The field team is off to a great start this summer! Our team was ready to go after our orientation week where we learned all about the National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and our role as Branching Out field team members!
We headed to Adams National Historical Park located in Quincy, MA for our first project. During this project we focused on performing routine maintenance and learning about the sites history.
Adams National Historical Park is where the summer home of two American presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams lived. Both of them fought for independence for our country and the house reflected the families interest in farming. The parks main features are the formal garden, apple orchard, and the Old House.
Our first task was to mow the grass in the historic apple orchard. Using the sicklebar mower (see photos below) and a huge team effort, we mowed the grass down and used hay rakes to collect the hay to later be composted.
The park allows the grass to grow tall during the summer to protect the trees from insects and diseases. Mice, frogs, and insects live in the tall grass and we found many creatures as we were clearing the field! This project really helped out the park because it is such a huge project that the park takes on each year and with our team, we were able to clear the field in 3 days rather than the many weeks it would take for the park staff to do on their own.
After we finished mowing and raking the orchard field, we moved on to helping the park-based interns Reika and Laxmi with planting in the formal garden. Earlier in the week we learned about formal gardens and how to maintain them. It was interesting to learn how the park maintains the landscape to look as it is when the Adams were living there!
Our first project was a lot of hardwork, but it was fun being at the park, working outside, and getting to know the field team more. Our next project will take place at Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site located in Brookline, MA. Stay tuned for updates from the field team!
If you want to learn more about Branching Out and our field projects, join us at our next teach-back. Visit this website for more information and to register!
Thank you Adams National Historical Park for an amazing project!