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Written by Adam Banks and Grace Ledgard

Hi, my name is Adam Banks and I’m thrilled to have been one of the Greenway Conservancy Horticulture Interns for the 2019 summer season! I’m a rising junior at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine studying Environmental Studies. I’ve lived in Jamaica Plain all my life and I’ve always loved coming to The Greenway. While I’m in the Garden Club at Bates and garden recreationally at home in JP, this was my first summer doing public horticulture work. It was really exciting to see how much behind-the-scenes work goes into keeping The Greenway looking so green and comfortable.

I worked with the Conservancy’s Horticulture Team all summer, learning about multiple facets of organic landscape maintenance. Every day I learned general horticultural knowledge, from plant ID, to pruning, to watering methods. My regular daily routine consisted of assisting the horticulture staff, working with volunteer groups which lend their time to The Greenway, and carrying out the park-long water route with Grace, the other horticulture intern. As interns, the water route was one of our biggest responsibilities of the summer, collaborating with staff to see what needs attention and using our own judgement to distribute water to different plants. 

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We have been lucky enough to be present for, and be a part of, some really big events on The Greenway this summer. In preparation for the Conservancy’s annual Gala, we had a ton of fun helping to prepare floral arrangements and room decor for the night. It was really rewarding to help prepare sections of Chin Park for the Conservancy’s dedication ceremony to Frank and Kay Chin. One of my favorite events of the summer was spending almost a whole week alongside volunteers installing over 7,000 plants in the new Greenway Meadow. Check it out if you get the chance!

The best part of the job is working with the horticulture staff themselves. It’s been awesome to have a group of people that really enjoy their work and encourage you to learn and improve. I learn new things on a day to day basis just by working with the staff and it’s great to feel like my questions are really welcome. I have been lucky enough to shadow and meet with members to learn about particular aspects of organic park care. This included discussing meadow design with Darrah Cole and shadowing and assisting with compost tea brewing and distribution with Tori Hiney. Getting to be part of the team this year was amazing.

I’ve had a really great experience working at the Greenway Conservancy. Working alongside the staff, learning so much about horticulture, and interacting with visitors has made this a really memorable summer for me!

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Hi, My name is Grace Ledgard and I am one of the horticulture interns for the Summer of 2019. I just graduated from Colby Sawyer College where I majored in Environmental Science, this is my first full-time job in that field. I am familiar with working in a greenhouse, and I’ve found that several of the skills I’ve learned there have helped me adjust quickly to working with the Conservancy Horticulture Team. However, while I was very familiar with annual plants grown in greenhouses, the Greenway Conservancy has introduced me to a lot more perennial plants, shrubs, and native varieties. I am primarily interested in pursuing agriculture or homesteading, but The Greenway was interesting to me because it is a sizable effort to sequester CO2 in an area that produces a significant amount of CO2, in addition to providing beautiful ecosystems for pollinators and humans to enjoy.

The Greenway Meadow was by far my favorite project I participated in at the Greenway Conservancy. Although we spent long hours on our hands and knees planting thousands of plugs, I am excited to see how it evolves over the next several years. In addition to helping out with the Meadow project, I have helped Tori Hiney brew and apply compost tea to the lawns on The Greenway, as well as being introduced to various methods of organic tree “ICU”. My fellow intern Adam and I have been tag-teaming the water route since late June, and we would water all of the new plantings over the entire park about twice per week, excepting the weeks with heavy rain. Through taking on the water route as a primary responsibility, Adam and I have developed our ability to assess plants’ water needs. This may seem self-explanatory, but there’s a certain amount and frequency of water that new perennials require in order to develop strong, deep root systems.

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I will be staying with the Greenway Conservancy until Thanksgiving this year. I’m excited to experience bulb and mum season, participating in the bamboo project happening in a few weeks, and being able to see the seasons change. I have really enjoyed working with the horticulture team and the rest of the Greenway Conservancy staff so far, and I am looking forward to continuing to help bring this beautiful organic park to life in Boston.