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Meet Our Summer Sustainability Education Interns!

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Chelsie Tyrrell

Hello, my name is Chelsie Tyrrell, and am a native to Saint Louis, Missouri. Currently, I am an online student at Arizona State University working towards my Bachelor of Science degree in sustainability. I am also a veterinary technician working in an intensive care unit helping save furry lives. I have enjoyed my ten years in the field of veterinary medicine, but with global issues we continue to face I want to make more of an impact for future generations to come.

Here at Missouri Botanical Garden, I am welcomed under the wings of a phenomenal and knowledgeable team to help guide me through this journey of all things sustainable. I am blown away by the sustainable solutions that EarthWays Center represents, and it is with great honor to be a part of such a remarkable team and organization - even if it is for a quick moment's breath. My goal for this internship is to gain as much experience as I can and work towards building my portfolio.

I am most looking forward to assisting my team in educating teachers and students about sustainable solutions and diving deeper in the process of what it takes to plant a “seed of knowledge” in one’s mind. I hope from what I learn I can carry it with me and help educate others how to instill better life choices for the health of our planet. Growing up, my father had a garden that us kids would help tend to and is where I’ve gained experience in the importance of growing our own food and now have a drive to continue in doing so.

In the summer of 2021, I volunteered with a local community garden where I’ve gained even more experience in sustainable farming and now have an interest in my own home with vertical farming; my plan for our new house next year is to start up my own urban vertical farm. If I’m not looking for more ways to contribute to my community and exercise my passion in all things sustainable, I love spending time with my family, running outdoors, and spending time with my canine friends. My husband and I have recently rescued a now five-month-old puppy into our home, and she has been the highlight of our souls these past couple of months. Exploring new trails and parks with her brings a smile to our faces and hopefully here soon we can start training her to be our new running partner.

Overall, my life is surrounded by a supportive family, animals who I love dearly, and I am so excited to continue this journey in sustainable living. I know getting to be an intern at the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden will give me a strong foundation to continue this path and I cannot be more blessed or honored to be learning from such an incredible team. I look forward to this summer and all that it embraces, not only for my future, but for the future of all generations.


Jelani Christmas

Hello! My name is Jelani Christmas. In the fall I will be starting my junior year at North Carolina A&T State University. I am studying Environmental Science with a concentration in land systems and sustainability. Outside of school I am a member of Minorities in Agriculture and related sciences, my school's environmental activism and debate club. I enjoy doing yoga, playing guitar, and being outside! I have always had a passion and strong connection to the environment and tried to be as environmentally friendly as possible. My goal is to start a career in Environmental Coordination and Policy, then incorporate more sustainable practices in urban areas. In the past I found it difficult finding new information on sustainable living. The Botanical Gardens has been a great place for me to gain knowledge on native green life, sustainable practices, and programs that improve community living and awareness.  

As an OYC intern at the garden, I have had the opportunity to learn plant identification, and work with sustainable companies, or organizations that have environmental needs. Some of the places I’ve had the opportunity to work are Heru urban farms, UMSL’s native plant garden, and Greenwood Cemetry. At these sites I’ve had the opportunity to learn soil aeration techniques, planting, and invasive species removal. This has helped me to learn the steps of implementing environmental projects. The Earth ways center has broadened my idea of what an environmental career looks like, I've enjoyed my time here thus far and hope to gain more experience from the Garden.

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Troy Beilsmith

My name is Troy Beilsmith, and I am an intern working with the Eco Act and Outdoor Youth Corps programs for summer 2022! I am currently a Freshman going on Sophomore at the University of Missouri, and so far my focus areas of study are Biology and Environmental Science. Throughout my Freshman year at Mizzou, I took a number of introductory environmentally focused courses from meteorology to botany/horticulture and environmental ethics. As an intern with the garden, I’ve had the opportunity to apply what I learned so far from some of these courses, and what sustainability means in these contexts and more. I look forward to continuing to help where I can with sustainability in the garden community this summer. I also recently became a member of the Conservation Leadership Corp, which is a program by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, as a way to continue to be involved in environmental work beyond the internship.  

Outside of class, I am involved with the cross country and baseball club teams at Mizzou. I was born and raised here in St. Louis, so I have been a die-hard Cardinals fan since day one, and love going to see them play when I get the chance. I’ve also always been drawn to music and spend much of my free time seated with my drum set, piano, and as of 2020, a guitar.  

As a young kid, I would take trips to the Botanical Garden with my family, and over time many of  those outdoor experiences at the children’s garden  became fond memories that helped me form an important appreciation of the environment that I now see the opportunity to help pass on by working with Eco-Act. When choosing to attend Mizzou, for example, one thing that stood out to me was that their campus was actually one big botanic garden where numerous native species are planted and cared for. To me this was a great way to incorporate environmental education into our everyday lives, and this is one mission I knew I could learn to be a part of at the Botanical Garden.  

By the end of this internship, I hope to have enhanced my networking opportunities in environmental careers, expanded my understanding of sustainability and its applications, and improved my leadership skills for both classroom and outdoor environments.  

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Interested in Missouri Botanical Garden’s internship opportunities: Learn more

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