Native Plant Gardens Intern

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How to Apply

Applications are welcomed and encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. A one-page cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline experience that directly relates to it. 


This is a student summer internship position with Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. This internship is focused on but not limited to the Great Lakes Garden and other native plant gardens, with primary tasks including general gardening, invasive species removal, and planting native plants. As part of the Horticulture team, interns will regularly interact with visitors, volunteers, and other MBGNA departments during the course of their workday. Assist with preparing and hosting garden related events including weddings, the annual Peony Garden display, and special events. The Team includes staff tending plants in MBGNA's display gardens, conservatory, and greenhouse. The internship program runs May 6 through late August and includes evening and weekend hours.

Who We Are

University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (MBGNA) stewards over 840 acres of land and water across four properties in and around Ann Arbor, with Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens serving as its two anchor locations. Click here to view our Strategic Plan. With more than 500,000 annual visitors, MBGNA is committed to becoming a transformative force for social and ecological resilience through the lands and waters we steward. We put that commitment into action by:  

  • Positioning humans as active participants within the natural world and compelling the university community and our publics to negotiate the full complexity that entails
  • Advancing partnerships, programs, user experience, and all that we steward to catalyze equity and justice in a radically changing world
  • Emerging as University of Michigan's premier partner for research, teaching, and public impact in sustainability, climate-forward practices, and biocultural diversity
  • Promoting healthier communities, cultures, and ecosystems through active care and cultivation of the gardens, fields, natural habitats, and dynamic systems that sustain our world.

MBGNA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan and sustain the excellence of University of Michigan.


  • Work with our staff to care for plants, collections, and display gardens under glass and outdoors, including the bonsai and peony collections. 
  • Learn how to establish, maintain, and care for collections and display gardens by assisting with a variety of horticultural tasks including watering, planting, weeding, mulching, deadheading, greenhouse maintenance, and pest management.
  • Apply specialized care to native plants in the display gardens, including weed control, planting and watering.  Work with volunteers. Interact with visitors to the gardens.

Required Qualifications*

  • Graduated high school and currently enrolled in a college/university by the internship start date of May 6, 2024, or a December 2023 or spring 2024 college or university graduate.
  • These positions may require a valid driver's license and a motor vehicle record check in order to operate MBGNA vehicles.
  • Willingness to work outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Willingness to do physical work

Additional Information

  • This is an in-person internship, May-August, 
  • This internship takes place mainly at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, 48105
  • 40 hours/week with weekend work required for greenhouse and conservatory watering (typically 2 weekends per summer), and possibly some evening work. 
  • There are opportunities for candidates interested in part-time work: please note this in your cover letter.
  • Compensation: $15.00/hour
  • For more information about Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, please visit

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.