Public Garden Management Internship Program

This internship program provides the student with a firm understanding of how a public garden or park serves the community while also providing both basic and advanced techniques in horticulture.  During this 14 week program, students have the option of participating in the general program on Public Garden Management or the Plant Breeding program.  Both are paid internship at Rutgers Gardens, allowing the student to experience hands-on learning at a public garden.   For both internships, the summer’s experience is reinforced with a 3 credit course on Public Garden Management and with numerous trips to public gardens/parks throughout the NY and Philadelphia area.  The general program in Public Garden Management is available for up to 12 Students.

The Public Garden Management students will intern at Rutgers Gardens 5 days a week, with occasional weekend rotations.  In addition to various field trips to public and private gardens, 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, named 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 in the form of resume writing, interview strategies and proper etiquette skills needed in managing a public garden.


pruning Succulent Garden
Evergreen Pruning Techniques
Maintenance of the Succulent Garden

Goals for the summer

    • Overview of the Management of Public Gardens  
    • A basic understanding of Horticulture, Garden Design and Management as it applies to Public Gardens and Parks
    • Professional networking with Public Gardens and Parks 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 children 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.

Internship Application (download the PDF file to your computer, fill ih the requested fields, save and email to Bruce Crawford

The internship will start Monday, May 19, 2014 and end Friday, August 22, 2014
Completed applications must be received April 11, 2014
Selected applicants will be contacted for interviews to take place in March.                                   
Selected applicants must provide a copy for our records of a social security card and photo ID.

Please send applications to:
Rutgers Gardens
112 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8519
Fax: 732.932.7060

For more information please contact Bruce Crawford at 732-932-8451 or email