Springbank Sustainability Intern

Responsible for ensuring the successful preservation and restoration of a unique 900+ acre site in one of the fastest growing urban areas of the country, rare Charitable Research Reserve is an organization situated in the Region of Waterloo of southwestern Ontario. Our primary goal is to successfully conserve the natural area and improve the ecological integrity of our landscapes. To do that, we need to be a part of a community that values and connects with nature. Our efforts to educate and provide hands-on opportunities to interact with nature have resulted in our Chain of Learning. This initiative connects our research, restoration and education activities in order to ensure maximum sharing of ideas and knowledge between all involved – from visiting school children to the wide array of leading professionals on our advisory committees, including senior scientists and some of the best minds in a wide range of disciplines.

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic individual with an agricultural, horticultural or environmental background and degree along with some hands on gardening/farming life experience. The Springbank Sustainability Intern will be reporting to the Property, Facilities, and Gardens Coordinator, but will also work with the Educators, our Conservation team, staff and volunteers in order to assist in the effective and safe operation of all of rare’s Gardens, a position that acknowledges the role of the community in all the garden areas of the property. The gardens at rare give prominence to native plants and sustainable practices, including organics.

The Springbank Sustainability Intern will plan, design, and implement various gardens and sustainability projects on the property. The Intern must also possess the skills necessary to manage groups of volunteers of varying ages in order to complete gardening related tasks as well as successfully lead and coordinate educational garden programs for schools, community organizations, and families as part of rare’s education programs. 


This is a paid position, in part under Natural Resources Canada Science and Technology Internship Program (pending). Requirements include:

  • You are out-of-school, unemployed or underemployed
  • You are graduated, with a post-secondary degree in one of the environmental or biological disciplines within the last two years
  • You are 30 years of age or less at the start of the internship (May 1st, 2017)
  • You are legally entitled to work in Canada


  • Previous fieldwork experience in horticulture, biology, environmental studies, or a related discipline
  • Physically fit, able to lift and carry heavy weights, use manual and powered equipment, and mechanically inclined
  • Some supervisory/training experience and a demonstrated ability for team work
  • You must have a valid G class driver’s license with a clean driver’s abstract and access to a vehicle
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions including rain and intense heat
  • Ability to operate a small farm tractor is an asset
  • Availability on both weekday and weekend hours as the position requires schedule flexibility


  • See to overall health of rare’s organic gardens, including seed propagation in greenhouse, planting, pest management, weeding, mulching, watering, harvesting etc.
  • Plan and coordinate public involvement in the gardens, including the supervision and management of volunteers from corporate groups, schools, non-profits, and individual members of the community and recruit and manage volunteers for the Food Bank garden program
  • Work with and provide leadership to Food Bank clients who assist in the gardens as part of the Self-Help Food Bank Co-op Program
  • Data management in regards to planning, crop rotations, planting and harvest schedules, output, garden health
  • Research the development and implementation of a fruit orchard at the Springbank site and write a Planting and Seasonal Management Plan
  • Research and create a perennial native medicinal garden within the Education & Demonstration garden
  • Consider and implement an organic research project of the intern’s choosing to be executed on an experimental plot within the Education & Demonstration garden
  • Research and implement a rain catchment system at rare’s onsite alternative energy model home
  • Teach attendees of rare’s Every Child Outdoors program about organic gardening and sustainability with a hands on approach
  • Assist with general lawn and garden care and property maintenance at various rare buildings
  • Research the feasibility of a grey water recycling system at rare’s onsite alternative energy model home
  • Make deliveries of harvested produce to the local food banks
  • Assist with the organization and maintenance of tools, machinery, and farm vehicles
  • Assist with rare events as required including the BioBlitz in July and other monthly community engagement opportunities
  • Engage with the media to promote rare’s programs, projects and vision
  • Attend regular staff meetings to report on progress
  • Stay abreast of safety and accepted practices and ensure compliance by everyone involved


This job opportunity is subject to government funding approval for a period of not less than six (6) months, subject to extension.

Please send resume and cover letter in ONE pdf along with the names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for three (3) professional references to:

Taryn Jarvis,

Property, Facilities and Garden Coordinator,

rare Charitable Research Reserve

1679 Blair Rd, Cambridge, ON

N3H 4R8


phone:519-650-9336 ext.115, fax:519-650-5923

Deadline: March 13, 2017 at 5:00pm

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rare Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Road
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
(519) 650-9336
Charitable Registration:
#8776 15914 RR0001