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Racial Diversity in Public Garden Internships

Public gardens are in dire need of emerging professional horticulturists.The lack of people of color in public horticulture means the profession is missing out on a large segment of the nation’s talent and valuable perspectives and contributions to the profession. Internship programs are uniquely positioned to help fill the gap left by closing academic horticulture programs. Attracting and              retaining public garden interns of color will help secure public horticulture’s future.

Qualitative research interviews were conducted with nine public garden administrators and nine current or former public garden interns of color. Interviews explored administrator and intern perspectives on race and public horticulture and salient factors for internship success. Views and experiences of administrators and interns were analyzed with the goal of providing recommendations to create internship programs that better serve the needs of public gardens and interns.