2023 Native Garden Intern
Bedford Audubon Society is seeking a rising college senior or graduate student to fill a 10-week paid internship position this summer. The ideal candidate is pursuing a degree in botany, horticulture, landscape architecture or design, or similar environmental fields. The Summer Garden Intern will work in the Leon Levy Native Habitat Garden, located at Bylane Farm in Katonah, New York. Bylane Farm is Bedford Audubon’s center of operations.
Bedford Audubon’s mission is to cultivate a love of nature in the northern Westchester and eastern Putnam County region and surrounding area. We do this by providing experiences in nature through local and regional bird walks, outdoor events, educational programs on birds, habitat and native plants, and by engaging in select environmental advocacy.
Objectives of the Internship
Bedford Audubon’s 2023 garden internship will give a college or graduate student intern the opportunity to extensively learn about…
- Bedford Audubon’s decade-old Leon Levy Native Garden and its mission
- The newly commenced professional work to upgrade and revitalize the garden
- Bedford Audubon’s efforts to educate its members and the public about the new garden and native gardening
- The gardening practices and environmental philosophies behind native gardening.
This position will have broad benefits for the intern:
- Provide an authentic and professional field experience to excite and propel young environmentally minded students
- Inspire, develop, and foster an inquisitive character and a life-long appreciation for the natural world through mentorship and experiential education
- Help to gain critical technical and soft skills for successful graduate school applications and/or competitive job applications
- Create educational materials for the new garden (signage, brochures, other to be determined materials)
- Create one or two new specialized pocket gardens adjacent to our main native garden, which will be under renovation.
- Work on the Proof of Life biodiversity score pilot project (a community science project that Bedford Audubon supports), creating one or more biodiversity “Terra Patches” around our headquarters in conformity with established science protocols
- Consult with Bedford Audubon’s contracted professional staff on both signage and pocket gardens, as well as assist with main native garden renovation tasks
- Write/create a final report/presentation before the culmination of the internship, for publication on Bedford Audubon’s website and to give to our funding and partnering organizations. The report can take the form of a written summary of the internship, a series of blog postings with photos and/or videos, a PowerPoint presentation, or a combination of these elements.
- Option to undertake additional opportunities for research (e.g., native plant propagation techniques, invasive species management), program activities (e.g. lectures, workshops, field trips) and non-profit management (e.g., communications, marketing, development and fundraising).
- Rising college senior or graduate student pursuing an academic degree in a related field
- Self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as in a supportive team atmosphere.
- Should possess some native plant identification skills, experience with horticultural practices, and excellent written and verbal skills.
- Experience in nature interpretation is desirable, but most important would be a cheerful attitude and approach to work in a public setting.
- Must be willing and able to work outside for extended periods and in Bedford Audubon’s casual yet professional office environment.
- Must hold a valid driver’s license and have personal transportation.
- 10-weeks from mid-May through mid-August (start & end dates are flexible*)
- 30 hours per week
- Housing at Bylane Farm, 35 Todd Road, Katonah, NY 10536 is available for $125 per week
*Start and end dates are flexible depending on academic and personal schedules. Please include any date restrictions in the cover letter.
Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and two references to Bill Cavers, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15, 2023.
- The cover letter should describe interests and personal goals for an internship with Bedford Audubon. Please also include any academic or personal date restrictions.
About the Leon Levy Native Habitat Garden
The Leon Levy Native Habitat Garden is a cornerstone of Bedford Audubon’s native plant and pollinator programs. First installed in 2012 with a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, its purpose is dual:
- It provides a critical habitat for birds, butterflies, and dragonflies at Bylane Farm – particularly neotropical migrants in need of stopover habitat.
- Iteducates and engages our members and the public on the use of native plants to create bird-friendly yards and neighborhoods as part of our native plant programming efforts.
The concept of bird-friendly communities and neighborhood-level conservation has emerged as a critical element to protect biodiversity. Our community has fewer large and connected parcels of land available for permanent conservation, so networks of gardens, yards, and other bird-friendly community spaces must provide essential habitat for birds, pollinators, and beneficial insects. Bedford Audubon’s mission is to promote such philosophies and practices.
Since its original installation in 2012, the concept of native gardening has evolved and grown more sophisticated. Recognizing this, our Leon Levy Native Garden is also evolving, meeting an increased and more sophisticated appetite for learning. The garden will undergo a major upgrade to correct for the toll the years have taken with the intermixing of plant species and the proliferation of invasives.
With a generous new grant in hand, a “Generation 2” garden, substantially renovating the front section of the garden, begins this spring. This Generation 2 garden will incorporate more species-focused plant strategies for different birds and pollinators, and one with better signage and learning opportunities.