29 Jul Almost Time to Go!
The past month has been both very challenging and rewarding. Most of my projects throughout the course of my internship were lined up for mid-July, and so I’ve been able to do a large variety of things.
For Latino Conservation Week, I set up a bilingual nature walk in conjunction with Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. Led by NPS ranger Matt (see Reconstructions of Diversity blog!) and Allyssa, a great Stewardship Aide over at CCPRC, we had a small turnout which was so nice because we were able to tailor the walk to be more personal and detailed based on our audience. We talked about the misconceptions around “spooky” animals like snakes, spiders, and gators, and we went over proper procedure for interacting (or not interacting) with these animals.
The following day, I went over to a local community center for kids called Beyond Our Walls and I gave a program on birds and the connections between diversity and migration patterns. I also taught the kids how to use binoculars, which was really exciting and sweet. We did many activities such as making bird masks, playing bird habitat bingo, and even doing a binocular bird search outside. It was so filling to see their little faces light up as we talked about how the things that make birds different are very similar to the things that make people different, although we all need the same basic necessities to live.
Later that week, I was able to participate in a beach clean up with Allyssa (from CCPRC who helped with our nature walk!). It was wonderful to partner with her on doing something good for our environment. I was able to meet different people with the same values in mind and it also gave me the chance to explore a new area of South Carolina that I had not previously seen.
The following day, I planned a kayaking trip with Outdoor Afro. They launched from our dock at Fort Moultrie and paddled along the Intracoastal! It was really nice to have them at my site, being that it was the first time one of my events was held at Fort Moultrie. It was refreshing to hear what their experiences have been like being minorities in Charleston, as we were able to relate to each other in a way that I have not been able to do with many people here.
Tomorrow, with the help of the fantastic folks over at Congaree National Park and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, I’ll have my last event over at Congaree National Park, a canoe program with an emphasis on Spanish history and involvements with the land!
As my time here at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park comes to a close, everything is seemingly starting to come together! It seems as though all of my projects are beginning to come to fruition as I am wrapping up, which is a bit sad because I would love to see the fruits of my work, but I’m also glad to be leaving my footprint at the park. As a result of my different programs, I leave Fort Moultrie a partnership with Outdoor Afro where they will hopefully participate in kayaking programs at our site on a monthly basis! I’ve also outlined a bilingual bird walk to be held towards the end of September targeted towards children with a local bilingual birder. All the puzzle pieces are melding together nicely here, and its way too exciting!