INTERNSHIP: Vallican, British Columbia – Elk Root Conservation Farm

Posted by Michalina Hunter on March 15, 2023

Elk Root Conservation Farm in Vallican, British Columbia is seeking three interns for the 2023 season!

ABOUT Elk Root Conservation Farm

Elk Root Conservation Farm (ERC) is a ‘beyond’ organic regenerative demonstration farm located adjacent to the ancestral Sinixt village site of n’kʔáwxtən, in Sinixt təmxwúlaʔxw and within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) at the confluence of the Slocan River and Little Slocan Rivers. Our farm offers educational workshops focused on ecological stewardship, wildlife conservation & habitat restoration, honey bee wellness & wild pollinator gardens, sustainability, ‘beyond’ organic regenerative gardening, biodiverse farming practices and local food security.

Elk Root Conservation is also proud of our unique “Bee Barn”, a component of our Sustainable Apiary Model, which aims to combat recent declines in bee populations due to lack of forage materials, environmental changes, harsher winters, and climate change. Our Bee Barn combines various hive designs to create a structure that is able to not only house multiple bee colonies, but prevents bee mortality caused by winter conditions through controlling temperature and humidity inside the barn. We are pleased to announce that ALL of our colonies survived this past winter and are buzZzing with excitement for the approach of spring!

While our Bee Barn is central to the Sustainable Apiary Model, we have also been hard at work designing innovative and organic methods to manage bee parasites: Varroa mites. As current mite-management strategies are becoming less effective, the development of new techniques is a critical component to promoting bee health.

Instead of relying on traditional sugar syrups that lack vital nutrients, we have also created a bee forage garden which provides a pollen and nectar efficient buffet for bees to feast upon from snow melt to first frost!

Our vision is a thriving fish, wildlife and human population in the Slocan Valley and Little Slocan River watershed that is functioning and sustainable. We aspire to demonstrate how we can all conserve, protect and restore the productivity and biodiversity of our local landscape with a specific focus on the Little Slocan watershed and its wildlife inhabitants, including identified species-at-risk.

After a 3 year process, it is anticipated that ERC will obtain its Organic Certification in August 2023 (Farm & Apiary). This will distinguish ERC as one of the only local apiaries with organic status.

While certified organic is a high standard, we always strive to go a step further when it comes to protecting our planet; accordingly, at ERC, we carry out ‘beyond’ organic farming practices as well. We do not use any chemical sprays approved for certified organic farming as such sprays may still seep down into groundwater and can also kill beneficial insects and pollinators. We are conscious of reducing our plastic footprint and do not use heavy black plastic ground covers for weed control acceptable for use on certified organic farms. Essentially, we do our best wherever possible to work with nature to find solutions to food production challenges that benefit the environment and our community.

At Elk Root Conservation, we also embody the equity lens of ‘nothing about us, without us’. Our not-for-profit has developed into an empowering, impactful organization, through respectfully listening to and learning from our diverse team and the community we serve. Our dedicated leadership team includes individuals that identify as people with diverse abilities, neurodivergent, Indigenous Peoples, women in STEM, 2SLGBTQIA+, youth, and senior community members. This diverse life experience strengthens our organization’s ability to successfully serve the needs and aspirations of our community, specifically that of marginalized groups.


Are you passionate about environmental stewardship and habitat conservation? Maybe you want to learn more about ‘beyond’ organic agricultural practices from the heart of Vallican, BC? Elk Root Conservation is the perfect place for you to work! We welcome ALL interested youth ages 16-30 to apply. We encourage youth who identify as Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+ members and women in STEM to apply.

We are looking for driven individuals who are looking to have the opportunity to support our community, apply their creativity and get their hands dirty all at the same time!


Currently, we have three paid internships available at ERC:

1. Landscape Gardener Helper:

Assisting with all aspects of the design, development, care, and harvesting of our Educational Demonstration Gardens including: all of our gardens (horticultural pollinator, bee, integrated edible orchard, herb and vegetable gardens), development of our Native Plant Educational Demonstration Garden Project, invasive plant management and removal; and Little Slocan River Habitat Restoration & Enhancement Project.

