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By Gaby Immerman, Botanic Garden   Date: 9/20/10 Bookmark and Share

Summer Interns Into Their Work

Botanic Garden summer interns sometimes become lost in their work. (Photo by Pamela Dods.)

Each summer, the Botanic Garden hosts a team of interns in a 12-week program in which they learn firsthand the skills and duties associated with public garden maintenance as they work in the Lyman Conservatory, campus gardens and grounds among the 125-acre arboretum, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. More than 40 Smith students (and several from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and Hampshire College) have worked in the program, now in its fifth year.

This summer’s program focused on the twin themes of drought and destruction. With the low rainfall this summer, great effort was spent watering (and watering and watering) plantings, as well as rescuing many after suffering under the wheels of construction vehicles that swarmed campus.

Interns also played crucial roles in replanting the Mendenhall Center Courtyard, adding trees to the new Native Tree Arboretum beyond the Japanese Tea Hut, and broadening “tree circles” around campus to better protect the health of Smith’s priceless tree collection.

Summer interns also pursue independent projects, which this year included the creation of a campus soil map, evaluation of the outdoor collection for economically important species, and working with Facilities Management to launch a project to eradicate invasive species along the Mill River.

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