Get involved today!



Are you interested in the environment, urban gardening, education, and/or community advocacy?  If yes, one of our internships is right for you!  All positions work out of the CNGF headquarters at 76 Race Street, San Jose, CA 95126. You can either apply generally to join one of our teams as an intern or apply to a specific position.

We offer a variety of internships that appeal to a broad set of skills and interests.  We require a 4 month commitment at 8-15 hours per week. While our internships are unpaid, your benefits include: knowledge about California native plants, attending workshops and lectures for free, going on local hikes led by native plant expert Alrie Middlebrook, taking home food grown in the garden, and getting real world experience in a small non-profit workplace. Every intern joins one of our project teams, reports to a team leader, and contributes to our mission in a unique way. The interns who have worked with us in the past have made an amazing difference. They bring their enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and unique skills and always manage to blow us away with what they can accomplish!


We’re looking for college students and recent graduates who have…

  • Academic background or professional experience in education, biology, communications, business, agriculture, or other related subject.
  • An interest or background in gardening, ecology, environmental science, and/or sustainability
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and presentation skills
  • The ability to write and conduct research independently with attention to detail
  • Computer literacy (Google Docs, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) and familiarity with basic technology

You can either apply generally to join one of our teams or to a specific position.

Join one of our teams!


Community Outreach Team

Duties include:

  • Finding volunteers.
  • Contact donors.
  • Find+contact local business that can contribute.
  • Communicate and build relationships with organizations, business, and interested individuals.
  • Identify, research, and establish business partnerships.
  • Schedule, record, and follow up on meetings with schools and businesses.
  • Keep in contact with school/clients, address their concerns, and coordinate plans with them.
  • Help plan and run events at our main garden: Brainstorm themes, events, workshops, recruit and correspond with interesting speakers and workshop leaders.
  • Perform various tasks at events: run the farm stand, assist the chefs, help lead a garden tour, mingle with community members and explain our mission, help handle finances, etc.
  • Write articles about our events and activities.
  • Media management focus
    • Create content and manage Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.Compiling information from various CNGF teams to be able to properly publicize what is happening,  This includes taking pictures or procuring images from other team members, writing narratives with the background of CNGF.  Write post on the website to keep reader appraised of CNGF activities. Help create marketing and advertising campaigns for CNGF.
  • School liaison focus
    • Contacting schools, establishing relationships with teachers, increasing communication with schools. Coordinating the field trips to the Middlebrook Center. Setting up meting between schools and CNGF landscape desgners to help them plan theri garden class rooms. Help schoold coordinate garden build projects.

Grant Writing

  • Assist Grant Writing team leader through research, writing, and editing
  • Research and apply for grants to fund our partner school garden programs
  • Research and apply to various sustainability grants for our own facilities and programs at the Middlebrook Center that support our mission
  • Collect and assemble data about program budgets, outreach goals, and number of people served by our programs

ELSEE Teaching Team

  • Assist lead teachers in running our Summer Nature Camp by presenting lessons to students, preparing activities, serving lunch, and facilitating student check-ins
  • Lead kids activities at our Saturday events by engaging them in various aspects of the garden, creating hands on projects for individuals as well as group collaborations
  • Create lesson plans and expand on our ELSEE curriculum, which is based on eco-literacy, sustainability, food and nutrition, and fulfillment of California State Standards
  • Help coordinate and plan field trips to the Middlebrook Center, our headquarters, and work directly with the children

School Garden Design

  • Create master plans and site-specific model garden plans for schools
  • Work with school garden teams, school faculty, and interested parents on garden designs
  • Create cost estimates for master plans and site -specific model plans
  • Perform site analysis, create base maps, present preliminary and final designs to school representatives, and work closely with community outreach team to organize garden work days

Aquaponics and Sustainable Gardening

  • Maintain our aquaponics system and work with Freshness Farms to grow and harvest produce for weekly farm boxes
  • Complete daily maintenance tasks (watering, pruning, weeding, composting, feeding the animals, etc)
  • Propagate native plants and research propagation methods
  • Maintain teaching garden and aquaponics systems at CNGF and local partner schools
  • Manage and add to our native plant database
  • Work on a variety of garden projects, such as the chicken coop, living roof, food towers, compost systems, etc.
  • Develop sustainable, closed system methods for the garden and all of its visitors to abide by
  • Lead garden tours, volunteer workdays, and develop creative materials to promote nursery plants and aquaponics produce

Freshness Farms CSA Marketing and Communications

Work with our local CSA partner to create and support marketing strategies, while learning fundamental marketing skills in an incredibly fast moving environmental business.

  • Provide competitive research and analysis support.
  • Help with collection and synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data from client marketing campaigns.
  • Assist with advertising and marketing promotional activities including social media, mobile, mail, e-mail, web, telemarketing, and print.
  • Assist with search engine optimization strategies.
  • Create and work with various databases.
  • Draft client communications, content for blogs, website, and social media.
  • Outreach to existing and past customers via telephone and e-mail surveys.

How to Apply


To apply, please email your resume, a cover letter detailing your interests and what team you’d like to join, and an unofficial transcript to us at Once we have received and reviewed your application materials, we will contact you to set up an interview.

Internship Program
California Native Garden Foundation
76 Race Street
San Jose, CA 95126

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