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Urban Farms - Therapeutic Horticulture Internship in New York at Services for the UnderServed

Date Posted: 3/5/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

Position Overview

Company Overview: As a leading provider of residential and support services to individuals with special needs, Services for the UnderServed provides the resources you need to build on your experience amidst our culture of team support. Ongoing training and attention to your development help to ensure your success. Your achievements and leadership are rewarded by advancement opportunities. Our commitment to continuous quality improvement impacts the lives of our clients and communities while contributing to the development of our employees.
The Urban Farms Initiative at Services for the UnderServed (SUS) is a comprehensive therapeutic horticulture program serving individuals and families faced with a wide range of challenges--including poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction, developmental disability, physical disability and AIDS. The initiative offers horticultural programming, nutritional workshops, and employment opportunities to SUS consumers through education, field experiences, and a network of community farm and garden spaces.
Position Summary:
Therapeutic Horticulture Internship participants will experience the use of horticulture as a therapeutic tool, as an employment pathway, and as a device for nutrition and food-use education for individuals with developmental disabilities or mental health diagnoses.
The internship will include:
  • Learning basic horticultural techniques and group education practices.
  • Meeting and working with SUS staff from a variety of divisions to understand ways in which therapeutic horticulture can be integrated  into client services.
  • Performing field work in SUS urban farm and garden spaces, interacting directly with SUS clients.
  • Designing and leading workshops for SUS clients with guidance and support from the Urban Farms supervisory staff.
  • Candidates do not need preexisting horticultural knowledge, but should have a demonstrated interest in horticulture, nutrition, food security, or food justice. Academic study or a demonstrated interest in behavioral health or social work is a plus.
  • The Therapeutic Horticulture Internship requires a commitment of 12 hours per week for the summer. The opportunity is best suited for upper-level undergraduates or graduate students.
  • Candidates will be required to pass a background check.
The position reports to the Urban Farms Director, but may be directly supervised by the Farms Manager, Project Manager, or Program Coordination Manager.


  • Patient and empathic communication skills.
  • Comfortable working directly with adults with developmental disabilities or mental health challenges.
  • Physically able and willing to participate in outdoor farming/gardening work projects in all weather conditions.
  • Academic study or a demonstrated interest in behavioral health or social work is a plus.