This week we worked at Ellis Island National Monument. This park is important because it holds a lot of culture and significant history to the United States of America. Not only was it an immigration center, but it was also used as a military installment. Ellis Island is located in the Harbor of both New York and New Jersey.
This week at Ellis Island we worked on historic flower beds in front of the immigration museum. The tools we used were hand trowels to dig holes in the ground for the plants, soil knives to break up any hard pieces of soil, hoses to water the plants, shovels to spread the mulch around the beds, wheel barrows to carry the mulch, twine and garden stakes to create the grid that helped up know where to plant the plants. We also used fertilizer to help the plants grow better because it gives them more nutrients. The techniques we followed this week were a loop knot (AKA The Charlie Knot) which helped us make the grid for the flower beds, learning how to read the planting plans, and learning how to best lay the mulch on the beds. Before we came to Ellis Island, there was just top soil and irrigation lines, but in 2003 the NPS found out that there used to be flowers all around the immigration center. Now in 2017 the flower beds are back, adding to the historic parts of the Island.
During the Education sessions, we learned about planning projects before doing them and doing all different types of plant species. The technical expert this week was Charlie Pepper who is the coordinator/manager of the OCLP. He is a landscape expert and taught us how to read the planting plans and different techniques to planting.
Some of our highlights from our week on Ellis Island was working with the NYC team as whole for the first time on a project. We worked really efficiently as a team and were able to complete our planting goal early enough in the week to do even more than we planned. One of the challenges we faced this week was working in the sun and heat. We had to focus on taking breaks in the shade and staying hydrated. In the end our favorite part of this project was seeing the finish project of all the plants in the beds because it gave us a strong feeling of accomplishment.