Sagamore Hill Experience

During the following week, I was able to work at Sagamore Hill National Historical Site with the other Park-based interns, Field Team, Branching Out staff, and the famous Charlie Pepper. It took awhile to get up their but it was worth the entire trip. While there, our base for the time being was at Long Island University. The historical signifigance about this site was that it belonged to Theodore Roosevelt and his family when he wanted to relax and became part of the National Park Service when both generations of Roosevelts died was was left uncared for.

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During the week long trip we were split into three groups and were asigned different projects to work on. One group was working on a stone pathway, another was doing planting in front of the museum, and the last group was working in the woods to build water bars in the path. I was doing the stone pathway with other members of the field team and the supervisor who taught us how to construct a path; his name was Eric Witzki. He is an older gentleman who looks like he could lift a boulder with one arms and pushed us to the limit on creating a new and better path. The type of path that we had to make was a flagstone path and we decided to do this type of path because it has worked since the Roosevelts were here and it’s also handicapped accessible. This type of work is similar to the work done at Adams because some of the people who work there do construction work and are required to build areas that is suitable for the public. The entire landscape is almost similar to the one at my park. This is on terms of historical value where they want to keep things the same and make people believe that this is what the property looked like when the original owners were there. This park used to have a formal garden but is now turned into a parking lot for visitors. There is also an orchard available in the park that people can walk through on a path instead of in a field.

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After doing the travel project, it makes me want to visit other national parks because I want to know the history of the place and also who is maintaining the grounds of that park. I want to walk inside the shoes of the owners of each national park and imagine it through my own eyes; see what was originally there and how things were kept in order. I one day want to go back to Sagamore Hill and see my project and the other projects that were designed and see how they’re being put to use today. People will say to themselves “I like the way this path is done. I wonder who was able to do all of this?” once they see all of the hard work we put into that week. This travel project will be one of those projects that makes it into the Branching Out history books.

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4 responses to “Sagamore Hill Experience

  1. I like how you write about visiting National Parks to learn and experience history! I agree, it is fun to imagine what life must have been like living there. The work that you all did was very impressive and important to preserving the site. Glad to hear how proud you are of the project!

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  2. What a pleasure it was to have experienced working with the Branching out youth group. I enjoyed being able to explain to the team some of the reasons the projects needed to be done, the processes we intended to use to accomplish our goals and the sustainability behind way we accomplished our work.
    We did Nature trail restoration to help and guide visitors to Cold Springs Harbor, Foundation planting to restore the historic look and feel of Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Old Orchard house and the team I was privileged to work with installed a Blue-stone Path and service area.
    They are a remarkable group of intelligent young people looking to improve the quality of life for those around them. They collaborated on methods and theory. They shared the work load. They were extremely eager to learn each aspect of all the the projects.. They followed instruction and watched out for each other.
    I hope that I see some of the same individuals when we ask them back again. Keep up the good work and maintain those good work ethics you are developing.
    Thank you all for the experience of working together.

    Eric Witzke
    Facility Manager-Sagamore Hill NHS

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  3. Lots of team work , and sweat went into this path. Great job! Yes, Liam , you are making a permanent impact on the lives of others by maintaining history in these important sites.

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