- School Garden Design Intern

The California Native Garden Foundation (CNGF) is a non-profit educational, research, and resource organization that promotes a “Healthy Land Use Model” for supporting our California native ecosystems and urban food technology while enhancing biodiversity and protecting our soils and ecosystems. Among our many programs, we offer quarterly garden design grants to schools to design and build school gardens and a school garden education program according to our ELSEE (Environmental Laboratory for Sustainability and Ecological Education) model. These school gardens serve as outdoor classrooms to teach children and teens about our California native plants, our native ecosystems, sustainability, biodiversity and local food production.

Areas of Focus:

Landscape Design, School Garden Education, Biodiversity, Ecological Sustainability, California Native Ecosystems, Urban Food Technology, Community Outreach


CNGF is seeking multiple School Garden Design Interns to be part of a small, energetic team to design and build school gardens according to our ELSEE model for schools. Work can include developing client relationships, preparing site analysis, base plans, small planting plans, and full site plans depending on the school’s needs and the intern’s experience. In this part- time, flexible position, you will be responsible for the following:

• Design and create school gardens with school parents, administration and other team members, resulting in anything from a small planting plan to a full site plan. Work on 1-2 garden designs per school quarter/semester. We will develop a time frame that meets your schedule and other commitments.
• Team meets with design recipients a minimum of four times to perform site analysis, create a base map, present a preliminary design, present a final design, advise on the build process and work with ‘Community Outreach’ interns to take the design and build to completion. • Incorporate the ELSEE “Healthy Land Use Model” into your school garden design with California native ecosystems and plant communities, food production and sustainability practices such as downspout conversions, grey-water systems, impervious pavement, recycled/reclaimed materials, urban agriculture techniques, etc.
• Work in the CNGF office, as needed, to consult with experienced landscape designers, add to our native plant database, and work on the administration and presentation of the school grants.
• Flexible Term Dates; Flexible Schedule; Minimum 10 hours per week.

  Non-paying: Intern must have their own housing and transportation.


• Landscape design experience/knowledge from relevant work experience, university landscape
architecture, landscape design or horticulture program.
• Experience with planting plans and drafting. Drafting may be either hand drafting or a computer aided drafting program such as AutoCAD, Vectorworks or others.
• An interest in California native plants, California ecosystems, sustainable and edible landscapes is highly desired.

Join Us!

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