Membership dollars support many incredible things at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum – including our summer interns! These summer internships provide students with real-world experience in horticulture, research, curation, conservation, field services, visitor engagement, administration and much more. Interns work on impactful projects at the gardens and arboretum while taking advantage of career-building learning opportunities. Here are some interns sharing their experiences at Matthaei-Nichols and thanking members for their invaluable support.



Dear Members,

Please accept my sincere thanks for your support of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, which makes this internship possible. I have had a wonderful time this summer gaining valuable skills and learning about greenhouse practices and how to operate a tractor. Overall, productive and eventful.

I am a student in the School of Education and am majoring in history and minoring in earth and space science. When not in class, I spend a lot of time doing stand-up comedy all across Michigan. This summer, I am hoping to work with exotic plants in the greenhouses and help with the propagation of native plants for the Wildflowers and Native Plants Sale that will be hosted at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in October 2018.

After graduation, I hope to teach in Chicago, Detroit, or New York City to bring my knowledge of natural spaces and plant propagation to students in an urban school. This internship has helped to bolster skills that I would not have learned in school. I am excited to eventually teach urban students, who would likely not have the opportunity to experience nature in this way, about greenhouses and plant propagation. I hope to show the same generosity that you have, in supporting environmental education for years to come.


Nicholas Maternowski


Dear Members,

Please accept my sincere thanks for your support of my internship. This fall I will begin my master’s of landscape architecture program at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability. I am very grateful to have had this internship at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum because it provided me an opportunity to learn more about the environment to help better prepare me for my program this fall.

When not in class I enjoy woodworking, especially using live edge wood that was harvested sustainably. I am also beginning to dabble in wood turning. I’m always thinking of new projects that I want to pursue and create. I also enjoy traveling and spending time with friends. This summer, I hope to learn more about landscape architecture and design elements for botanical gardens to help me in the future.

After graduation, it is my goal to work in theme park development or just work in a place that will allow me to bring my ideas to life so that I can help better the environment with my designs. Thank you for supporting my professional development, and being generous in your giving.

Kevin Bechard

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