Pathways Internship Program

Are you interested in learning more about careers in the outdoors?

Pathways internships are paid opportunities offered by Three Rivers Park District that provide young people, particularly those facing barriers to employment, real-world experiences to explore a career in parks and recreation. 

The Pathways Internship Program provides an opportunity to explore a specific career area within the Park District and build career readiness skills at Development Days throughout the summer.

Program Details

  • Duration: June through August.
  • Hours of work: Approximately 20 hours per week.
  • Scheduling: Varies, based on position. As Three Rivers Park District operates seven days a week, some interns may work exclusively on weekdays (M–F) or they may have some weekend shifts.
  • Pay: Minimum of $15 an hour.

Internship Areas

Browse all internship opportunities below or navigate directly to your area of interest:

Transportation Assistance

The Three Rivers Park District Foundation provides transportation scholarships to Pathways Interns where the ability to find reliable transportation impacts their participation in a Pathways Internship or activities associated with their internship. The transportation scholarship is administered through Lyft if interns are 18 years of age or older. For interns under 18, an Uber teens account is available with the support of a guardian. We will work with the intern and their guardian to set this up. 

For more information on this opportunity or to discuss transportation barriers, please email Char Myers or Terrell Lhotka.

A pathways intern canoeing with a young boy.

How To Apply

The online application for 2024 is now closed. 

The 2025 Pathways Internship Program application will open in February 2025.

Education and Recreation Internships

Our education opportunities include working at one of our Nature Centers or other programming sites where you will help staff deliver high-quality, education and recreation programs to students and the public.

Camp Internships

Baker Outdoor Learning Center (Maple Plain)

As an Outdoor Education Intern at the Baker Outdoor Learning Center, you will assist naturalist staff with archery, canoeing, fire-making, geocaching and other outdoor education programs. Focus will be on summer camps. The BOLC offers both day and overnight summer camps for youth ages 10-15 and also offers family camps. You will assist camp staff where you will engage and inspire youth in the outdoors (and have fun!).
Minimum age: 16

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (Brooklyn Park)

As an Explorers Camp Intern at Mississippi Gateway, you will be helping to create positive experiences in nature for BIPOC audiences in the community. Work with professional environmental educators and assist them in leading nature-based summer day camps in parks, schools, and neighborhood sites for elementary-aged kids. Programs will focus on both outdoor recreation and nature education, such as archery, fire building, learning about plants and bugs, and so much more.
Minimum age: 15

Farm Education Internships

Gale Woods Farm (Minnetrista)

Farm Intern

As the Pathways Intern at Gale Woods, you will have the opportunity to assist with farm education programs for all ages of visitors. These programs give people the opportunity to experience life on a working and learn about where their food comes from. You will also work in the gardens and help with the care of feeding of our livestock including chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle.
Minimum age: 18

Farm-to-School Intern

As the Farm-to-School Pathways Intern, you will work in with Gale Woods Farm staff at the Brooklyn Center School District gardens. These gardens provide opportunities for elementary and secondary age students to learn about urban food production and horticulture. You will assist with weeding and tending crops in the gardens and with programs at Brooklyn Center Elementary School.
Minimum age: 16

Outdoor Education Internships

Eastman Nature Center (Maple Grove)
Lowry Nature Center (Victoria)
Richardson Nature Center (Bloomington)

Outdoor Education Interns at Three Rivers nature centers will assist with nature education programs for visitors of all ages. Focus will be placed on the summer camp programs, where you will help the naturalists engage and inspire the wonder of nature in children.
Minimum age: 14

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (Brooklyn Park)

As an Outdoor Education Intern at Mississippi Gateway, you will get real-world experience at a nature center. Work with professional naturalists to lead educational programs in the park and in the community. Assist with summer day-camp programs for elementary-aged kids. Programs will focus on both outdoor recreation and nature education, such as archery, biking, macroinvertebrates in the Mississippi River and birding.
Minimum age: 14

Outdoor Recreation Internships

French Regional Park (Plymouth) and Cleary Lake Regional Park (Prior Lake)
Two positions available

