Colin Lee – Curatorial Intern 2016

When I look back at my Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Internship I can’t help but think of all the amazing opportunities I was given as an intern both inside and outside of the gardens. While in the gardens, I was subject to learning and working with plants every day in all different areas of the gardens. This included daily interactions with staff, volunteers and guests alike, which in turn allowed me as an intern to further my interpersonal communication, botanical and horticultural skills. While working every day at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens I was provided with an amazing space to exercise my college learning and acquired colligate botanical and horticultural skills within the work space and gardens. Opportunities that were grated to me outside of the gardens by the gardens were equally educational and provided me with a summer to stand among the best summers in my live. Opportunities outside the garden included hiking and seed collecting with Nick and Nicola in the surrounding areas of Vail, CO and the Eagle country area. Seed collecting provided me with in field knowledge and skills to ID plants, properly collect and label seed and get involved in the Seeds of Success Program as well as collected seeds for the BLM to help created a seed bank to restore the habitat of the Greater Sage Grouse. I was also subject to collecting live specimens of plants and soil samples on these hikes which gave me an opportunity to put my collegiate knowledge and skills into action in the field. While the gardens provided an opportunity for me to grow as a student and a horticulturist I am very happy to say my summer also included a social opportunity for me to grow aswell by living with two other interns for summer, exploring Vail and surrounding areas on solo adventures and with Nick, who knows almost everyone in the Vail Valley. Through this met many people throughout the summer and got to have a lot of fun with them. Out of work opportunities that will stand out in my mind include attending the GoPro games with Nick, hiking water falls within Vail, enjoying the Vail downtown scene, free concerts at the gardens and the neighboring amphitheater, farmers markets and music and sporting festivals. When I look back on my summer in Vail, I keep realizing the amazing amount of opportunities presented to me by Vail and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and am so glad I accepted the internship at BFAG and decided to step out of my comfort zone and routine life and take part in a summer that will influence the rest of my life in a positive fashion. I miss Vail all the time and luckily living in Colorado I can go back at some point, but if given this opportunity to come to Vail and BFAG I say seize it and make the most out of it and give it your all, for it is truly the opportunity of a life time.colin