Specifically, you will be weeding (a lot), starting seeds, planting trees, bushes, flowers, and shrubs. You will also assist with pruning, deadheading, mowing, wheelbarrowing, compost building, irrigation, applying plant nutrition, mulching, and non-toxic organic pest management.

You will also help with building and maintaining wildlife protective fences, erecting farm structures, constructing rock gardens & gabion structures. Essentially, doing everything required to help develop our educational outdoor spaces and to create and maintain a beautiful, integrated farm-garden ecosystem.

2. On-Farm Infrastructure Builder:

You will specifically be working on the preparation of areas for building, as well as the maintenance and building of wildlife protective fences, irrigation systems, erecting greenhouses and other building structures, trellises, benches, constructing rock gardens, ponds, pouring foundations and other similar tasks. As with our Landscape Gardener Helpers, doing everything required to help develop our educational outdoor spaces and to create and maintain a beautiful, integrated farm-garden ecosystem.

You will also assist the Landscape Gardener Helpers in the Educational Demonstration Gardens with heavier tasks including forest management, mowing, invasive plant removal, planting trees, wheelbarrowing, compost building, applying plant nutrition, mulching, and non-toxic organic pest management.

3. Administrative Assistant & Project Coordinator

You will be assisting the Board of Directors of Elk Root Conservation in all things administrative. This is a unique opportunity to learn and be mentored in executive not-for-profit functions. Learning from the ground up ‘literally’ as we are all about growing at Elk Root Conservation.

This job can be done remotely from home if you have a computer and good internet access. You will also be welcomed to spend time working at the Educational Demonstration Farm in Vallican BC if you choose.

You will be working independently, and will be assigned tasks with direction and supervision by our executive team. You may also participate in our mentoring program if you choose. We will encourage and support you to take the lead and responsibility on tasks if you demonstrate initiative and are comfortable doing so.

You will be interacting and answering inquiries via email from students, volunteers, tourists, funders and the general public. We will provide you with client service and communications training and all the information you will need to have positive interactions with the community. It is of the utmost importance that our community feels supported and has a wonderful experience and interactions with Elk Root Conservation so that everyone we are in contact with is inspired to spread the word and take positive steps to improve the environment.


For our Builders and Landscape Gardener Helpers, you will work independently, in pairs, and in teams. You may also participate in our mentoring program if you choose and we will encourage and support you to take the lead on tasks if you are comfortable doing so. You will also be interacting with students, volunteers and tourists who may ask you questions about your job and time at Elk Root Conservation so we will provide you with all the information you need to have positive interactions with the community.

In terms of our Administrative Assistant & Project Coordinators, you will be working closely alongside our Board of Directors and other members of the Admin/Project team. Support will be provided through weekly one-on-one meetings to check in on your assignments and to offer support and guidance. We also encourage you to reach out with any questions outside of scheduled meeting times!


We welcome any and all questions and our team is more than happy to help you out with specific questions or training. Our consultant team of biologists and bio-engineers will also be on-site at times throughout the growing season working on conservation projects. We will welcome you to take the opportunity to observe these professionals in action and be inspired by all they do.

Every Friday, we also have “Fun Fridays” where our interns have the opportunity to spend the afternoon learning all about regenerative ‘beyond’ organic farming practices!


You will be responsible for finding local accommodation for the duration of the position.


Term: Our internships may be flexible and have started anytime between May and July 2023. Ideally we are looking for a start date of May 1, 2023.

Hours per week: You are expected to work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Wage: Landscape Gardener Helper – $17/hr
On-Farm Infrastructure Builder – $18/hr
Administrative Assistant & Project Coordinator – $18/hr


If you are interested in spending your summer at ERC, please send us your resume and cover letter to

When applying, please mention you saw this posting at

LEARN MORE ABOUT Elk Root Conservation Farm


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