All Hallows Guild Summer Intern Program a Two-Way Benefit

August 1, 2019

Guild Provides College Interns To Horticulture Staff

Again this year the Guild has the pleasure of sponsoring three college students who work with our horticulture and grounds staff for the summer.

Alyssa, Erin, and Nate with a tool of the gardening trade

Alyssa Steele is a rising sophomore at University of Maryland in the Landscape Architecture program. She has learned that her academic program does not have as many plant courses as she would like and finds her practical experience here to be very valuable. Alyssa appreciates the variety of natural areas on the close – from the Bishop’s Garden to the schools, to the Olmsted Woods. The exposure to plant identification and learning why certain things are planted together, or what will thrive in certain conditions, and how and why to fertilize, has given her a range of critical knowledge. Being in the Olmsted Woods is an education in observation of small things – the minutiae that make up a woodland environment.

Erin Hyman will return to University of Maryland in the fall as a junior, studying Public Health Science and Environmental Health. She also appreciates the exposure to plant identification that comes from being in our varied settings. Erin travels in from Baltimore each day and noted that this job has given her a crash course in work ethic, as she must arise at 4:00 A.M.  Erin appreciated the opportunity to attend the Green Industry Field Day at American University; she said the educational seminars and the networking were helpful now and going forward.

Nathan Wade, who will return to University of Delaware as a senior, is with us for the second summer. He was part of the intern team that last year designed the Pollinator Garden in the space off Woodley Road near the National Cathedral School Athletic Center. All Hallows Guild worked with NCS to approve this garden and we provided the plants. Nathan said he never expected their design to be approved, and was pleased to be able to help with the planting this past spring. After that he toured Spain with the University of Delaware Wind Band, playing his French Horn, before returning to us for the remainder of the summer. Nathan has found the experience in plant ID and plant care very helpful, as he leans toward the field of habitat management.

A Two-Way Benefit

AHG supports the interns hoping to benefit from their energy and help to the staff, and in turn the students are able to tour other gardens and learn from other nearby operations. They have visited Hillwood, the Smithsonian Gardens, and U.S. Botanical Garden, may have a chance to see the National Arboretum. They benefited from the June visit here of members of the American Public Garden Association. These professionals were guided for three mornings by Sandy Flowers, Director of Horticulture, and Addie Schopf, Bishop’s Gardener. Our interns learned a lot from our own pros!

The Bishop’s Garden looking beautiful thanks to help from our Summer Interns

Following on the design and installation of the Pollinator Garden, this summer Alyssa, Erin, and Nate are creating a Pollinator Curriculum for Beauvoir students and NCS and St. Albans students in grades 4-6. They have been writing trivia games and making up scavenger hunts and bingo for Pollinators around the Close to help educate young students on the importance of pollinators.

We in the Guild are pleased we can support this next generation of horticulturists and provide them with employment and a boost to their academic work. In turn, we are grateful for their energy and willing hands to make our landscape ever more sublime.

Thanks to our Summer 2018 and Summer 2019 interns the Pollinator Garden is buzzing with activity!


All Hallows Guild was founded in 1916 to provide for the care and beautification of the grounds of Washington National Cathedral. The Guild works closely with the horticultural staff to preserve this historic landscape and raises funds for renovation and renewal of the gardens.


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