Cooperative Education and Internships at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

in HortScience
Gary G. GerlachDirector, 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, AL 35223

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The BBG is a facility of the City of Birmingham Park and Recreation Board and operates as a coalition of the City's professional staff and resources as well as those of the Botanical Society (Friends), Alabama Cooperative Extension System (both groups maintaining offices at the BBG), 2 local community colleges, 12 specialized plant societies (that aid in the maintenance of collections), 100+ garden clubs, numerous related groups, and a strong community support. Current discussions with the University of Alabama in Birmingham will lead to certified programs at the Gardens. There are no formal contracts but informal agreements that are formed for each project. The Society sponsored the 1980 Master Plan and updates it every 10 years, employs a professional educator, and sponsors numerous special activities and programs, many in conjunction with the previously mentioned groups. Internships are hired and paid through the City. Students are rotated weekly through the various operations of the Gardens, including administration, education, taxonomy, and the Library. A special project is done in the area of interest to the student.

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