For the past 6 months I’ve worked at SPAWN as the Native Plant Nursery Intern. As my time here comes to an end, it’s amazing to look back at everything I’ve done and learned.
When I signed up for this internship, I had no idea what I was getting myself into (in the best way possible). It’s been full of ups and downs, from the thrill of wading into the creek in my jeans to catch a Western Pond turtle, to the heartbreak of having rats eat seedlings I spent so long growing.
I’ve learned so much in my time here – how to clean and stratify seeds before sowing, when to take cuttings to give them the best chance of growing, and that there will always be room for more plants in the nursery!
One of the highlights has definitely been spending every Friday with such a welcoming and passionate group of volunteers. When I came to California, I didn’t know any of the plants or any of the people. But now, I can identify over 100 native plants and I’m sure I can name just as many friends.
I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of the position, providing me with endless opportunities to incorporate my passion for photography as well as education. This job has taken me places I never thought it would, from volunteering at the prestigious Goldman Environmental Awards, to speaking at a county board of supervisors meeting, and even pondering questions of philosophy as I watered the plants.
For now, I’ll be heading back to Australia, (after a short holiday in Hawaii!) to see friends and family. But I don’t think I can stay away for long, I’m already planning my next trip back!