SECIA now taking applications for Summer OWLS Community Gardening Organizer Internship

posted Feb 16, 2010, 11:36 AM by Stephanie Hankerson

SECIA's  OWLS Community Gardening Organizer Internship, Summer 2010

Apply to:
Stephanie Hankerson,
Community Environmental Specialist
SECIA - Southeast Como Improvement Association
837 SE 15th Ave Ave, Mpls., MN 55414

Stephanie Hankerson, SECIA

Location: Mostly at the OWLS community vegetable garden in the SE Como neighborhood

Description: SECIA neighborhood organization supports a number of award winning community gardens of all kinds; food production, native plant and beautification gardens.  This internship will have a the specific role to support the OWLS Community Garden.   The OWLS is a community vegetable garden which is gardened communally by SE Como renters and long-term residents alike. The produce grown and harvested is shared with our elder neighbors through the Southeast Seniors block nurse program.    The position requires some knowledge of growing vegetables in Minnesota,  creative thinking, ability to organize a small group of loose-knit gardeners, utilizing GoogleGroups and other internet tools, and working independently. This intern will have the support of a neighborhood staff person, folks knowledgeable in growing vegetables and volunteers experienced in the donation program and recruiting gardeners.

The role of this intern is to
  • With other gardeners, create a season garden schedule and attend as many community gardening dates as possible, probably about 1 time per week (time away can be arranged)
  • Connect the OWLS garden to larger community garden networks (COMGAR list, the Community Garden Resource Fair on March 27th, 2010 and other events)
  • Lead the creation of a  garden planting plan
    • take account of crop locations in recent past seasons
    • determine when crops are to be planted and coordinate that effort once at the garden
    • maximize existing vertical structures, crop rotation, crop succession, and interplanting
  • Ensure tasks like regular watering and harvesting are covered by scheduled volunteers
  • Assist in creating a donation process to get harvest vegetables from garden to elders

Through this service learning project, the OWLS intern will build essential leadership skills and gain practical experience coordinating a productive community collaboration. Further, the position provides the candidate with access to workable land in an urban neighborhood and offers the creative potential to influence organic gardening methods and crop production. While this position does not come with pay, SECIA will support the intern in application for small grants for the project. SECIA is dedicated to incorporating the skills and talents of students into neighborhood improvement initiatives. Past interns have stayed connected to SECIA, gaining valuable work experience, developing research or independent study projects out of their volunteer service, and earning letters of recommendation for their efforts.

Position Schedule:  Late in March, The intern will meet with SECIA staff and some returning gardeners to preview the season and any before digging tasks. Once weather allows, regular workdays at the garden start.  Past garden times typically happened on weekends (Saturday & Sunday mornings). Periodic evening sessions or meetings may come up. 5-10 hours per week approximate.

Requirements: Candidates with gardening knowledge are required.  An interest in coordinating volunteers is needed.   Physical labor is involved in this position such as  digging, planting seeds, and hauling in  various types of weather. Reliability, resourcefulness and an enthusiasm to acquire skills are preferred.

Application Instructions:
please fill out SECIA's intern application: , and send a resume to Stephanie Hankerson, A short interview will be arranged with SECIA staff.