Pathways Internship Programs

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

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

Three Rivers offers two internship opportunities: a three-month, summer internship, and an eight-month, extended internship.

Pathways Summer Internship Program

The Pathways Summer Internship runs from June through August and provides interns an opportunity to focus on a specific career area within the park district.

Minimum age: 14-years-old (some opportunities may require a minimum age of 16 or 18 based on job responsibilities)

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

Pathways Extended Internship Program

The Pathways Extended Internship builds on the summer program with a longer-term immersive experience that lasts from September through May. It is designed for those strongly considering a career in parks and recreation, natural resources or the public sector. Interns will rotate through three departments and worksites during fall, winter and spring to gain an in-depth understanding of park district operations.

Minimum age: 16-years-old (some opportunities may require a minimum age of 16 or 18 based on job responsibilities)

Interns will work between 8–10 hours per week. Candidates with the ability to complete most work weekdays during business hours are preferred.

Interns will have the opportunity to rotate between natural resource management, facilities, outdoor education or other departments, depending on selected candidates’ skills and career interests.

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 and available to interns 18 years of age or older. For interns under 18, the Park District will work with each individual to try to overcome any transportation barriers they may have.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact Mike Tracy by email or phone at 763-694-7641, or Char Myers by email or phone at 763-559-6772.

A pathways intern canoeing with a young boy.

How To Apply

The application for our 2023–2024 Pathways Extended Internship Program is now open. Apply online.

Applications for the Pathways Summer Internship will open in spring.

Outdoor 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, outdoor education and recreation programs to students and the public.

Outdoor Education Internships

Baker Outdoor Learning Center (Maple Plain, MN)

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: 14 years old

Eastman Nature Center (Maple Grove, MN)
Lowry Nature Center (Victoria, MN)
Richardson Nature Center (Bloomington, MN)*

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 years old
*Richardson Nature Center only has weekend availability for the 2023 season.

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (Brooklyn Park, MN)

As an Outdoor Education Intern at Mississippi Gateway, you will get hands-on 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 years old

Outdoor Recreation Internship

French Regional Park (Plymouth, MN)

The Outdoor Recreation School (ORS) 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. ORS interns 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.
Minimum age: 14 years old

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

Various Park District locations

The Carpentry Services internship provides a great opportunity for candidates with a sincere interest in the construction trades and exploring a career working in a large park system. Candidates will learn from Journeyman Carpenters the use of hand and power tools, routine equipment operation and maintenance. Work will include site prep and cleanup along with maintaining the facilities in a clean, safe manner.
Minimum age: 18 years old

Natural Resources Internship

French Regional Park (Plymouth, MN)

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.
Minimum age: 18 years old

Park Maintenance Internships 

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park (Brooklyn Park, MN)
Bryant Lake Regional Park (Eden Prairie, MN)
Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove, MN)
French Regional Park (Plymouth, MN)

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 years old

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.

Facilities Services Internship

French Regional Park (Plymouth, MN)
Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain, MN)

Facility Services Interns 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: 14 years old

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, MN)

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 years old

Community Events Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth, MN)

The Community Events internship provides the opportunity to connect with the community at farmer’s markets, festivals, expos, and Park District events. At our Community Events Booth, the intern would be responsible for promoting the Park District’s programs, trails, and events through promotional materials and engaging activities. Our intern will have the opportunity to work at a large variety of events, locations, and work both indoors and outdoors. The intern will also assist with Signature Event preparations and prepare Community Event activity kits and research. As a part of the Events team, the intern will earn skills in time management, organization, event planning, and networking.
Minimum age: 16 years old

IT/GIS Internship

Administrative Center (Plymouth, MN)

IT: Gain hands-on experience in technology infrastructure and security management, as well a first-hand look at cutting edge tools used to deliver a first-class park experience. You will learn the daily responsibilities of information, including inventory, troubleshooting, help desk and more. GIS: 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.
Minimum age: 16 years old

More Information

Have questions? Contact Mike Tracy by email or phone at 763-694-7641, or or Char Myers by email or phone at 763-559-677.

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.