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Therapeutic Horticulture - Internship

Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, Colorado, US
Closing date
Jan 15, 2022

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
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Application Deadline is February 4, 2022

Internship Title: Therapeutic Horticulture

Project Summary and Goals: Gain professional experience working with Denver Botanic Gardens Therapeutic Horticulture programs leading and supporting program activities and assisting in the daily maintenance of the Sensory Garden and Morrison Center Greenhouse.

* Develop a functional knowledge of Therapeutic Horticulture, its theory, and its applications.
* Gain hands-on experience setting up and leading Therapeutic Horticulture activities with a variety of populations.
* Develop skills in forming assessments of participant goals, interests, and abilities and to relate these factors to appropriate activities and adaptations.
* Expand working knowledge of Horticultural practices and how they relate to participant experience.

Background: Below are the areas and programs that fall under our Therapeutic Horticulture intern umbrella. The intern for this program will be involved in many aspects of these gardens and activities.

* The Sensory Garden is a public demonstration garden where individuals with disabilities can benefit from therapy through horticulture. Here you will find a garden that includes accessible gardening ideas and a variety of plants with sensory properties.
* The Spark Program is a partnership with the Alzheimers Association that provides people with early-onset dementia and their care partners with garden tours and activities once a month. This program is at both our York St. and Chatfield sites.
* Summer Sensory is a plant-based sensory program for senior adults and populations with disabilities. Activities take place in the Sensory Garden. The program seeks to connect people with plants, to offer participants an enjoyable change of pace in a safe, restful location while engaging the senses and providing social enrichment
* Our Vocational Training programs use garden maintenance to provide job experience for a variety of populations with special needs. This includes Sensory and Cutting garden volunteers and Groundskeeper seasonal positions.

Project Components and Deliverables:

* Assist in organization, set-up, and leading of Summer Sensory and Spark activities.
* Work with and assist vocational participants with staying on task and creating and accomplishing work goals.
* Assist with the day-to-day maintenance of Sensory Garden and horticultural displays.
* Create and facilitate a step-by-step participant activity that can be adjusted and modified to meet TH goals for Denver Botanic Gardens programs.
* Fulfill AHTA internship requirements for professional registration if applicable.
* Presentation to staff and blog post detailing the project and what was learned at the end of the season

Skills that will be learned or refined:

* Horticulture method and practices
* Working with people with varied abilities
* Working with volunteers and staff in many departments
* Organizing logical activity sequence for HT programs
* Working with participant goals to create and modify activities
* Developing participant goals and assessments

Horticultural knowledge that will be learned and how this project will link classroom theory with practical experience:

* Learn and utilize simple propagation techniques.
* Hands-on experience with useful plants for HT activities.
* Gain experience and knowledge of a variety of annuals and perennials.
* Focus on plants that evoke the five senses.

Internship Notes:

Interns will take part in field trips, lectures, and group projects. We at Denver Botanic Gardens feel strongly that there is no substitute for hands-on learning so in addition to the project and participating in the learning opportunities, interns are expected to work alongside their mentors and other horticulturists in the Gardens. This will include participating in the daily activities associated with public garden maintenance weeding, watering, planting, accessioning, preparing for special events, etc. The goal of the internship is to provide an overview of public horticulture as well as gain experience in a specific area that can help students define their interests in horticulture. As a member of DBGs staff, interns will participate in employee meetings and other day-to-day operations and will be subject to all DBG employment policies.

In Denver, temperatures can reach a sizzling 100 in mid-summer, while temperatures at our Mt. Goliath site can drop into the 50s. Humidity is very low here, however, there are occasional days of rain or drizzle. Interns should be prepared to work in these environmental extremes as the worksite is primarily outdoors.

Mentor Profile:

Angie Andrade has a degree in Landscape Horticulture from Colorado State University and is a registered Horticultural Therapist with the American Horticultural Therapy Association. Angie holds the position of Associate Director (Therapeutic Horticulture) at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Career Type: Seasonal (10 weeks Full-Time) May 31, 2022-August 4, 2022

Compensation: $17.00 per hour

Employment Requirement:

Denver Botanic Gardens employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All persons offered a position will be required to provide valid proof of vaccination prior to starting employment.

In addition to a resume please submit a cover letter that includes the following bullet point responses and short paragraph responses

* Short paragraph introduction
* Why you believe you're a good candidate for this internship
* How will an internship at Denver Botanic Gardens impact your future?
* Other than the internship you're currently applying for, are you interested in other internships with us?
* If not selected for an internship at Denver Botanic Gardens, would you be interested in having your information shared with other public gardens in Colorado offering internship opportunities? (Yes or No)
* Please send 2 letters of recommendation to
* Please send Official Transcripts of all College courses that include your cumulative GPA to

Incomplete applications may not be considered
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