As an Outdoor Recreation Intern, you will work approximately 20 hours per week and will have a chance to choose programs that meet their interests at park locations that are convenient. You'll work within the Outdoor Recreation School, which is based at French Regional Park and Cleary Lake Regional Park. ORS offers outdoor recreation programs for visitors of all ages throughout Three Rivers. We inspire a love of the outdoors through active recreation activities like paddling, archery, fishing, summer camps for youth, adapted recreation and much more.
Minimum age: 16

Park Maintenance and Natural Resources Internships

Our maintenance opportunities allow you learn what goes into keeping our parks and facilities looking beautiful. Meanwhile, our natural resources opportunity provides field experience with restoring and protecting native plant communities, promoting wildlife diversity, and monitoring and improving water quality across the park system.

Carpentry Services Internship

Elm Creek Park Reserve (Plymouth) and Silverwood Park (St. Anthony)

As a Carpentry Services Intern, you'll have a great opportunity to explore a career working in the construction trades in a large park system. You will learn from Journeyman Carpenters the use of hand and power tools, routine equipment operation and maintenance. Work will include site prep and clean-up along with maintaining the facilities in a clean, safe manner.
Minimum age: 18

Natural Resources Internship

French Regional Park (Plymouth)

As the Natural Resources intern based out of the Field Operations Center, you will assist field staff from our invasive species, wildlife, water quality, forestry and horticulture programs with projects throughout the Park District. This rotational experience will provide an overview of the work this department engages in to keep our park reserves and undeveloped areas restored and maintained in a natural state. Field projects could include vegetation surveys, invasive species mapping and removal, tree planting, native landscape maintenance, lake and stream sampling, wildlife and insect surveys, seed collection, and plant nursery propagation.  Most of the work will be outdoors, with some limited office tasks planned for inclement weather.  This role is part of the dynamic natural resources team, committed to stewardship of the Park District’s natural resources and ecosystems. Note: While you do not need your own car for this role, a driver's license is preferred to operate district vehicles. 
Minimum age: 18

Park Maintenance Internships

Silverwood Park (St. Anthony)

As the Maintenance Intern, you will help with various seasonal maintenance items including lawncare, landscaping, use of hand and power tools, routine equipment operation and maintenance, carpentry and landscape projects and more. You will also help in the day-to-day maintenance responsibilities of summertime events. This includes site prep and cleanup along with maintaining the facilities in a clean, safe and sanitary manner. 
Minimum Age: 18

French Regional Park (Plymouth)

As a Maintenance Intern your primary responsibility will be to assist in day-to-day park maintenance operations in a variety of areas such as trails, beaches, play areas, picnic areas, reservation sites, and facilities. This includes site prep and cleanup along with maintaining the facilities in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner. You will learn how maintenance supports summer programs and events, along with gaining hands-on experience in turf care, landscaping, carpentry, tree removal, and more. Learn how to safely use and maintain a variety of power tools and light power equipment. At the conclusion of your internship, you will understand how maintaining our parks is vital to protecting our environment and natural resources.

Park Operations Internships

Our park operations opportunities include working at one of our park locations to help provide a great experience for our guests. These opportunities could include working at one our visitor center locations or golf courses.

Facility Services Internships

Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain)

As a Facility Services Intern, you will assist and take a leadership role in the various day-to-day operations of a parks and recreation facility. Tasks will primarily be related to the operation of boat rental, concession sales, reservation groups, aquatic invasive species inspections and social media. The exact projects and responsibilities will be tailored to address your interests and skills and the level of desire you have for leadership or special project involvement.
Minimum age: 16

French Regional Park (Plymouth)
Fish Lake Regional Park (Maple Grove)

As a Facility Services Intern you will gain job experience in the field at recreational locations within the park.  We staff the visitor center, gatehouses and boat rental facilities.  On top of regular shifts, interns have worked independently on a milestone project to present at the end of the program.  During this time, we explore options of developmental opportunities throughout the Park District and with other departments. 
Minimum age: 16

Public Safety Internships

Baker Park Reserve (Medina)

As a Public Safety Intern, you will get real-world experience working inside a police department. You will assist the Public Safety Coordinator, Chief and Officers with day-to-day tasks. You will also get experience handling questions, problems and payments from the public. This would be a great opportunity for anyone looking for a future career in law enforcement or any career in customer service. 
Minimum age: 18

Community Events, Outreach and Technology Internships

Our events, outreach and technology interns will work side-by-side with our staff who help promote and support Three Rivers Park District.

