Edible Landscaping Intern, 2013-14
Nursery Student Employee, 2014-15
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, 2015
When my time in the Edible Landscaping Internship had come to an end, GATEways Horticulturist Stacey Parker called me with the most exciting news. She said that Nursery Manager Taylor Lewis needed part-time summer help at the Teaching Nursery and was wondering if I was interested. I remember being so excited for how much I would be able to learn working day in and out with such a variety of plants. Over a year later and I can now look back and see how far I have come in my plant knowledge, but even more importantly in the unexpected lifetime friendships I have made.
From day one, Taylor and Assistant Nursery Manager Lisa Fowler treated me like a peer. I was free to learn, even when it involved screwing up (which it did)! They allowed me to work the floor at the large public plant sales which are huge practical exams where hoards of people would ask all sorts of random things. I worked with interns and many times was allowed to teach them what I know. I hauled plants back and forth for volunteers, propagated plants, maintained the nursery structure, built tables, took inventory, pruned, labeled, weeded, and sweat. The Teaching Nursery is like a big family and I was made to feel part of that family.
One hundred percent central to that family are Taylor and Lisa. Without these two the Teaching Nursery would not be anything close to what can be seen on any given day. They work so well together that they are a perfect example of what a co-worker dynamic should encompass. They masterfully conduct the ebb and flow of volunteers, interns, customers, and employees. Their focus is constantly on how to improve the nursery and they both put their hearts into the job.
While I am definitely happy to progress onto my post college career track, I am so, so sad that I am departing these two. They have gone above and beyond to make me feel like I am not just another student employee. They have taught me more than any class and have truly broken down many of my barriers.
The Arboretum family will always be in my heart and I will cherish every memory. The support I have felt from everyone has been awesome, the experience I gained has been invaluable, and I will never forget it.