Internships for Tour Leaders

Kids in the Garden Internship Program

The Kids in the Garden program was initiated by UC Davis students and continues today because of their enthusiastic and creative participation. Each winter, students train to become tour guides and activity leaders for school groups that visit the Ecological Garden and Student Farm in the following spring. Through a combination of lecture and interactive, hands-on activities, students develop and test new ideas for the spring tour program. Their participation gives them direct experience in agricultural and environmental education and many use this expertise later to work with teachers and children in a variety of experiential education contexts.

Becoming an Intern

  • Would you like to help children know where their food comes from and understand the environment they live in?
  • Do you want to gain experience teaching and working with children and the public?
  • Are you looking for a meaningful break from academics and a way to apply what you’ve learned in classes?

Kids in the garden
is a winter-to-spring internship opportunity that gives you all this and more!  UC Davis students can earn credit as Kids in the garden tour leaders through an internship program that is both fun and educational.

There are no prerequisites for your involvement in this opportunity — just bring your enthusiasm and willingness to try new things!  This winter course and the spring internship attract students from a wide variety of majors and at all levels, from freshmen to graduate students.

Winter Quarter

Kids in the garden one-unit winter quarter course prepares you to work directly with children in the Ecological Garden at the UC Davis Student Farm. This training gives you the biological and ecological understanding and the teaching skills necessary to work with children in a garden setting. You will learn "tried and true" activities to do with children and we will guide you as you design and try out new activities.  The course is taught by Carol Hillhouse, Director of the School Garden Program and Mark Van Horn, Director of the Student Farm with guest appearances from experienced students and faculty.


The CRN numbers for the class are:

  • Lower division: PLS 92-098=67544.  Request 1 unit of credit.
  • Upper division: PLS 192-089=67762.  Request 1 unit of credit.
Enrollment is limited.

Spring Quarter

In spring quarter, the real fun begins!  You will be leading garden tours and activities for the K-3 school groups that visit the garden on field trips.  Watch kids delight in nature and help them to use all their senses as they harvest carrots, make a fresh salad, inspect beneficial insects or go on a scavenger hunt. You can do this for one or two sessions each week to earn one or two internship units.

Download a flier for detail on becoming an intern for Kids in the garden.

Additional Internship Opportunities

If you have already participated in a KIDS IN THE GARDEN internship and you want to do more, there are several elementary schools in Davis and the surrounding communities of Woodland, Winters, West Sacramento and Dixon that have gardens on their campuses.

We can match you with teachers who would like to have a UC Davis intern work with their classes in their own school gardens. This work is highly valued by both teachers and students, and can be richly rewarding. It is at these school gardens that children get the opportunity to plant a seed and watch it grow over time to a harvestable crop.

You can return to work in the School Garden Program the following spring without taking the KIDS IN THE GARDEN class again.

For more information, contact:

Carol Hillhouse
School Garden Program Director