Garden & Education Internship – 2008 Summer
My summer internship at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was an experience that went above and beyond my expectations! Not only did I have the opportunity to work outdoors in such a beautiful community, but I was also very thankful to have been working alongside such a friendly staff. The employees at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens were not only helpful and patient, but also cared very much about my experience and helped to make my time in Vail much more valuable!
This summer we had the opportunity to help with the many festivities in celebrating the Garden’s 20th anniversary! Our weeks were filled with various activities from ‘Yoga in the Gardens’ to painting, photography, and music in the garden! While participating in fun activities like the afternoon of Monarch butterfly launches, we also were able to take part in the implementation of a new area in the garden called the Back to Nature Trail! This area next to the Gore Creek is a great place for families to enjoy and for kids to explore the outdoors in its natural state! This area is meant to teach kids how to appreciate nature, all the while having fun and being active outside!
We also had the opportunity to take various field trips throughout the summer and see different parts of the state as well as other botanic gardens near Vail. Our trips to the Denver Botanic Garden, and the Yampa River Botanic Garden, allowed us to see different collections of plants, as well as gardening styles and sizes. This summer we also were able to go hiking and camping! One of the highlights of the summer was our hike to the breathtaking Missouri Lakes with the Colorado Mountain Club! Nicola, the Garden’s Director of Horticulture & Research, led us to the beautiful lakes while identifying rare and native rocky mountain alpine plants!
Another great part of the Betty Ford program is that they accommodate their two interns every summer, and it was such a bonus not to have to pay rent! It was also nice to be able to live with the other interns and have a chance to get to know one another better as well as exploring the community together! Working at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was truly a great experience for me, and I will never forget the wonderful people I have meet and all the new things I have learned!