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Summer Internship Program 2014
Category: Horticulture

Mt. Cuba Center
Hockessin, Delaware

Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Summer Internship Program 2014

Mt. Cuba Center

Application deadline March 1, 2014

How We Prepare Students for the Future
Mt. Cuba Center is committed to providing a valuable internship program. Upon completion of the internship program students will be proficient in native plant identification and landscape use, possess solid skills in caring for naturalistic gardens, follow environmental gardening practices and know how to conserve our natural habitats. With these objectives in mind, interns will participate in plant identification classes and complete an independent intern project that demonstrates an understanding of local flora and their conservation. At the end of the program interns will present their projects to Mt. Cuba Center staff. 

While enrolled in our program, interns are provided with the following:
Onsite housing which includes parking, use of a communal kitchen and laundry facility.
Wireless internet access (laptops provided for Mt. Cuba Center use during internship)
Use of designated intern area and library during work hours to complete homework and research. 

Our Founding Intention
Mt. Cuba Center hopes to inspire students to have an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a desire to protect the environments that sustain them. The Center was the vision of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland who established their estate to preserve rural pastures and fields, protect forests, and develop a series of naturalistic woodland wildflower gardens. Our founding intention is the wish of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, “I want this to be a place where people will learn to appreciate our native plants and to see how these plants can enrich their lives so that they, in turn, will become conservators of our natural habitats.”

Where Are We Located?
Mt. Cuba Center is located in the historically and horticulturally rich countryside of the northern Delaware Piedmont. We are a convenient drive from Philadelphia (45 minutes), Baltimore (90 minutes), Washington D.C. (2 1/2 hours), and New York City (3 hours). Our central location provides interns the opportunity to explore and discover other botanical gardens in the area.

Come study at Mt. Cuba Center, a premier botanic garden, where we embrace ecological gardening and celebrate native plants. Gain hands-on experience in your specific internship area while working one-on-one with our professional staff.  Participate in group projects, educational programming, plant identification classes, and trips to other area horticultural organizations. Each intern will also explore a special project topic. Mt. Cuba Center offers paid summer internships ($11 per hour) running 12 weeks from May to August. Interns work 40 hours each week. On-site housing is provided. Please note we are unable to accept foreign student applications at this time. For more information visit:

Select one of the following seven internships:

Collections Management Intern
Attain valuable experience with BG-BASE™ and BG-MAP, the computerized plant record-keeping and mapping systems used at Mt. Cuba Center. Become proficient in botanical nomenclature verification which is a crucial skill set required by all professional gardens and arboreta. Learn accurate plant record keeping practices and curatorial techniques such as inventorying, labeling and mapping.

Greenhouse/ Research Intern
Acquire expertise in greenhouse production while becoming knowledgeable about our Plant Evaluation and Introductions Program. Staff will share propagation, maintenance and production techniques for woody and herbaceous plants collected from the Eastern United States. These plants are grown for use in our garden and research programs. The intern will also assist work in the trial garden assessing native plants for their garden and ecological use and collecting this data for future evaluation publications or possible introductions.

Naturalistic Gardens Interns
Work side-by-side with our knowledgeable horticulturists to learn the design intricacies of naturalistic gardens and sustainable practices of ecological horticulture. There are three Naturalistic Gardens internships available, one for each area listed below. Please choose one of the following internships.

Ponds and Dogwood Path - Learn sustainable management strategies used in mature naturalistic gardens. Gain knowledge of native plants and their cultural requirements including specific plants of the Sphagnum Bog, Trillium Garden, Moss Bank, Woodland and Pond Edge. Participate in the design and arrangement of naturalistic plantings and be taught weed identification.

Woods Path and Rock Outcrop - From shade to sun — work in two gardens at extremes. Receive training in the cultivation of native shade plantings, find out how to use them in woodland layering, and study principles and practices of Integrated Pest Management. Broaden your knowledge and understanding of heat and drought tolerant native plants suited to the xeric landscape.

Meadow - Support the creation of sunny meadow and woodland edge garden displays while receiving training in the planting and maintenance of these native forbs and grasses. Learn about the native wildflowers and grasses used in our meadow and the wildlife that depends on them.

Formal Gardens and Entrance Landscape Intern
Experience two distinct perspectives of native plant gardening with an opportunity to study garden maintenance techniques using native plants in both naturalistic and formal designs. The Formal Gardens surround the Main House and showcase native flora and other historical non-native plantings in a traditional setting. In the Entrance Landscape explore the use of naturalistic gardening techniques to create a positive first impression and enhance the quality of the visitor’s experience.

Natural Lands Intern
Expand your proficiency in natural land stewardship techniques, wildlife management practices, and invasive plant suppression principles while assisting with forest restoration and habitat preservation. Conduct vegetation and wildlife surveys of flora and fauna native to the Delaware Piedmont Region. Support natural resources professionals and scientists conducting research in our natural lands.

How to Apply:
In PDF format, please send a resume, contact information for three references and a cover letter outlining your internship choice, experience and career goals to:

Phone interviews will commence early in 2014 as applications are received and will continue until positions are filled.

For more information email:
Or call 302-239-8823

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