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Urban Agriculture, Community Organizing and Food Justice Intern

Denver Botanic Gardens

Posted November 6, 2023

About Denver Botanic Gardens: Green inside and out, Denver Botanic Gardens was founded in 1951 and is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, The Gardens has a robust living plant collection, natural history collection and art collection along with temporary art exhibitions. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class exhibitions, education, and plant conservation research programs.

For more information, visit us online at www.botanicgardens.org.

Denver Botanic Gardens is currently seeking a Urban Agriculture, Community Organizing and Food Justice Intern in our Horticulture Department! Read below to see if the requirements might be a good fit for you:

To be considered, please submit your application before Friday, January 26, 2024.

Position Summary and Goals:

Intern will become familiar with the operation of an urban farm, how to organize community-based projects like workdays and educational workshops for Denver Botanic Gardens’ Community Garden; create a monthly newsletter; learn urban farm skills including day-to-day tasks; market planning/management, community engagement and education and programming.

This internship will assist with the following gardens off-site: Mariposa Urban Farm, Sun Valley Urban Farm and the Denver Botanic Gardens Community Garden. This will require travel to offsite locations; intern must have their own means of transportation, car or bike is acceptable.

Compensation package includes a housing stipend of $1,000.  Details to be covered during the interview process.


The urban agriculture projects run through the Gardens in partnership with DHA (Denver Housing Authority) help introduce healthy, fresh produce to Denver’s food desert neighborhoods as well as provide farming, gardening, and wellness education to the public. Food donation is a critical component to completing our mission; all the food harvested from DHA/the Gardens’ Urban Farms are used to alleviate food insecurity and promote healthy eating and lifestyles, leftover produce is donated to multiple organizations located inside Sun Valley and Mariposa Neighborhoods.


Internship Highlights:

Interns will take part in field trips, lectures, and group projects. We at Denver Botanic Gardens feel strongly that there is no substitute for hands-on learning so in addition to the project and participating in the learning opportunities, interns are expected to work alongside their mentors and other horticulturists in the Gardens. This will include participating in the daily activities associated with public garden maintenance – weeding, watering, planting, accessioning, preparing for special events, etc.

The goal of the internship is to provide an overview of public horticulture as well as useful experience in a specific area which can help students define their interests in horticulture.

As a member of DBG’s staff, interns will participate in employee meetings and other day-to-day operations and will be subject to all DBG employment policies.

In Denver temperatures can reach a sizzling 100° in mid-summer, while temperatures at our Mount Goliath site can drop into the 50’s. Humidity is very low here, however, there are occasional days of rain or drizzle. Interns should be prepared to work in these environmental extremes as the work site is primarily outdoors.

Regular attendance at the work site may be required. As with all positions at Denver Botanic Gardens, the incumbent must be in good performance standing to be eligible for remote work. Remote work is at the discretion of management at all times.

All Gardens employees must be committed to the mission of connecting people with plants, especially plants from the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world, providing delight and enlightenment to everyone.

General Duties and Responsibilities/Deliverables:

  • Assist with daily tasks in each assigned garden/farm location including weeding and harvesting produce.
  • Daily, collect both quantitative and qualitative data on food grown, harvested, and treated in plots.
  • Create newsletter content that is informational and pertinent to Community Garden members
  • Presentation to staff and blog post detailing the project and what was learned at the end of the season.

Skills that will be learned or refined:

  • Proper vegetable farming techniques in a semi-arid zone 5 climate.
  • Food safety and proper post-harvest vegetable handling.
  • Data collection, including but not limited to, visual observation, weighing, processing, and storing produce.

Horticultural knowledge that will be learned and how this project will link classroom theory with practical experience:

Intern will learn/reinforce the following vegetable gardening skills: crop scheduling, planting/seeding, soil preparation, irrigation and harvest. Intern will also see how schedules are modified throughout the season in response to environmental conditions and how to identify and respond to plant pests. Intern will also learn key skills in community outreach, education, and organizing via Denver Botanic Gardens’ Community Garden.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Candidates must be currently authorized to work in the United States
  • Candidates must be currently enrolled in an academic program or have graduated within the last six months.
  • Applicants must upload a job application, resume, cover letter, transcript(s) and two reference letters to be considered.
  • Must have proven excellent customer service, interpersonal, and communication skills in dealing with the public.
  • Ability to maintain stability under pressure and able to deal well with stressful situations.
  • Ability to be flexible and willing to modify plans, when necessary, throughout the day.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends and/or holidays.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Suite products, specifically Word, Excel and Outlook and Teams.
  • Ability to work overtime as necessary.
  • Must be a positive representative of the Gardens both internally and externally at all times.
  • Must work with respect and cooperation at all times with fellow employees and the public.
  • Must be committed to working safely at all times.

Mentor Profiles:

Julia Zoltowsky is the Manager of Urban Food Programs. She is an urban farmer, educator, and herbalist whose passion is to connect people to plants, cultivate curiosity, and support historically marginalized communities in creating and sustaining healthy living choices and lifestyles. Julia received her BA from Naropa University in Environmental Studies in 2017 with a minor in Permaculture and Poetry. Her work has taken her to many states, farm operations, and landscapes until landing at Denver Botanic Gardens in March of 2023. She is passionate about edible and medicinal plants as well as permaculture and regenerative agriculture.

To be considered, please submit your application before Friday, January 26, 2024.

Come work for a place that offers you SO much more than just a paycheck!

Compensation: $18.75 - Per Hour

Apply Here