2022 Season Wrap Up: Ecological Healthcare Horticulture Intern

5, Aug, 2022

Written by Phoebe Westbrook, Ecological Healthcare Horticulture Intern

Hello! My name is Phoebe Westbrook, and I am the Ecological Healthcare Horticulture Intern at the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy in Boston. I’ll be heading into my senior year at the University of Maine this fall, graduating with a degree in Environmental Horticulture, with a concentration in Landscape Design. I was honored to come back to The Greenway for a second year because there is, quite simply, no other park that is able to do what we do. From brewing compost tea on-site to the installation of lawn alternatives and no-mow initiatives, the Conservancy is at the forefront of ecological horticulture – not to mention, this all takes place in the heart of downtown Boston. 

Last year, as an intern at the Greenway Conservancy, I began a project that I was lucky to have the chance to complete this year. That project was an 8’x8’ greenwall to go up in the park, complete with a solar-powered irrigation system that recycles rainwater. 

We started with two 4’x8’ pieces of pressure-treated plywood and covered them in horticultural felt pockets in which we would place the plants. We then attached these two boards to the side of one of our shipping containers that we use for storage along the park. At the top of the wall, there is a fixed gutter that collects rainwater from the roof of the slightly pitched conex box, and funnels it inside the box to a rainwater collection barrel. From there, we installed a pump connected to a timer, both of which run off of solar energy harnessed from a panel on top of the roof. This gets water to the drip irrigation system that runs horizontally along the wall. 

I am so proud of the work I have been able to take part in here at the Rose Kennedy Greenway over the past two years, and I am so excited to see what the Horticulture team can accomplish. I am immensely grateful for this experience, as well as the friends and mentors I have met along the way! 

Summer workforce development opportunities on The Greenway are made possible with the generous support of Citizens.