This week I was responible for helping out the field team with their projects. When they first arrived, they were given a tour around the park and learned some techniques that we use here. They also mentioned about what a formal garden is and what is its main purpose for being at a national park. The next day they were ready to work at the park with a lot of enthusiasim. They learned about the history of the Adams family and how this place became part of the park service. They got to meet Bob and the other maintenance workers at the park and taught them everything they need to know in order to complete their projects.
The first project they did was cutting the privet hedges. The reason for this project to be completed is because they were overgrown and new foliage will soon come again next year. One technique I learned about was cutting the hedge at an angle so when water falls on the cut area, it will fall off to the side whereas when just regularly cut straight, water will get on it and rot the trunk. Their second project was cutting the hay in the orchard and then raking it into rows. They were able how to work the sickle bar which was the tool they used to remove the hay in the field. Later on it was then raked into larger piles since someone is going to take it and personally dispose of the hay. Their thrid and final project was doing some target pruning on the rose bushes in the Beal Garden. They had to remove any deadwood inside and also remove the weeds that surounnded that area. I also found a bird’s nest inside on of those bushes with baby birds inside. I just found out that a raccoon took the nest and ate the babies. It’s so sad.
After all of the work they did this week, I could say that things wouldn’t of been completed without their participation. It would of at least taken us a full week to get rid of the hay, and that is just mowing. They now know some new practices on what they can do in a formal garden and working in a field. Yesterday a few of these members had to do a teach back to everyone at the park including the superintentant of Adams National Historical Park and Charlie Pepper who came to visit us. I’m glad I met the field team nd I can’t wait to see them again on enrichment projects and on the trip to Long Island.