The purpose of the Service Learning internship is to provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience in horticulture, organizational management, technology, and community engagement through service and education.
Our goals are: 1) to develop within our interns professional skills that will translate into professional service for the community; 2) to cultivate an appreciation for the historic significance of the gardens in relation to the individuals that created them and the community in which they reside; 3) to create a sense of ownership for the combined efforts of stewardship by a community dedicated to meeting the mission of HCGS, and, 4) to instill a general appreciation for the complex beauty nature has to offer.
Components of the Program
There are two basic learning components to the Service Learning internship program. One consists of horticulture and landscaping; the other, technology and education.
Horticulture and Landscaping Component
The horticulture and landscaping component of the program consists of all activities involved in developing and maintaining a garden. This includes:
• learning about plant characteristics and use, considering soil type, microclimates, phenology, and aesthetics;
• preparing the gardens for planting, watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading, fertilizing, mulching, maintaining paths, cultivating and cleaning out plant beds, maintaining trees, relocating plants and trees, eliminating plants and trees, controlling pests, and applying herbicide; and
• restructuring or altogether creating gardens, including design, development, and maintenance
Technology and Education Component
The technology component consists of working with various technological software and hardware that will be integrated with work on and in the gardens to improve management of the gardens and the ability of HCGS to meet its mission of public education. Such technology includes, but may not be limited to:
• digital image manipulation (Adobe Photoshop)
• mapping (ArcView and Global Positioning Satellite technology)
• website design, programming, and maintenance
• digital camera technology
• palm Pilot technology
Integrated into the internship are particular, special activities that interns may take advantage of to increase their knowledge and experience, and ultimately their professional skills. These activities can be selected to suit the needs of individual interns:
Teaching Assistant, The Biology of Public Gardens
• Interns may serve as an instructor in a course that fulfills a laboratory natural science graduation requirement at Hiram College.
Fundraising and Money Management
• Interns may have the opportunity to work with the HCGS treasurer and the HCGS board on developing and implementing fundraising plans and activities.
• Interns may develop particular projects for the HCGS.
• Interns may participate in field trips to various gardens and gardening establishments to broaden their scope of understanding of horticulture and garden management, as well as to inspire them as they visit organizations with different missions, goals and budgets.
• Interns have the opportunity to serve as student members of the HCGS board and assist with community functions that the HCGS may participate in.
The Hiram College Garden Society maintains its goals of providing both beautiful gardens and educational opportunities for the benefit of the Hiram community. The Service Learning internship program provides community service in the forms of public education and outreach, as well as aesthetic improvement of the community. Interns themselves will benefit in many ways from the program. There are very specific skills that the Internship Program hopes to develop in its interns to help them grow into young professionals who can further contribute to their communities in the future. Such skills are:
General Business Skill and Knowledge; i.e. Accounting and Finance
• Interns will work with the HCGS treasurer on fund raising, maintaining budgets, and dispersing money for projects.
Organization and Management
• Interns are given freedom to work with informed independence to accomplish tasks; as such, interns are encouraged to be self-motivated, organize, and manage their own work to meet needs, standards, and deadlines of the HCGS.
• Interns will be given opportunities to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make informed independent decisions on how to accomplish given tasks.
• Through interaction with the HCGS professionals and fellow interns, interns will develop strong interpersonal skills, including oral and written communication, teamwork, negotiation, networking, and presentation skills.
• Interns will work extensively with technology in tandem with garden work to better provide for garden management and the Hiram community.
• Interns will develop not only professional skills regarding horticulture, landscaping, and various technologies, but professional skills regarding the theme of their particular internship program, as well.
Logistics of the Service Learning Internship Program
• Number of Positions: 2
• Time Frame of the Program: varies
• Hours of Work: up to 40 hours per week
• Compensation: 7.00 per hour
• Who is Eligible: Junior and Senior undergraduate students
• Application Requirements: varies
• Application Deadline: varies
• Contact Information: Professor Dennis Taylor via email at TaylorDJ@Hiram.edu