Queens Botanical Garden - Where people, plants, and cultures meet

Seasonal Horticulture Internships

In 2014 Queens will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair – which had a theme “Building the World of Tomorrow – and the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair – which had the theme “Peace Through Understanding.” Both were seminal events that had transformative impacts internationally, nationally and locally. Each fair contributed much in the way of technology, art and culture that subsequently influenced generations that followed.

Queens Botanical Garden evolved from the 5-acre “Gardens on Parade” exhibit showcased at the ‘39 Fair. Local residents who wanted Queens to have its own garden tended the exhibit that remained until the Queens Botanical Garden Society, Inc. legally came into existence in 1946 and officially opened its gates during rose season in 1948. To make way for the 1964 Fair, QBG was moved to its current location on Main Street, Flushing, outside the northeast corner of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Among the original plantings taken from its World's Fair site are three Blue Atlas Cedars that frame the iconic tree gate sculpture at the Garden's Main Street entrance today, through which over 200,000 visitors pass annually. QBG has become a 39-acre urban oasis in one of the city’s most bustling and diverse neighborhoods and with its commitment to serving as the place where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship it is unlike any other botanical garden in the world.

These anniversaries will be celebrated borough-wide, and most especially by the cultural groups that trace their origins to one or both of the Fairs. QBG will celebrate through plantings, exhibits and programs.

We seek two or more individuals with an interest in public horticulture to assist with gardening work during the 2014 World’s Fair Anniversary growing season.

We would like to add individuals who have a passion for plants and gardens and are able and willing to work outdoors in all sorts of weather to add to our team this year. We want interns who appreciate the public and who understand that a good deal of the work during the growing season means doing repetitive tasks such as weeding, watering, mowing, grooming, and the like. Under the supervision of QBG horticulture staff, interns will be expected to work with volunteers who may come to us as individuals or as part of a group. Interns must be available to assist with supervision of teens as part of the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) in July and August.

In addition to assisting with gardening work for QBG as a whole, interns will be assigned to assist with the following based on their training and interests:

•    Helping create and care for World’s Fair Exhibits including a ’39 Fair “Trylon & Perisphere” in plants at QBG’s entrances, assisting with Anniversary events from a train exhibit which will include with a ’64 Fair Unisphere recreation, and assisting with other programs and events,
•    Assisting with the American Garden Rose Selections ™  Rose Trials including caring for test roses, World’s Fair Anniversary roses—and all roses!—and helping with the assessment of plant performance, record-keeping and participating in relevant events,
•    Serving as Helen & Martin Kaltman Interns—with duties including caring for our fragrant friends, and providing information for tours and programs.

Interns will also have the opportunity to learn about QBG’s award winning facilities along with other aspects of public garden operations. This may include assisting with plant collection record-keeping, installing labels, maintaining equipment, propagating plants, caring for the greenhouse, conducting plant inventory and record keeping, participating in volunteer clean-up days and the like. Depending on interests and skills, they may also contribute an article/observations for publication in the QBG newsletter, website, blog or otherwise. As interested and motivated, interns will be invited to arrange information sessions with other staff and/or organize field trips that will help them understand the range of operations and possibilities in public horticulture and community engagement. These internships are ideal for someone making progress towards a degree or certificate in horticulture, conservation studies, botanical or environmental education or the like.

Internships are available for up to 28 hours per week from April through October. A flexible schedule may be worked out to accommodate school or other needs. Weekend work required. A summer only schedule may also be considered.


  • A high school diploma or GED and at least 3 months paid, volunteer, home or school gardening experience
  • Ability and willingness to work outside in all sorts of weather; work includes kneeling, bending, stooping, and reaching; ability to lift 40 pounds
  • Willingness to learn about use of tools and equipment
  • Good interpersonal skills; second language a plus
  • Facility with computer programs a plus
  • An interest in history a plus!

To apply you must put "Seasonal Internships in Horticulture" in the subject line, and send cover letter and résumé to hr@queensbotanical.org. No calls please.

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