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. 

Internships are generously endowed by the Frechette Family Foundation.





College Internships


Applications Due January 26th, 2020

Click here for Internship Testimonials from previous interns




Horticulture Internship Responsibilities, Duties and Learning Opportunities:

The right candidate will have a passion for horticulture, public gardens, is self-motivated, a team player, diligent worker and demonstrates leadership skills.

  • Working alongside the horticultural staff and volunteers.
  • Leading Volunteer group gardening.
  • Planting and maintain a variety of different themed and styled garden beds that contain both woody and herbaceous plants.
  • Bed maintenance includes tasks such as deadheading, weeding, cultivating, mulching, rock work, soil amending, transplanting, dividing, hand watering, raking, hauling compost, plant staking, fertilizer application and other tasks.
  • Helping operate and providing routine maintenance to the garden’s irrigation system.
  • Assisting with garden events set-up and take down.
  • Assisting with Education Center maintenance and clean up tasks.
  • Participate in garden events, workshops and educational outreach seminars.
  • ID plants both in and out of the garden settings.
  • Understanding of Colorado mountain ecosystems, and their native plants.
  • Pressing plants for herbarium voucher specimens.
  • Providing and lead educational public tours of the gardens.
  • Operating a golf cart within in a crowded public park.
  • Providing garden visitors with information and support.
  • Assisting with labeling plants during their flowering period.
  • Refilling and stocking kiosks with necessary brochures.
  • Assisting in garden data input into BG-Base, a digital plant record keeping system.
  • Assisting in accessioning plantings.
  • Assisting garden staff on research and conservation projects.
  • Assisting on large garden projects such as designing and renovation of existing garden areas.
  • Helping with projects and duties as staff needs.
  • Ability to work weekend shifts as needed.
Education and Experience 

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

  • Practical previous experience in horticulture required.
  • Current enrollment, degree in horticulture or candidates looking to continue and practice their horticulture education further. 
  • 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.
  • The ability to use a dichotomous key.
  • Understanding plant taxonomy, anatomy and morphological terms.
  • Understanding the categorization of plant families.  
  • Ability to work outside in variable weather conditions (rain, snow, sun UV, heat).
  • Able to lift 50 lbs. or more.
  • Works well in a team setting and communicates efficiently and effectively.

Education Internship Job Description:

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is located on the roof of the Rockies in Vail, Colorado, with a mission to deepen understanding and promote conservation of alpine plants and fragile mountain environments.

As an Education Intern you will be a member of the Gardens staff, developing and delivering educational programs and activities focused on the alpine ecosystem for adults, families and children.


You will advance your educational and environmental interpretation skills in an informal public garden setting located and specializing in Rocky Mountains ecosystems. Specifically, the position is a three-month, full-time position, beginning mid-May through August, for 40 hours per week with one weekend day required. You will be asked to develop and implement new educational and interpretive programming for all ages and to assist education center and horticultural staff with all visitor and education related projects.

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, Environmental Sciences, Botany, Sustainability Studies, or related field
  • Completion of at least one Education course
  • Experience or interest in conducting programs with families, children and adults
  • A “people person” with an ability to interact with visitors of all ages
  • Creative, positive and organized

Housing & Compensation For All Internships

  • $12/hr @ 40 hours per week
  • Housing assistance is provided close to the Gardens
  • Personal vehicle not required but suggested


High School Internships
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens offers  internship opportunities through Eagle County Schools CareerX Program. Interns will experience all aspects of how a small botanical garden operates. Of the 8 days 3 days will be spent in the Gardens, 2 days in the Education Center, 2 days on event and visitor relations and 1 days in the area of the intern’s choice. Orientation and training as required will be provided. The internships are offered year-round with a flexible amount of days and times and receive interns receive school credit for participation

For more information take a look at our informational flyer High School Internships at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens , or contact /(970)476-0103 x 3, or visit Eagle County Schools CareerX Website

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