Located at 8,200 ft., Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is North America’s highest botanic garden with a world class collection of alpine and rock garden plants. Interns participate in a variety of learning activities in the Gardens, participate in field trips to regional public gardens and conduct plant identification outings on mountain hikes. In addition, interns gain valuable hands on experience working with the volunteers and learning specific gardening techniques from garden staff. Interns may complete a project related to their particular field of study or one of specific need of the Gardens. Recent intern projects have contributed greatly to our Volunteer and Children’s Programs, Conservation and research programs, and garden design. The internship projects and work offer valuable learning opportunities in the beautiful mountain setting of Vail, Colorado.



Click here for Internship Testimonials from previous interns



Horticulture/Curatorial Internship Responsibilities

Horticulture/Curatorial Internship Responsibilities: By working alongside Garden staff, the intern will advance his/her horticulture and leadership skills.  The internship will also focus on learning  identification, labeling, and documentation of the living collections using BG-Base.

  • 3 month position, beginning mid-May through August
  • Monday – Friday & occasional weekend duties
  • Hands-on garden maintenance including irrigation maintenance
  • Study of alpine plants, plant care, design and garden management
  • Coordinating and training of garden volunteers
  • Assist curatorial intern with identifying and labeling plant collection
  • Assist staff with ongoing conservation and research projects
  • Learn to identify a variety of alpine plants, perennials, shrubs, and trees
  • Work with BG Base program to update plants in the collection
  • Assist horticulture staff with some garden maintenance projects
  • Collect seed of alpine and rock garden plants
  • Assist garden staff on research and conservation projects
  • Update and develop the plant label program


Application Requirements

Application Requirements: The right candidate will have a passion for horticulture, public gardens, and leadership.

  • Practical experience in gardening required
  • Current enrollment or degree in horticulture or related field
  • Passion for plants and gardening with a focus on public horticulture
  • Candidate will demonstrate a commitment to working in the field of horticulture
  • Attention to detail and organization
  • Understanding of dichotomous keys and plant taxonomy 
  • Ability to learn or use BG-Base collection software


Education Internship Responsibilities:

Education Internship Responsibilities: The intern will advance his/her teaching and educational leadership skills in environmental education in a public garden setting

  • 3 month position, beginning mid-May through August
  • Monday – Friday & occasional weekend duties
  • Conduct weekly children’s programs and discovery cart activities for ages 4-10
  • Develop and implement new educational programming for children and adults
  • Assist with Horticulture Therapy programs
  • Work with Horticulture staff to maintain garden areas while learning more on the gardens collections
  • Assist garden staff on other educational related projects


Application Requirements

Application Requirements: The right candidate should have a strong interest in Environmental Education with a background focus in horticulture or botany

  • Current enrollment or degree in Education, Botany, or Environmental Science related field
  • Experience with conducting programs for children
  • Some experience with gardening
  • Positive and creative attitude
  • Attention to detail and organization


Housing & Compensation

Housing & Compensation

  • $9.00/hr @ 40 hours per week
  • Housing assistance is provided close to the Gardens
  • Personal vehicle not required but suggested