Rutgers Gardens offers a paid summer season internship program, which runs for 15 weeks starting May 13th and ending August 23rd. The summer internship is a hands-on, immersive outdoor learning and working experience. Student interns accepted into the program will work at Rutgers Gardens five days (37.5 hours) per week, with weekend rotations. Applicants must be enrolled as students at Rutgers. No previous experience is required, though candidates must have a strong desire to work outdoors and be adaptable to varied weather conditions. Safety and skills training will be provided by Rutgers Gardens staff and other university professionals. To align internship participation with student interests, Rutgers Gardens offers two program tracks: 1) Horticulture and Landscape Management and 2) Student Farm. Students are invited to apply for one or both tracks of the Rutgers Gardens Internship Program. Note that students applying to both tracks, if selected as an intern, may only participate in one track for the 2024 season.
Horticulture and Landscape Management Track
This internship track provides students with a firm understanding of how a public botanical garden operates and serves a community. Through hands-on experience, interns gain knowledge of both basic and advanced horticultural techniques, proper garden maintenance practices, and public garden operations (including opening and closing procedures, event setup, and how to effectively interact with visitors). Underscoring the value of time management and cost-effective practices, students learn what is required to keep a public botanical garden beautiful, functional, and safe.
Horticulture and Landscape Management interns will develop skills through hands-on experiences such as planting and maintaining various annual and perennial plant zones at the Gardens, pruning and caring for shrubs and trees, learning proper lawn maintenance, conducting woodland maintenance, including removal of invasive plants, and completing equipment operation and safety training. Interns will also learn the basics of greenhouse management and the essentials of plant care, including seeding, potting, propagating, watering, and fertilizing. Students will partake in the selection and retail sales of plant material. In addition to training provided by Rutgers Gardens staff, university faculty and/or guest speakers will offer their expertise through talks and demonstrations throughout the summer. Topics vary but may include native plant and pollinator gardens, soil ecology, plant pests and diseases, and more.
Student Farm Track
The Student Farm internship track immerses students in small-scale organic vegetable production, emphasizing practices that are ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable. Through a hands-on, immersive outdoor experience, this summer internship track offers students an opportunity to participate in the Student Farm’s commitment to a future rooted in sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Student interns are a key element of the farm and can expect to learn skills in crop planning, seeding, field preparation, planting, crop maintenance, pest and disease control, harvesting, and distribution. In addition to hands-on training in crop production, interns gain marketing and sales experience through the Student Farm CSA and Cook’s Market. Applicants need to be able to perform physical labor on a daily basis and must be able to work well independently and as a team. We value a cooperative relationship and look forward to working and learning with you side by side. The goal of this internship track is not only to educate Rutgers students about sustainable alternatives, but to inspire individuals to be agents of positive change as stakeholders in our food system.
Click HERE for the Rutgers Gardens Internship Application. There is a place on the application to indicate which internship you are applying for. All application materials must be received by March 8, 2024.
Depending on your browser, there are 2 ways to save/submit the application. The most reliable method is to download the application and save it to your computer. Open the file, complete the fields, save it, and send as an attachment. If the file is opened in a web browser, it will only retain the personalized data if “print to pdf” is selected—not “download” or “save as.” Please be sure that your application contains the necessary information before submitting.