The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens were exactly where I needed to be this past summer. My time in Colorado was marked by beautiful landscapes, personal growth, new friends, and much learning. I was immediately welcomed as part of the staff, and continuously affirmed of my value to the organization. At the same time, I was challenged and encouraged to take initiative on projects and explore my creativity and confidence. I learned a lot about myself and how I work with others, and can now articulate more clearly what I have to bring to the table.
I began the summer not knowing much about taking care of plants, but very anxious to learn, and because of the guidance of Nick I now feel like I could start my own garden. I learned a lot about identifying many of the alpine and native Colorado plants just by living and working with so many people for whom plants are their passion.
I enjoyed the flexibility of my position, which allowed that within one day I could weed, prepare crafts for kids, help other staff set up for an event, and interact with families in the garden. There were many great aspects of working in the gardens, but my favorite part of the position was seeing the awe in children’s eyes after I showed them where their vegetables came from, or pointed out the snake napping on a rock or the bumble bee pollinating a flower. The gardens are a powerful tool for connecting people with their environment and reminding them the wonders of our earth, and I am glad I was able to be a part of it