June 27, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest; Kniola’s Horticulture Internship


By Ryan Kniola

Environmental and Plant Biology Major, Ohio University
Summer internship at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Greetings all,

My name is Ryan Kniola and this blog will be centered on my experiences as a horticulture intern at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky.  Just some background info about the place, Bernheim is over 14,000 acres (240 acre arboretum) of reclaimed strip mining land that was bought for $1 and acre in 1929 by Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, whose vision was being leaders in ecological stewardship and connecting people with nature.  I was welcomed with great appreciation and kindness by the staff of Bernheim from all departments, adding to my great, yet short time here.

I have also been thoroughly enjoying my time here working and building workplace relations and friendships with my fellow co-workers and interns.  I have been very involved here working on various projects and tasks within the arboretum such as planting and redesigning accent and flowerbeds, manicuring maintenance, including string trimming, shrub/tree pruning, shaping, removing, and planting.  I have also been working with the Natural Areas deptartment and fellow OU intern, Nate Schmidt, about once or so a week to achieve a well-rounded experience while working in a natural and research forest. I have helped and been involved with invasive species surveying and eradication, a natural wetland planting, a prescribed burn in Robinson Forest, quail reintroduction, and a nightjar survey.  My work activities also extend to obtaining a commercial herbicide/pesticide applicator license, being involved with the annual plant sale called BloomFest, and assisting in community outreach programs in downtown Louisville by installing two green roofs (On the Nucleus Innovation Parks and American Life Insurance buildings).

In my free time I spend many hours outside of work by observing nature in all aspects by hiking the many tails including my favorite: an interpretative trail that is filled with wildlife and wildflowers that winds through a wetland created by resident beavers.  Nate, and two other interns installed that trail with aims for adding another one.  Nate and I also enjoy what Bernheim has to offer by taking full advantage of having a refreshing swimming and fishing lake right across the street from where we are staying, examining the collections within the arboretum, bird watching, and exploring a cave less than 2 miles away! I just wanted to give a brief overall summary of what I have accomplished here at Bernheim and my experiences and thoughts that go along with them.

To view a photo album Click here




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