NB: I mean second national park that is not in the Boston area. 😀 Pictures will be captioned at the end.
My experience at the travel project is that it was a fun road trip, ferry ride, and good fun with the park rangers, field team, Olmsted Center staff, and park-based interns (at work and out). Every morning, we would take the vans to the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (like I take to my park sites in MA). Sagamore Hill NHS is in New York and it was where young Teddy Roosevelt first came as a young man. He built his home there and it was at times the summer White House. But the most important about this site is that he thought that this was the most ideal place where he could spend time with his family. With my new-found family, the Branching Out 2014 crew, we learned about the different natural systems, vistas, circulations, and etc. Two projects were circulation related; the first was replacing a mailman pathway by Old Orchard and the second was fixing the eroded nature trail leading towards the water. My project was the foundation planting project at Old Orchard, Theodore Roosevelt Jr’s house.1: Fun with Branching Out 2014 in front of Old Orchard, 2: A fun picture of the Branching Out family lined up (like TR’s children did), 3: With the staff, 4: New mailman path put to use, 5: Working on the water bar at the nature trail, 6: Lifting sod
In this project, we learned that the yews that were in front of the house were taken out in 2011 because they were overgrown and inconvenient to the rehabilitation of the brick wall and shutters. Instead of using one type of yew for the entire bed, we used two that would grow into shapes that the previous yews were kept in; the previous ones required a lot of maintenance. At Longfellow, the original types of roses that could not be replaced were substituted with other types. Another similarity is that watering is a very important task in these parks I’ve worked in. Unlike planting at Longfellow though, this is my first time planting a new bed from scratch; in my parks, we are adding onto the existing beds.
Another thing that was very different in the parks I am placed and Sagamore Hill is the landscapes. Longfellow and Sagamore Hill would be more similar than Kennedy or Olmsted (to Sagamore Hill) in the fact that they both have (or had) gardens and more acres of land. The turfs at all three of my sites are man-made where as most of the landscape in Sagamore Hill is not because there are a lot more natural systems there, such as salt-water marsh, beach, woods, and much, much more. Seeing more natural systems in a National Park was very inspiring to me because it makes me want to explore more parks, national or not (because I think Franklin Park can be like a national park :). In my visits, I want to learn more about the history, the meaning, the work maintained, and the differences between the site I’m visiting and other parks. However, since the question is about national parks, I would love to be an Eric (our host park ranger who has visited more than 80 national parks). I think the main reason is that I want to be able to say I have been to so many (as in a number of) national parks. Another person I would like to give a shout-out is to my project leader, Charlie… Pepper! He was amazing at directing us and felt like a host himself (even though he is with the Olmsted Center). So I know he must have been to a good amount of national parks too. So as an end to my re-cap is my “rose-thorn-bud” from the last day at Sagamore Hill: My rose was the teach back which was a lot of fun. However my thorn was taking time to prepare for the teach back and my bud is hoping to have a chance to wear my raincoat again.
7: The before picture of the planting with people as the yew shrubs, 8: Edging the bed, 9: The after picture!