educational background  or life experience in ecology, botany, landscape architecture and design, environmental restoration, understanding natural heritage OR a related environmental field ; 
  • Desire to work with people with a diversity backgrounds and to share experiences; 
  • Strong listening skills; 
  • Attraction to an active, fast-paced work environment; 
  • This job requires a good level of physical fitness as there is much lifting, bending, and walking with trays and we are quite busy, especially in May when so many of our customers want their plants. There is a need to work both efficiently and safely; 
  • A passion for being and working outdoors. All duties will be done outside or in the greenhouse when the weather will range from cold to hot and from wet to dry.  It is not uncommon to get sweaty and muddy and wet from hoses while completing required tasks; 
  • Demonstrated experience in working in a team environment and the desire to share and learn by group discussions about related topics as we all work together; 
  • Willingness to communicate skillfully with staff and customers about passion for the native plants and their habitats and the work we do in growing them.  
  • Ability to travel daily to our site in Claremont, which is in north Pickering (note we are not on a public transit route). 


  • Potential applicants must be residing in the Greater Toronto Area, and identify as First Nations, Inuit or Metis 
  • Applicants must be registered with Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Services, be currently working with an Employment Advisor, and undergo and eligibility check 
  • Non-registered candidates can contact to set up an appointment 

Applications, including a resume and client registration form, are to be submitted to Native Plants in Claremont via email:  

We are located at 4965 Westney Road, Pickering, ON, L1Y1A2 

Applications are requested by June 15, 2023. 

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