Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

Children's Kitchen Garden Education Intern

(Seasonal Position)

Apply by:  Application must be postmarked by February 16, 2015

Duration: Approximately 7 weeks; beginning June 17 and ending August 7, 2015

(tentative dates; may be adjusted by a week earlier after confirmation from the Madison School and Community Recreation organization)

Hours: Up to 26 hours/week

  • Tuesday - Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Compensation: $9 per hour. Position does not offer health insurance, investment options, or paid personal time.

Number Available: 2

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is home to 16 acres of outdoor display gardens and a 10,000 square foot tropical conservatory. The outdoor gardens include 10 unique specialty gardens and received the 2005 National Award for Garden Excellence. Indoors, the tropical Bolz Conservatory exhibits an extraordinary collection of exotic plants and orchids complemented by colorful birds and koi. Olbrich is committed to a culture of sustainability and education so that everyone - including future generations - can experience and learn about the fascinating world of plants and gardens.

The Children's Kitchen Garden Intern provides educational opportunities for Madison-area underserved urban youth, along with family public programming. Currently in its 19th year, Olbrich's Children's Kitchen Garden school program offers hands-on learning experiences for children in grades 1-3 and public programming for children ages 2 and up. The educational goals for the Children's Kitchen Garden programs focus on fostering a life-long awareness of the integral role plants play in our lives.

The Children's Kitchen Garden Intern works on all aspects of Olbrich's Children's Kitchen Garden program. This internship provides practical experience in managing educational activities for large and small groups and direct teaching of plant-based curricula. Olbrich's goal is to provide interns with an experiential learning opportunity to develop strong teaching and public programming skills with a chance to develop teaching competencies that will be invaluable to their future career as educators. The Children's Kitchen Garden Intern works under the direct supervision of the Youth and Family Programs Coordinator.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens does not provide housing. Due to our close proximity to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, housing is generally available nearby.

Children's Kitchen Garden Intern Essential Functions:

  • Group Management: Assist the Youth and Family Programs Coordinator in facilitating plant-based education for groups of 40+ children/participants.
  • Direct Instruction: Act as lead teacher providing direct, hands-on instruction to groups of 10 to 40+ children/participants.
  • Volunteer Collaboration: Work with and supervise adult program volunteers.
  • Internal Collaboration: Build productive and cohesive relationships with co-workers, and work well as a member of a team.
  • Educational Preparation: Prepare instructional materials and set up the outdoor classroom each day before groups arrive, properly store materials at the end of each day, and be well-versed in the learning objectives/lesson plan prior to the arrival of children/participants.
  • Garden Maintenance: Work with the Youth and Family Programs Coordinator and the program's Horticulture Intern in maintaining the Children's Kitchen Garden.
  • Program Evaluation: Provide constructive feedback on all aspects of the Children's Kitchen Garden programs.
  • Program Wrap-Up: Responsible for proper clean-up, inventory, and storage of all materials at the end of the summer program.

Essential Functions:

  • Ability and willingness to work in hot, humid conditions in direct sun for up to three hours at a time on a daily basis.
  • Ability to bend, stoop, kneel, walk on uneven terrain, and work with arms stretched out overhead.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Ability to use basic gardening tools safely and effectively.
  • Ability to submit personal information for a criminal background check, as well as ability to successfully pass a criminal background checks.
  • Ability to commit to work schedule outlined without days off.
  • Ability to work as a team member and effectively collaborate with co-workers on a daily basis.
  • Ability to display confident, energetic, and positive attitude while working with visitors and volunteers.
  • Ability to take a great degree of initiative and make independent decisions on a daily basis.


Position Requirements:

  • Enrollment in an accredited college or university, or graduated from an accredited college or university in the past 6 months. An education-related course of study or degree is preferred but not required.
  • Minimum one year experience teaching young children using inquiry-based teaching methods.
  • Experience managing large groups.
  • Effective and clear communication skills.
  • Ability to organize work time effectively, particularly in relation to set deadlines, shared computer time, recurrent daily tasks, and strictly defined preparation time versus teaching time.
  • Kitchen gardening or horticulture experience is preferred but not required.


Application Materials

Application Form (PDF)

To Apply:  Send a cover letter, resume, completed Student Intern Application Form, and a copy of post-secondary transcripts. In addition, provide a written description (750 words or less) of an experience you have had facilitating an educational lesson, activity, or program. Explain how this experience has shaped you as an educator.

Submit your application materials to Jennifer Sterling, Youth and Family Programs Coordinator. No phone calls, please.

Email: jsterling@cityofmadison.com

US Mail/FedEx/UPS:

Jennifer Sterling, Youth and Family Programs Coordinator

Education Department

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Ave.

Madison, WI 53704

Checklist of Children’s Kitchen Garden Intern application materials:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Completed Student Intern Application Form
  • Copy of post-secondary transcripts
  • Written description of an educational experience you have had facilitating an educational lesson, activity, or program.


*If you do not already have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, you can download it by clicking on the icon.


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719