The goal of the UIC Heritage Garden internship program is to establish a sustainable educational model with activities that can help mobilize other students on campus around environmental and cultural sustainability issues. We accomplish this goal through educational activities including: 


  • Intellectual Framework Discussion ‐ Student interns and leaders participate in an orientation discussion about the project framework and its link to the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the UIC Climate Action Plan. 
  • Readings and Discussions ‐ Student interns and leaders will lead weekly discussions related to environmental and cultural sustainability issues. Each program participant will be responsible for selecting and assigning a reading and leading a group discussion. 
  • Hands on Horticulture and Demonstrations ‐ Student interns and leaders learn best gardening practices and engage in daily garden maintenance in the satellite sites. 
  • Research ‐ Student interns and leaders research plants for the satellite gardens that have cultural significance; collect stories from families, friends, and members of their community about practices that are friendly to the environment; and collect family recipes to pass these down to younger generations and document how the recipes have changed over time. 
  • Public Programs ‐ Student interns and leaders develop and implement public educational events to engage students, faculty, staff and neighboring communities on issues of environmental sustainability and cultural diversity.
  • Creative Project ­‐ Student interns and leaders work with artists or community leaders to develop a creative project. Examples include sculptures, quilts, jewelry, toolkit project, and other various art pieces. 
  • Field Days ‐ Student interns and leaders participate in facilitated site tours or volunteer work at community gardens and environmental organizations in the greater Chicago area. 
  • Monarch Conservation – Students participate in monarch butterfly conservation. This includes both
    research and practice of raising the monarchs, documenting their behavior patterns, and cataloguing how
    many monarchs were raised from the gardens and released.
  • Garden Tours – Students are trained in and facilitate garden tours of the satellite sites. 
  • Documentation and Dissemination ­‐ Student interns and leaders document and disseminate program activities and progress through a variety of methods and tools including website, photography, social media, program files archive, etc.