Federal Gardeners and Landscapers Earned $44 Million in Salary Last Year

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The lush green gardens outside federal buildings and government-owned properties don’t landscape themselves.

No, their caretakers are among the 610 federal gardeners and landscapers that cost taxpayers $44 million in 2020.


The growers, employed in two job categories of “Landscape Architecture” and “Gardening,” are hired by more than 10 departments and independent agencies, spread out over almost two dozen subagencies.

Average pay for a landscape architecture employee was $99,480 in 2020, positions that are typically held by degreed professionals with credentials in planning and designing landscapes.

Gardeners received a much lower average pay of $54,236, but that's before considering the extra 35 percent in lucrative benefits.

There were 105 landscape architects who earned more than $100,000 in FY2020 in base salary alone.

Todd D. Alexander made the most — $166,848 working for the Interior Department; Andrew R. Lamendola made $162,189 working in the Dept. of Veterans Affairs; Christian D. Gabriel made $157,709 with the General Services Administration; Kristie R. Franzmann and Jodie A. Petersen each made $157,578 in the Interior Department.

$44 million is a pretty penny to pay for mowing lawns, trimming bushes and planting flowers.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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