NPSLA (The National Park Service Loves Acronyms)

Its been just over two weeks since I started my internship at NPS’ Southeast Regional Office or – how most people refer to it –  SERO and in the short time that I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot. For example, I quickly caught on to the fact that government employees really love acronyms! To get into the practice of using acronyms, I will weave them into my blog entry. But before I do that, I’ll define a few:

  • DOI- Department of the Interior
  • PIV – Personal Identification Verification
  • NPS – National Park Service
  • SERO- Southeast Regional Office

A pleasant courtyard, with a touch of greenery, is situated just at the entrance of the Sam Nunn Federal Center.

By the end of my first week at SERO, I truly felt welcomed. I promptly received a PIV card that granted me access not only into the office’s wifi network, but easy entrance into  the federal building. No longer do I have to place my belongings on a conveyor belt and walk through a metal detector. Nope, now, I just flash my shiny new PIV card and walk right past the security equipment! My PIV card is proof that I work for the federal government and more specifically the DOI, but what did I have to prove my allegiance to NPS? This concern was quickly addressed when I received an NPS lanyard and an NPS name plate!

A photo of Key West serves as the background to my name plate, which is symbolic of my South Florida ties.

You might think that a tall building in the concrete mayhem that is Downtown Atlanta, would have little relevance to an NPS employee. Well, at first, I thought that too! However, I soon learned that the office building itself is an example of historic preservation!


Rich’s was a popular department store chain, with several locations in Atlanta. Rich’s, like many other businesses, practiced segregation. However, the well-known stores soon became a target of boycotts by the Atlanta African American community. This particular location was the site of lunch counter sit-ins, a powerful and prominent act of civil disobedience. In fact, among those protestors and one of the many arrested was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.! Protestors’ unwavering commitment to equality and their strong consumer influence forced the department store chain to  adhere to their demands to desegregate. Soon other business and the rest of America would follow.

The beautiful wood floor and wood paneling of this office were carefully preserved.

Several parts of the building have been renovated, but most of it has been preserved. Some examples include the department store’s lobby, several offices, and the tile(which was used to create a mural commemorating the historic significance of the building).                 ~Branca Sánchez

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