Victorian Garden Intern: Healy House and Dexter Cabin Museum; A Historical Landmark Beautification Project

Mountain Region



Primary Topic:

Food and Agriculture

Other Topics:

Economic and Community Development, Natural Resources and Sustainability

Lead Mentor:  

Mark Pettit

Extension Director Lake County

Internship Overview:

This intern will finish the landscape design for a significant historical education destination in Leadville. This garden will, out of necessity, feature high-altitude plants and alternative growing methods to accommodate high-altitude gardens. It will feature a four-square formal garden with Victorian-era plants and techniques and a less formal garden area with native plants/pollinators. This intern will research alpine plants, soil conditions, and environmental impacts that a landscaping project like this can have on a smaller rural mountain community. Further, this internship will be an opportunity to create educational and outreach materials for native and non-native English speakers in the Leadville, Lake County Community. They will research and design high-raised kitchen garden beds with covers that are handicapped accessible and help source all the materials and [time permitting] will sow seeds in the greenhouse that will result in colorful flowering plants and appropriate vegetables by late summer that can be planted out in the various beds. Working with the director, they will create a summer garden lecture series using PowerPoint that will inspire and teach locals how to create similar beds at home. Additionally, they will create interpretive signage that identifies the plants and their use or connection to the house museum and region.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

As the hands-on internship unfolds, and the garden areas are developed, the intern, through their research and experience working with plants under the guidance of the director,, will learn all aspects of the making of a Victorian garden from the ground up at this altitude. Starting with the historic garden design, situating the kitchen garden, sourcing appropriate plants, seed starting, and developing signage, and an educational component that would help educate both locals and visitors, the intern will develop gardening skills as well as communication skills.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The Healy House and Dexter Cabin; Central Colorado Conservancy Center; Cloud City Conservancy Center; Lake County Residents

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

If this intern is exceptional, it would give them the chance to help create the highest formal Victorian and native garden in the US, an important historical education and destination garden from the ground up that will garner a lot of attention in the state. This intern will have hands-on experience creating a multipurpose educational garden that will greatly influence the use of the museum property in the town of Leadville, inspire garden tourists to visit and motivate thousands of visitors to attempt to install similar plants at home. It will also inspire new gardeners to begin home vegetable cultivation by carefully explaining gardening techniques and guiding them throughout the season via onsite education.
Scroll to Top