Internship in Design, Rose Care, Apple Orchard, Landscape, & Entomology

Hiring Organization: Dow Gardens
Employment type: Internship
Job Location: Midland, MI
Application Deadline: April 30, 2017

Dow Garden’s Internship Job Description

The Dow Gardens is a 110 acre public garden situated on the former Herbert H and Grace A Dow Estate.  The Gardens exists today as an agency of the Herbert H and Grace a Dow Foundation.  Our mission statement is as follow:  The Dow Gardens exists to preserve the history, enhance the horticulture beauty and share the educational and leisure opportunities of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Estate.


Internship Overview

Our internship program will be an enhancement of real-world horticultural skills, hands-on training and exposure to all aspects of work associated in a public garden.  The intern will have the opportunity to rotate through full time staff assisting with a wide variety of garden and event tasks.  They will also complete a special project or enroll with a certain educational focus.  Before departure, a presentation of their developed skills and knowledge will be presented to our staff.  The interns will be provided with pay and housing


  • Perform mandatory operational tasks necessary to maintain landscape in preparation for visitors and events
  • Work with the advisement of a mentor on a special project or focus
  • Develop time management and prioritization in regards to weather, public interaction, events, and daily operational tasks
  • Set and execute goals in multiple working environments (parking lot, Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Ponds, Forest, etc.)
  • Develop specific skill sets from various staff
  • Achieve a basic understanding of various job aspects within a public garden (Public Relations, Programming, Mapping, IPM, Horticulture, Arboriculture)
  • Demonstration and/or training on small and large equipment (mowers, bobcat, tractor, golf carts, chipper, etc.)
  • Educate and communicate with garden guest (assist with giving tours, classes and answering questions)
  • Learn specific IPM strategies and the demonstration of chemical safety
  • Stay up to date on procedures, policies, training, safety that are introduced at the beginning of program
  • Learn how to interface with visitors, give public tours and assist in educational classes
  • Additional duties as requested
  • 40 Hour work week for a semester or a working season (minimum of 14 weeks)
  • A valid driver’s license


Preferred Qualifications

  • Enrolled in a horticulture program or related field
    • Biology, Horticulture, Plant Sciences, Soil Sciences, Entomology, Forestry, Landscape Arch.
  • Understands appropriate presentation and interaction with the public
  • Education level considered
    • Junior in pursuing a bachelor degree
    • Second year in an Associate of Science
  • Exposure to extreme working conditions 

Internships Special Focus/ Projects

  • Horticulturist with emphasis on Design
  • Horticulturist with emphasis on Rose Care
  • Horticulturist with emphasis on Apple Orchard
  • Horticulturist with an emphasis on Landscape Management
  • Horticulturist with an emphasis on Entomology


  1. 1.     Design Intern
  • This will be a hands-on learning experience.  Interns will design, plant, label and maintain a landscaped space in a predetermined area. 
  • Project parameters: A mentor will give an area to be designed to the intern, along with a budget for plant material.  The intern will visit local growers to obtain plant availability and pricing for their design based on area and budget.  The design and plant list will be presented to the mentor.  Ordering, pickup, and staging of plant materials will be completed by the intern.  The area will be prepared and planted with the guidance of the supervisor.  To insure the health of the newly planted landscape, the intern will oversee the maintenance.
  • An evaluation of the designed area will be done by the intern along with photos and documentation throughout the growing season.
  • The Dow Gardens staff will critique the designed area created by the intern and share their findings with the intern at the end of the season.
  • A presentation will be given to the Dow Gardens staff by the intern about the internship project and their overall experience working at the gardens.


  1. 2.     Rose Care Intern
  • This will be a hands on learning experience with the care a maintenance of a formal rose garden. 
  • Special focus parameters: Intern will assist will all aspects of rose care including planting, pruning, spraying, scouting, fertilizing, watering, etc.
  • Intern will interact and lead activities with volunteers
  • A presentation will be given to the gardens staff about their internship experience at the Dow Gardens.



  1. 3.     Apple Orchard
  • With the advent of planting a new orchard at the Whiting property there is a need to develop a philosophy on how to maintain the fruit trees and acreage. 
  • Special focus parameters: A pruning schedule needs to be developed in order to create the trees’ basic structure.  Create a plant health care (PHC) and an integrated pest management (IPM) protocol to insure the trees, ground cover and beneficial insects are healthy and productive.  Make recommendations on techniques regarding pesticides, harvesting, mulching, thinning, irrigation, and fertilizing. 
  • Look into educational opportunities and events that will encourage public interaction with the orchard.
  • Create a journal that highlights the background of each apple variety grown in the orchard.  This data possibly could be used in education and future signage.
  • A presentation will be given to the gardens staff about their internship experience at the Dow Gardens.


  1. 4.     Horticulture Intern
  • This will be a hands on experience with maintaining a landscaped area.
  • Special focus parameters:  Intern will be given a small area to manage with respect to lawn, tree, shrub, and perennial bed care.  He/She will work with the staff advisor to develop weekly schedules of lawn mowing operations, perennial bed care (weeding, edging, and mulching), and tree and shrub care (edging, mulching, and pruning.)   Intern will manage helpers when needed to accomplish these tasks. 
  • Intern will discuss with staff advisor what techniques, tools, and personnel will be needed to complete tasks. 
  • Intern will keep a log of each weeks activities noting time, tools, and personnel used to achieve each task as well as any problems and how to solve them. 
  • A presentation will be given to the gardens staff about his/her internship experience at the Dow Gardens.


  1. 5.     Entomology
  • This is a project that will focus on 10 garden pests with emphasis on insects.
  • The intern will conduct an in-depth study of these 10 pests and the best control measures of these pests for the Dow Gardens.
  • Weekly scouting and data on the lifecycle of the pests will be collected.
  • The information collected will be used as a resource to communicate the control and seasonality of these specific pest.
  • A presentation will be given to the staff about their internship experience at the Dow Gardens
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