I am very thankful for my summer internship opportunity at The Alpine Gardens. Every day was a new experience with something new to learn. With such a small staff, interns play a major roll in maintaining the gardens, which naturally are hard to keep up with. This along with the building of the Education Center kept everyone extremely busy. The demand for hard work kept me excited to contribute because everyone’s work truly made a difference in the end.
I started the summer with minimal knowledge about plants, let alone alpine plants. Nick, along with the other interns, were always excited to share their knowledge to help me learn about the plants and environment around me. Nick led us on several day hikes around the valley to identify
beautiful alpine plants. These hikes were great opportunities to connect what I was learning every day at the gardens to the natural environment I had always enjoyed.
Not only did I learn about what it takes to maintain the gardens, I learned a great deal about what it takes to develop a building. From constructing rock walls, to plant layout, to installing a green roof, to fixing leaks and cracks, Nick really had a lot to manage. The Education Center provided the interns and myself with a unique opportunity at Betty Ford. This project added even more variety to the kinds of tasks I would be exposed to this summer. In the end, I was so excited to be a part of a dream and goal come true for the Betty Ford Alpine Garden staff and community. I cannot thank the friendly staff enough for providing me with this opportunity to learn and grow as a gardener and as a person.