Looking back, after having completed my internship with Downtown Greens as a Garden Education intern, the opportunity was one I could not have missed.
In the spring semester of 2022, I took an anthropology course with Professor Mentore here at UMW which was centered around the topic of the Age of the Anthropocene. A large portion of the course was focused on Permaculture design principles, which can be explained more simply as strategic sustainable agriculture designs. Professor Mentore had the class take a trip to Downtown Greens and analyze the locations and existence of water sources, wind patterns, human pathways, sun patterns, etc. I fell in love with the greenspace at Downtown Greens and knew I wanted to be more involved with the organization. I followed them on Instagram and learned that they were taking applications for various internship positions. I then applied to the Garden Education intern position due to my experience working with children. From there, the rest is history!
The internship experience with Downtown Greens helped me further believe that not only is outdoor time important for the development of children but the skills of gardening and being more aware of how to take care of our greenspaces are priceless. This is especially true during today when caring for our earth is becoming ever more important as climate change is real and testing how well, or poorly we are truly living in accordance with nature. I have had the chance to take multiple classes, most of which pertain to my major, Anthropology, which has been focused on ways to better take care of our planet. I found these very helpful to have under my belt as I commenced my internship at Downtown Greens. For example, I have taken an Amazonian societies course which focused on different Indigenous peoples who reside in the Amazon and their way of connecting with the earth in a way that is not as dangerously depleting as our capitalist American lifeway is. I mentioned the Anthropocene course earlier, this course was one where we talked about energy flow and how we can learn to better utilize and work with the natural flow of earth’s energy.
Thus, due to having taken courses on the betterment of the relationship between humans and nature, interning at Downtown Greens was a breath of fresh air. Meeting all the Downtown Greens staff and faculty was inspiring as they all are very passionate about their mission and what the garden stands for and means for the surrounding community. Upon saying my farewells, the Garden Educators at Downtown greens gifted me a lovely “see you later” card stating they hope to have my help with summer camp next year! I am more than grateful for the wonderful opportunity that was my internship, and I cannot wait to see what doors this experience opens for me.