The UCF Arboretum Learning by Leading™ (LxL) Program

The Arboretum launched its Leaning by LeadingTM (LxL) program in fall semester 2019. This innovative student leadership development program was developed by the University of California Davis Arboretum, and is being implemented by other university arboretum and public garden programs in the US and Canada. The motivation for the program is “to inspire human potential and to help people and environments thrive.” The program is based on the notion that students learn best by leading, and it includes a stepped leadership progression that moves students from participants to active leaders and co-creators of Arboretum programs. Under the guidance of a staff mentor, co-coordinator teams manage student interns and volunteers to execute program initiatives and signature projects. Interns can enroll for 0-3 credit hours in spring or fall semester. Applications are due in April and November. Interested students can contact us through social media or email us at


Applications now open for Spring 2022 internships!

After you log in on KnightConnect, scroll to the bottom of the Arboretum page to access our forms.


Learning By Leading Teams

Bee Campus / Pollinator Gardens

The Pollinator Gardens and Bee Campus USA LxL positions aim to emphasize the importance of creating an oasis for pollinators among our rapidly urbanizing society. Pollinators are vital to both ecological biodiversity and health, as well as human health and crop consumption. Our team creates and designs gardens on campus, which provide pollinators with rich sources of nectar and pollen, as well as host locations for larvae of butterflies and moths to be raised. Creating gardens in the consistently warm and wet Florida environment means that we are constantly learning about how plants grow and how to accommodate the needs of pollinators. We strive to teach others about how to help pollinator populations and maintaining gardens.


Community Farm and Gardens

The Community Farm and Gardens LxL positions aim to emphasize the importance of urban vegetable gardens and their role in personal health benefits to our student body as well as local individuals. Urban farming is becoming increasingly popular in large cities, and our gardens are small showcases of what is possible in the middle of a very urban setting. Our team plants crops seasonally and assists in general maintenance of the garden daily, while also harvesting produce to take to our Knights Helping Knights Pantry on campus. Creating a space where students can come to learn the how-to’s, positive health aspects, and overall benefit of urban organic gardening is our mission. We strive to grow our food with care, love, and overall gratitude for the opportunity to teach and feed our fellow Knights.


Urban Horticulture

The Urban Horticulture LxL team’s focus is on the development and maintenance of the 8-acre parcel where the Arboretum office is located, the Arboretum Park. The Park, as we often call it, is at the heart of our program. The development and maintenance of gardens, landscapes and trails that create the sense of community that the Arboretum stands for is the role of the Gardens team. In 2019 the Arboretum Park Master plan was unveiled, and since that time our team has had an active role in the decision-making process for implementation of that plan. We design, install, and maintain gardens that honor the past, present, and future of UCF and the Arboretum program. We work with faculty, staff, students, and community partners to ensure that all voices are heard and represented in our landscape designs. We believe that developing this site with input from all these groups will allow us to create a space that is beautiful and inviting, where all feel welcome and safe. We strive to create a warm and inclusive space for all of us to grow together, with nature.



The Greenhouse LxL positions aim to teach different methods of plant care and growing techniques in addition to showcasing how our greenhouse is utilized. Our team uses the Arboretum Greenhouse to start some vegetable and herb crops for the community gardens, while also caring for plants intended for landscape installation, plant sales, giveaways, etc. Greenhouse Coordinators and their team teach different methods of growing plants such as propagation, transplanting, and grafting. We strive to educate individuals on how to best care for their plants to assure they have the healthiest plants possible so they, too, can grow their knowledge.


Marketing and Film

The Marketing and Film LxL positions aim to create content for our various social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our team takes photos and films our other LxL teams working in their various gardens, recording and creating educational and informative short videos about our program. Marketing and Film Coordinators and their team collaborate with all other teams to ensure we are featuring the unique jobs each team has, along with their projects. We strive to capture the most important aspects of the Arboretum Program to share with our social media followers to educate those interested in the Arboretum and what we do.



The Ambassador LxL positions aim to seek out outreach opportunities that the Arboretum can take part in. Our team registers the Arboretum for various on and off campus events where we can share about our program and mission. Ambassador Coordinators and their team collaborate with all other teams to have our student coordinators and interns represent us at these events. We strive to educate individuals about the various aspects of the Arboretum Program including, but not limited to: Urban Agriculture and Horticulture, Natural Lands Management, Pollinators and Pollinator Gardens, and Native Florida Ecosystems. In addition, our team assists with day-to-day office tasks and management.