A shared interest in horticulture led this year’s interns to Adkins Arboretum’s wetland, woodland and meadows. For Elizabeth (Liz) Barton and Mikaela Boley, a summer at the Arboretum is the perfect opportunity to make connections between native plants, land use and conservation.
A University of Delaware senior, Barton is studying landscape horticulture with minors in wildlife conservation and French. Boley is a rising senior at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and is studying environmental horticulture with a focus on landscape design.
Barton and Boley began work in June and quickly jumped into nearly all aspects of the Arboretum’s operation, from learning about visitor services to maintaining the grounds, assisting with programs and learning about the day-to-day workings of a nonprofit organization. In addition, each is working on an individual internship project.
Barton has created a new format for signs used at the Arboretum’s semiannual plant sales, and also is conducting research for the initiative to implement green practices at the Arboretum’s native plant nursery. Boley is focusing on wetland conservation, maintenance of woody plants and invasive plant removal, and is learning to design gardens. In addition, the interns collaborate on cataloguing and locating via GPS all plant identification signs on the grounds.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Barton hopes to enter a graduate school program in public horticulture. She ultimately plans to work in ornamental plant research and development on a public garden level. Boley plans to pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture. She hopes to mainstream sustainable landscapes in both residential and urban settings.
Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.