It takes a village to raise a child

Okay, perhaps I am not a child, but there is no doubt that a village is behind my development and learning process as an intern this summer at Minute Man National Historical park. Several individuals regularly demonstrate and extend their unwavering commitment to my internship experience and professional development. Both through the National Park Service and Environment for the Americas, there are several women who have welcomed me into their world, taught me the ropes, and guided me on my project. They have each gone above and beyond to ensure that I have a safe and comfortable working and living environment.  I am deeply indebted and grateful to them.

I believe strongly that we are formed, shaped, and supported by many people, some of whom sometimes we never meet or interact with. I value the regular practice of taking a moment to look behind us and recognize, acknowledge, and thank those pushing us along, like a team of trail maintenance crew members pushing a heavy rock or a parent pushing a stroller. While the summer internship has not ended and I am just about half way through, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing individuals who all support me and help me learn about planning in the Park Service, as well as guide and enhance my experience and view of the Boston metropolitan area!

Daniela Garcia is the Environment for the Americas Latino Heritage Internship Program Program Manager. We interact regularly for internship questions and requirements. We had the opportunity to meet in person this week for her site visit of Minute Man National Historical Park. A few hours after our meeting in the park, we attended a cruise of the Boston Harbor organized by the organizations Boston Harbor Now and the Veronica Robles Cultural Center. Also pictured here is fellow intern Pia Cano, who is located at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation.

Kiah Walker is the Minute Man National Historical Park Biologist. As a fellow member of the Culture and Resource Management Team, Kiah checks in with me regularly and assists me with questions related to my LHIP project. Kiah knows a great deal about invasive species, one of which she is showing here in this picture!

Pictured here is Margie Brown, my internship supervisor and Minute Man NHP Natural & Cultural Resource Manager. Margie has helped and guided me since long before I arrived at the park. Margie helped orient me to my project and the internship prior to arriving and has been involved and supportive of my project and interests at the park since then. We work closely together and I have had the opportunity to shadow her in her many responsibilities across the park. In this picture, Margie is explaining the trail maintenance task that was to take place at the location where this picture was taken. 

I was introduced to Martha Droge, Park Planning and Special Studies Division Portfolio Manager, recently. Martha is a certified planner and has a wealth of planning knowledge and experience. She has welcomed me into the world of planning in the park service by sharing her own experience and inviting me to observe a planning workshop process at a different park. Martha has gone above and beyond to help me see how the National Park Service regional planners assist and work with local parks and the Denver Service Center to bring about the best parks possible for the public! 

After four years of not seeing each other, I reconnected with a fellow GreenLatina who lives locally. It was a joy to reconnect with a strong leader and scientist who advocates and organizes for environmental justice and cares deeply about the environment and earth. My friend, Paula, recently invited me to attend the Greenworks Inc. Fundraiser on the Creek, where I gained insight to how communities of color in East Boston are burdened by environmental dumping and contamination. As a minority in the park service, I find being connected and in regular conversation with fellow environmentalists of color incredibly important and energizing. 

I am deeply grateful to the women that are in my life and helping me and encouraging me along this summer journey! 

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