Job: Garden Design Internship

Organic GardenJob: Permaculture/Sustainable Garden Design Internship, 2013 The Pound Ridge Land Conservancy (PRLC) is looking for a mature college intern to 1) Use principles of permaculture and/or other sustainable design principles to create a set of planting plans and maps for a pre-existing, 3,000 square foot edible garden and 2) Use the principles of permaculture to design a 1.5-acre landscape plan for the Armstrong Education Center. The Pound Ridge land Conservancy (PRLC):  The PRLC is a small land trust that owns and manages over 350 acres of wild land in Pound Ridge, NY. To show the public how productive backyards can be we have expanded upon the traditional idea of garden to include 7 interrelated garden components: organic vegetable garden, compost, tree nursery – and coming soon – honeybee colony, orchard, a chicken flock and native plant landscaping. The PRLC sees the 2013 Garden Design Intern as integral to advancing the components of these gardens. For more details and how to apply, click “read more”

PRLC’s preserves, located in the Northeast Westchester Biotic Corridor, are home to forests, wetlands, and thousands of plants and animals.  The PRLC has recently opened the Armstrong Education Center, which is comprised of a 43-acre nature preserve, multiple ‘outdoor classrooms’ (used to demonstrate conservation-based land management) and an off-the-grid residence and office/meeting space.

The Garden Design Intern will be responsible for submitting clean, clear and well-organized reports (aka deliverables) to the PRLC at the end of the internship.  Deliverables include:

1)    A series of maps of the Armstrong Education Center’s gardens including but not limited to current and future planting arrangements, cover crop schedule and soil building and soil amendment schedule.

2)    A set of tidy illustrated landscape plans for the land surrounding the Armstrong Education Center.  The landscape plans can be hand drawn or generated with computer software to suit the intern’s skill set.  Plans should strive to transform the land into a beautiful and inviting public space that incorporates principles of permaculture and meets the explicit objectives of the PRLC, which may include growing edible, medicinal and useful plants, growing native and deer resistant plants, growing plants that counter soil compaction and using on-site harvested rain water.

Desired skills and experience

-Experience working in an organic vegetable garden (planting, watering, weeding, etc.)

-Pertinent coursework in botany, design, landscape design, permaculture, horticulture, agriculture, food systems, ecology

-An ‘artistic eye’ useful for producing attractive end products

-Composting experience

-Exposure to applied permaculture

-A mature attitude

-Enthusiasm for growing plants, gardening and landscape design


Training in specific gardening skills will be provided where necessary.  Once trained, the intern will perform duties both with and without supervision.  Mentorship of more process-oriented technical skills (mapping, designing, goal formation) will be provided.  Weekly meetings with the PRLC’s Land Steward/ Educator will form the basis of ongoing mentorship and will be supplemented with brief meetings in the field as needed.  This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to get practical experience in garden design, landscape design and/or managing an organic garden.

Intern team:  The Organic Gardener Intern will be a member of the PRLC’s Summer 2013 intern team, which consists of 4 to 5 enthusiastic and mature college and high school students.  Each intern opportunity is unique and each intern tackles his or her own independent project.  Interns will come together to collaborate, provide peer mentoring and share progress on their projects through formal meeting and informal sessions.  By working collaboratively as a team of interns, each intern will gain a better understanding of their work by integrating it with their team and seeing it in a larger context.

Expectations:  Expect to work hard and learn a lot! At the Armstrong Education Center the intern will be exposed to an integrated approach to food production- where we strive to build our own healthy soil, save our seeds, reuse resources, extend our growing season through managing microclimates and compost our garden waste.  The Permaculture Design Intern will be expected to pitch in on garden tasks when needed (~3-5 hours/week). The intern will have access to the PRLC’s office and kitchen located at the Armstrong Preserve.  Set on a beautiful nature preserve, the Armstrong gardens are a fabulous place to work for the summer.

Location: The Armstrong Preserve: 1361 Old Post Road, Pound Ridge, New York.

Schedule:  June 1st through August 15th (start and end dates flexible).  25 hours/week.  Work schedule flexible.

Supervisor:  The intern will be trained and supervised by the PRLC’s Land Steward.

Compensation:  $750

To apply:  Please email a cover letter and resume to no later than Friday April 19th.  Interviews will be scheduled for the first week of May.

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