2018 Public Garden Management Internship Program


Meet the 2018 Interns

Our highly competitive internship program at Rutgers Gardens provides Rutgers students with a thorough understanding of how a public garden or park serves the community and operates. Through garden maintenance, students learn a variety of horticultural techniques and what is required to keep a public garden beautiful and functional. The comprehensive 14-week paid internship is complemented by a required 3-credit course on Public Garden Management, focusing on business, organizational, and other aspects of public gardens that they don't experience firsthand. As well, numerous trips throughout the NY and Philadelphia area provide unique educational and networking opportunities. The Internship Program in Public Garden Management is available for up to 10 Students. Applicants who are interested may also apply for the Plant Breeding option, which includes a more specialized plant focus.

The Public Garden Management students will intern at Rutgers Gardens 5 days a week, with occasional weekend rotations. In addition to numerous field trips to public parks, gardens, nurseries, and organic farms, the internship will include:

  • Zone Gardening – Interns will assist in the managing of the various garden collections, which will include the installation of public displays of annuals, perennials and woody shrubs in association with the staff and volunteers. Helps to establish Teamwork and Leadership skills.
  • Shrub and Tree Care – Evaluate how the different pruning techniques effect the growth of the plant as well as how the plants respond to the wounding. Discussions will include considerations about the proper tools required, including the basic techniques and safety considerations for chainsaw and chipper operation.
  • Basics of Turf Care – Covering the basics of proper lawn maintenance, including equipment maintenance and operation.
  • Basic Care of Perennials, Annuals, Vegetables and Ornamental Grasses – Layout, planting and care of the annual display garden, which is a major attraction of the Gardens. In addition, the various other mixed borders and displays will be maintained. Focus is upon the culture, identification, design considerations and pest issues of these various ornamental plants.
  • Woodland Maintenance – Rutgers Gardens includes a 70 acre woodland area, Helyar Woods. The care of the woodland and the removal of various invasive plants is an ongoing process and is an active part of the internship.
  • Public Garden Management (11:550:240 ) – A required part of the internship program, this 3 credit course provides not only a more intensive educational element, reinforcing what is learned from working at Rutgers Gardens, but also insights into professional development, etiquette, and business skills needed in managing a public garden.
frog pond succulent Garden

Preparing planters at the frog pond

Maintenance of the Succulent Garden

Goals for the summer

    • Overview of the management of public gardens.
    • A basic understanding of horticulture, garden design and maintenance as it applies to public gardens and parks.
    • Professional networking with public gardens, parks, and businesses in NY, NJ and PA.
    • Opportunities to interact and network with various members of the green industry throughout NJ.
    • Exposure to public garden programming, including youth and volunteer programs.
    • Time management (completing a task in an efficient, cost effective manner). An important expectation for subsequent review by parks, public gardens and other fields within the green industry.

2018 Internship Application Step 1. Download the blank PDF file to your computer. Step 2. Open the file on your computer and fill in the requested fields. Step 3. Re-save the file and email to Clayton Leadbetter. For more information please email Clayton Leadbetter or call 732-932-8451.
The internship will start Thursday, May 10, 2018 and end Friday, August 24, 2018
Completed applications must be received February 15, 2018 interviews week of February 19, 2018.
Selected applicants will be contacted for interviews to take place beginning in December.