Finley Tevlin ’19 Interns with Front Stoop Pocket Gardens, Albany NY

Designing a native plant garden at Front Stoop’s Albany office

This Summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in two part-time unfunded internships through the CDC’s Summer Experience Fund. I am a member of the class of 2019, making this my last Summer between academic years at Skidmore. During the Summer I was able to take two classes to satisfy some lingering requirements for my Environmental Studies Major. As I am originally from Seattle, which is a long way home, staying in New York and doing these internships and classes was much more economical for me, and very productive. The first internship was a student research opportunity through Capital Roots, a Troy-based Non-Profit which is a community garden organization focused on providing healthy food access, offering nutritional and horticultural education for all ages and coordinating urban greening programs in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and southern Saratoga Counties. As a part of their Food Assessment, I was able to design my own research project on opportunities and obstacles for home gardening in vulnerable communities in the Capital Region, which will be included as additional material to their Fall 2018 Food Assessment document. I also was a landscape design intern with ecological landscaping start-up Front Stoop Pocket Gardens, founded by Kate Brittenham ’14. With Front Stoop I was able work in many residential gardens all around the Albany-Troy area, learning to identify native plants, understand their benefits in a garden setting, practice caring for them. I also gained an interesting perspective on how residents view nature through the window of their gardens, what’s important to them, and how to work with them to create a more ecological residential landscape. Both of these positions were secured through connections in the Environmental Studies department (and alumni network). I hope to use what I learned this summer in my future studies of sustainable urban food systems, as well as growing productive and ornamental plants, both essential skills for a potential career in the urban agriculture field. Thank you, CDC!

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