Community Engagement Internship

French Regional Park (Plymouth)

As the Community Engagement Intern you will assist staff in introducing new audiences to camping, biking and other nature-based activities. Interns in this role will start each work day at French Regional Park, but will work primarily at other park locations and even outside of the Park District helping to facilitate activities to audiences of all ages. Interns will receive training to help lead a variety of recreation activities, will help with gear maintenance and management, and will also represent Three Rivers at community events talking with the public about opportunities available through the parks.
Minimum age: 14

Community Events Internships

Events Services: Signature and Community Events Internship 

Administrative Center (Plymouth)
Two positions available

As an Event Services Intern, you will have the opportunity to work at a large variety of outdoor events, and participate in learning experiences in an office environment to learn about marketing, event planning and environmental education. The internship provides the opportunity to connect with the community at farmers markets, festivals, expos and Park District events. At our Community Events Booth, you would be responsible for promoting the Park District’s programs, trails and events through promotional materials and engaging activities. You will also assist with Signature Event preparations and prepare Community Event activity kits and research. As a part of the Events team, you will earn skills in time management, organization, event planning and networking. 
Minimum age: 16

Governmental Relations and Communications Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth)

As the Governmental Relations and Communications Intern, you will have the opportunity to develop skills and gain experience helping community members be informed, engaged and interested in current and future projects taking place throughout Three Rivers Park District. Skills you’ll learn in this internship include developing web pages, creating and distributing e-newsletters, and using a range of communication tools to help the public know and understand what’s happening in the parks and trails system. Three Rivers is always striving to help the communities we serve be better informed and engaged about what’s happening in the parks and trails system, and this role offers opportunity to use creative solutions to connect with everyone in our communities. This role may also assist with public grand opening events that involve the Three Rivers Board of Commissioners and elected representatives and staff from government agencies at multiple levels.
Minimum age: 16

IT/GIS Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth)

As the IT/GIS Intern, you will assist GIS staff and carry out field work to help the Park District achieve its technological goals. Duties may include, but are not limited to, using GPS equipment/GIS applications to collect park features as well as operating a 3D camera to scan park facilities. Additionally, some IT shadowing experience may occur.
Minimum age: 17

Marketing Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth)

Get creative with the Three Rivers marketing team! As the Marketing Intern, you'll have a wonderful opportunity to be part of a collaborative, fun and engaging group. This role will assist with writing digital and print pieces, developing social media content, brainstorming and building marketing campaigns, and much more. As part of the marketing crew, you’ll be invited to join marketing team meetings and experiences to learn more about this exciting and creative world. 
Minimum age: 16

Volunteer Resources Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth)

Unleash your passion! As a Volunteer Resources Intern you will play a pivotal role in launching an exciting new volunteer program centered around Park Ambassadors volunteering with their dog. This innovative initiative aims to enhance visitor experiences at our designated dog off-leash areas and parks by providing park information, fostering responsible pet ownership and promoting positive interactions between dogs and humans. From concept development to program promotion and outreach, this intern will collaborate with not only work with the Volunteer Resources Team, but several other departments within the Park District to bring this new program to life. 
Minimum age: 16

More Information

Have questions? Contact Char Myers by email or phone at 763-559-6772.

Other Opportunities

Related Blog Posts

August 31, 2022

Learn what it was like to be part of the Pathways program through the eyes of Alex, Mississippi Gateway Regional Park’s outdoor education intern this summer.

Pathways Into the Parks

By: Harshita Somani

August 10, 2021

The Pathways Internship program introduces teenagers to various roles throughout Three Rivers Park District, giving them an opportunity to explore different career paths. Follow along with Harshita Somani, the 2021 marketing intern, as she relays her experience in the program this summer.