Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a busy last few weeks here at OCLP. This month I have been continuing work on First State National Monument, working on writing the period summaries and creating the period plans. It’s really interesting to look at the period plans I am creating and interpreting the changes in field and forest with larger macro events. For instance, by 1860 much of the Woodlawn Tract was deforested, with about 80% agricultural. We also see large land parcels subdivided into smaller plots, evidenced by the fence-lines. This land division represents the overarching ideal of the settlers of the region, to establish the American family farm. Structures were built in small groupings, consisting of a house and barn. Around mid 19th century, the groundwork had also been laid for the rapid industrial expansion which was to characterize the next four decades of Delaware’s economic development. Jump ahead 70 years, by 1930, the decline in farming allowed for the reestablishment of woods, with only about 60% of the site used for agricultural purposes. Today, only 40% of the land is used for agriculture and much of the farmed land is leased out to large scale dairy production vs. the traditional small farmer.
Among other happenings – this month has been a great time for travel! Early October a few of us SCA interns at OCLP went to Acadia National Park to experience the great outdoors and to see the fall colors. It was an amazing trip that tested our fortitude against narrow rock ledges, camping outside, and climbing sea cliffs! It was really nice to see one the major natural landscapes here on the east coast.
This past week, we also all joined in to help with the conditions reassessment and CLI for Cape Cod National Seashore. It was a jam-packed three days with lots of field work and adventures. The landscape of this park is magical – changing throughout the day with the tides. It was amazing to see the reveal of the marsh during low tide juxtaposed against the complete submersion at high tide. The sand dunes are also stunning – with beach plum and beach grass decorating and anchoring the landscape. Long Point especially resonated with me – the 45 min jetty hopping was well worth the extreme tranquility that this portion of the site offered.