Therapeutic Horticulture Internship 2022

August 19, 2022 Horticulture Department

When I was accepted to intern at Denver Botanic Gardens, I packed my bag and came to Colorado. This summer was filled with new experiences and learning in a way I never thought imaginable. 

I was fully enveloped in horticultural therapy right from the beginning. With a variety of programs, I was not only able to meet and interact with different groups of people, but I was able to learn from them as well. For the individuals I saw consistently every week, I witnessed amazing progress, with assistive devices slowly being forgotten used less and efficiency blooming. Each experience illuminated new insights for these individuals and inspired me in unimaginable ways. 

I also had the opportunity to shadow the Chatfield Farms Veterans Farm Program. My experience here has completely solidified the idea of working in horticultural therapy, and I hope to be back soon. I also had the opportunity to work with individuals from Craig Hospital over the duration of my 10 weeks at the Gardens. Working with these individuals was a highlight of my summer. They are bright, funny, dedicated individuals that truly made this an incredible experience.

When I wasn’t working with these groups, Denver Botanic Gardens offered classes, field trips and workshops to the intern program so we could get a well-rounded education here. I climbed my first ever mountain to see a natural alpine life zone, visited a variety of parks and natural areas to learn about wildflowers, learned about the different plant families and their classifications and most importantly, I met and worked with the most amazing people. 

I learned a lot while at the Gardens – about myself, about life and Colorado. I will continue to use everything I gained from this experience in the future, and I feel extremely lucky that I had the ability to immerse myself in the Rocky Mountain Region. 

This article was contributed  by Alivia Arlia, the 2022 Therapeutic Horticulture Intern.


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