BBG's unique summer internship program offers students the opportunity to work with and learn from two public gardens. Berkshire Botanical Garden is a not-for-profit public garden established in 1934. Located on 20 rural acres, the Garden consists of 26 display gardens and specialty collections and three greenhouses. Naumkeag, a Gilded Age-style estate with restored gardens designed by landscape architect Fletcher Steele, is a National Historic Landmark preserved by The Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees is one of Massachusetts’ largest non-profits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. Both locations are situated in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, a short driving distance from the center of historic Stockbridge. The area is home to many cultural institutions and numerous natural sites.
This college internship program is designed to offer hands-on experience at Naumkeag and Berkshire Botanical Garden for college students aspiring to a career in horticulture, public gardening, and landscape architecture or design. Interns work with horticulture staff and volunteers in all phases of public garden maintenance and development. This includes planting, weeding, watering, mulching, pruning, and interacting with visitors. Students may also become involved in special projects such as accession records, garden inventories, plant signage, or photography. An ongoing program of Intern training sessions, public education programs, and staff field trips are offered to help broaden the students’ horticultural horizon. A list of 2019 offerings is listed here.
Summer internships are for 12 weeks, 40 hours per week and usually start mid-May. The program includes free shared intern housing at the Naumkeag estate and a stipend of $10.00/hr.
The deadline for applying is March 1, 2020. Earlier applications will receive earlier decision.
Read an article about the internship program from the Garden's Cuttings magazine.
Previous gardening experience and course work in horticulture, public gardening, or landscape design are required. Junior and senior undergraduate students applying for college credit are preferred. Students must be responsible, self-motivated, and capable of the strenuous nature of gardening.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and an application, which can be downloaded here.
Berkshire Botanical Garden
Attn: Dorthe Hviid, Director of Horticulture
P.O. Box 826
Stockbridge, MA 01262
This is what our 2019 interns have to say about their experiences…
I loved the opportunity I had to be an intern at Berkshire Botanical Garden. I learned so much! We had workshops and field trips in which I learned about pest identification, pruning, and garden design. The interns were also assigned projects that really helped me to learn plant identification as well. The staff are incredible! They are really knowledgeable and were so willing to share what they know and help me learn. This internship helped me identify specific aspects of this field that I want to focus on in my future career.
- Annika Burkhardt
Plant Science adn Residential Landscape Design and Construction major, Utah State University
This summer at the Berkshire Botanical Garden has been an educational and hands-on experience that I would highly recommend to any student looking to pursue a future in horticulture or who has a passion for plants. With our time split between BBG and Naumkeag for the summer, we were introduced to many aspects within the broad field of horticulture and had the opportunity to delve into specific topics including pruning, propagation, pest control, flower arranging and more, all in the scenic region of the Berkshires!
- Sophie Gronbeck
Environmental Studies major, Mount Holyoke College
The Berkshires are the perfect location for a summer internship. Berkshire Botanical Garden and Naumkeag provide a variety of educational tasks and field work. At Naumkeag there is a historical restoration component to follow while gardening, while at the botanical garden there is a more flexible route when planning the garden designs. Both are great to work at, and I’ve learned more than I ever could imagine, thanks to these beautiful places. Make sure to check out all there is to do in the Berkshires as well, there’s so much happening!
- Kaija Hudacek
Environmental Design major, Montana State University, Bozeman
Spending the summer with the folks at Berkshire Botanical Garden and Naumkeag has been such a rewarding experience. Along with the work, they provided a fun and educational environment. I got to expand on my previously acquired knowledge of horticulture and also explore realms of the field I had not yet experienced. I would encourage anyone who is considering applying for this internship in the future, to go for it! Not only is the work fun, but exploring the Berkshires and taking trips to nearby cities and gardens was a blast. I am very grateful for the opportunity that they gave me.
- Zoie Strassburg
Horticulture major, Fingers Lakes Community College