28 Jul Latino Conservation Week + Govenors + Boston Harbor + Fairsted + San Juan
- What jobs do you think NPS plays in telling the story of America and do you think its living up to that job for people of color?
- What are some ways that the National Register can incorporate younger more diverse audiences?
- What were some ways you were able to help parks in the region be more welcoming and accessible to diverse visitors?
It was great to hear from Jarvis and these teasers eventually attracted me to watch many more videos on the HAF YouTube channel. If haven’t had the opportunity to watch these teasers and are interested in hearing Jarvis’s thoughts surrounding these topics, you can find the full video at the links below: https://youtu.be/iOKypJ5CtpgThese snippets have made me supper excited about the videos we are in the process of making ourselves at OCLP and I am hoping that once the summer is over, we will have the opportunity to possibly share and have our video featured on the HAF YouTube page as well. To wrap up the week, Shanaisa and I attended our weekly Brown Bag Lunch meeting hosted by Laurel Racine who specializes in Museum Services at the NPS. She is stationed at the Charles Town Navy Yard, which is ran very similarly to the Olmsted Center. Their office works primarily on cataloging archives, preservation projects, and record management, while she specifically focuses on research in special projects and planning. Laurel spoke about many issues that her field address, one being climate change. An example that she presented to us concerning this issue is Ellis Island: Statue of Liberty who was affected by hurricane Sandy. Due to the heat and humidity of this hurricane, many paper documents at Ellis were damaged and affected by mold. The solution here was to move and relocate the collection to Washington, DC where they are now properly stored and protected. The discussion now becomes “what do we do now?”, do we bring the collection back to where it ‘belongs’ (like the park would want) or do we keep it in a safer place that will be less exposed to climate change now and in the near future? These are the types of questions she is faced with at her position with the NPS and they are great things to think about from the outside looking in. Laurel also brought up the discussion of attracting youth to museums in parks today. Shanaisha and I spoke about our personal experiences at parks so far this summer and what suggestions we would make to museums and display spaces. One key suggestion included interactive modes of teaching that could attract a wide range of audiences varying in age, cultures, and so on that would tailor to that persons way of learning, relating, and experiencing the park. Some interactive modes suggested are social media, videos, activities, visual tours, activities, and workshops. This immediately made me think of Fairsted, where they offer a variety of programs for their diverse visitor pool. For example, for younger children, the ‘Good Neighbors Program’ is offered to students an introduction to landscape architecture. In addition, a traditional educational tour that includes a lot of excelled terminology and self-learning (reading display plaques) is then given to adults who can easily follow along and be intrigued by compared to children. Faisted also offers an interactive tour for youth, where they sketch or write down thoughts about their experience in certain areas of the park to better understand its relevance, the impact of design, and the goal of Olmsted. I applaud the effectiveness of targeting wider audiences at this park and I hope to see these principles implemented in other parks as well. These ideas then led Laurel to share stories about the initiatives that are taking place at Martin van Buren Historic Site (MAVA), where the work from the ‘Witness Tree Project’ (which I mentioned in a previous blog post) are being added to existing exhibits on site, which gives the visitors a new thing to look at and learn about in addition to the display, which frequent visitors may get bored of after a while because the display never changes. Thus, this not only sparks a new interest in consistent visitors, but it also attracts new visitors such as more students and youth to the site because they are either interested in art, they are interested in taking a course that offers this program, and or they are in support of their peers and want to learn more about what they have created and how it related to the current display. What an awesome way to engage a variety of communities! Conveniently, this was great way to end the week because MAVA is the final project I will be working on this summer, so I am hoping to learn more about what the park is doing to become more diverse and appealing. Thanks for meeting us Laurel and shedding some light about the great work that you do! As a new week rolls in, our team was reunited with the others who returned from Acadia. We took some time to catch up on what we are all working on (Governors, Appomattox, Acadia, and Frederiksberg) and then immediately transitioned into our new or current project work. Because I wrapped up Governors last week, I have some extra time to assist Ericka (OCLP/SCA intern) with her Boston Harbor Islands Project. She tasked me with helping her do some research to be able to format and add onto the current chronology for several Islands, such as Peddock’s, Deer, Nut, Gallops, Rainsford, Georges, Spectacle and Lovells. I definitely learned some new historical facts about these Islands from this exercise. I also attended HAF’s weekly webinar, where the discussion this week was on ‘Putting Your Story Into Practice’. We primarily spoke about oral histories and a project that some HAF inters will tackle to capture stories related to their site this summer. Jose Gonzalez gave us some much needed tips on what types of questions to ask, how to keep a conversation going, and how to tell that story appropriately. I immediately thought about Jordan and Jasmine (history interns on the 9th floor) who would have loved to attend this webinar, I will be sure to share some resources with them! Thanks Jose. In addition, this week’s Brown Bag Lunch was hosted by Eric Breitkreutz who works at Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering Center in Lowell. Of course I, as an aspiring architect was excited about this one! The center breaks down into 4 branches:
- Historic Structure Research and Documentation
- Design and Preservation Planning
- Construction Conservation and Training
- Museum Services (Collection Conservation)
Eric focuses on the first branch where the goal is to strive towards proper stewardship on historic structures. He, like the OCLP works on several projects throughout the region and creates Historic Structure Reports and other documents that could easily be compared to our cultural landscape reports and inventories, just with a different focus. Eric has sparked a new interest in architecture for me, as I never really took historic preservation in consideration. I was absolutely drawn in by the section and elevation drawings in the books he presented to us. Hopefully one day our team can go visit his office and see how each branch works! Thanks Eric for coming in and speaking about what you do and how you got to where you are now. Our team also got the opportunity to attend the Branching Out teams ‘Talk Back’, which is a session where the group presents their landscape restoration work on site. Specifically, they were working on the Fredrick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, located in Brookline, Ma, where they implemented proper shrub and small tree plantings throughout the landscape. After recently inventorying the vegetation on this site for project 1 a few weeks ago with Chris and Shanaisa, I am amazed to see how quickly work can be done to enhance the space and add to its diverse list of plants.To wrap up the week, Eliot Foulds (project manager) introduced me to a quick new project San Cristobal National Historic Site (SAJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico (my homeland!!). He asked me to assist him with an AutoCad drawing of the site that he will turn into a 3D render in SketchUp. Currently, the rendering that he has developed with the original file does not look very pleasing to the eye or realistic to the site, therefore my task was to go in and edit several sections of the drawing to help the program read the rendering more accurately. I must say, I was definitely sucked into this project, drawing on AutoCad gets a bit addicting, I could spend weeks tweaking the drawing. I can’t wait to see the end result when we run it into the software, I will keep you guys updated on my next post. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Until next time…