Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing


Apply by:  February 17, 2014

Duration:  3-5 months, starting in May

Hours:  40 hours/week

Compensation:  $9.00/hour

Number available:  5

Contact:  Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture

E-mail:  jepping@cityofmadison.com 

Telephone:  (608) 246-4683

FAX:  (608) 245-5790

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a nationally recognized 16-acre public display garden located in Madison, Wisconsin - a city annually recognized for its innovation and livability. Olbrich received the American Public Gardens Association and Horticulture Magazine's Award of Garden Excellence in 2005, an annual honor bestowed upon 1 of over 500 North American public gardens. Olbrich offers a unique opportunity for individuals possessing a passion for the world of horticulture and the enthusiasm and drive to further their professional careers.

Interns work directly with the horticulture staff in the outdoor gardens and nursery to gain valuable practical work experience in botanical garden maintenance. Individuals will learn all aspects of environmentally responsible horticulture through sustainable gardening practices during the course of the gardening season and will be immersed in innovative and artistic garden designs and seasonal displays. The interns work in all of the outdoor display gardens including the Event, Herb, Children's Kitchen Garden, Meadow, Gravel, Rain, Perennial, Rock, Rose, Shade, Sunken, Thai and Wildflower gardens. Individuals work extensively with annual bed and container plantings, tropicals, aquatics, perennials, and woody plantings. Interns will also have an opportunity to work on annual displays with the horticulture staff in downtown Madison and special beautification projects in nearby city parks.

Two paid all-day field trips to other innovative gardens and horticultural enterprises are included. Interns will experience Olbrich's enthusiastic guests during peak visitation times, by working approximately one weekend per month and one of the three summer holidays. Interns will have the opportunity to hone their managerial skills by occasionally supervising and working with garden volunteers.

Essential Functions:

  • Good knowledge of horticulture based on college or technical college coursework.
  • Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate effectively to work as a team with the horticulture staff and volunteers.
  • Ability to be tactful and courteous with garden visitors.
  • Ability to perform heavy manual and semi-skilled tasks for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to multi-task and complete repetitive tasks in a quality manner.
  • Ability to work under adverse weather conditions, including rainy, hot and humid conditions.
  • Ability to use hand tools and small powered equipment typically used in routine garden maintenance, such as pruners, shovels, tillers, edgers and mowers.
  • Ability to safely operate a golf-style utility cart.
  • Ability to work with and around plant protectants, including chemical and biological control agents.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds, work on the ground, climb and work off a 6' ladder and bend and stand for up to 8 hours per day.
  • Ability to maintain adequate attendance and work weekend and holiday hours as required.

Preferred applicants are majoring in or recent graduates (within six months) of a horticulture or plant science-related scholastic program. Candidates interested in working with a creative, fun and hard-working team of professional horticulturists, fellow interns and dedicated volunteers, should submit an application, brief questionnaire, resume, and college transcripts (unofficial acceptable) by February 17, 2014. Incomplete or late submittals will not be considered for an internship. Reasonable housing is available on the nearby University of Wisconsin-Madison campus or possibly with an area family with a work-for-rent arrangement.

Applications may be submitted by e-mail, fax or mail (completed application must be scanned in order to attach to an e-mail). All applications must be received or post-marked by February 17, 2014.

Application Materials:

Application Form (PDF)

Questionnaire (PDF)

Send to:

Jeff Epping

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

3330 Atwood Ave.

Madison, WI 53704

E-mail:  jepping@cityofmadison.com

Telephone:  (608) 246-4683

FAX:  (608) 245-5790


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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