This week we have taken a five day trip to Acadia National Park to participate in the ACAD field school. Our main objective was to assist the field school team with hiking, measuring, and inventorying new features on the trails. I teamed up with Vincent and Sarah and hiked up the Beachcroft path that totaled up to 6,200 feet up! This was my first time hiking and although it was intense, the end result was amazing – the views in Acadia are unbelievably beautiful. In addition to site work, every morning we attended a lecture where a different person from the NPS staff covered topics such as field inventory methods (Margie Brown), hiking trail history (Chris Barter), Acadia trail programs (Gary Stellpflug), GIS for park planning and hiking (Karen Anderson), park maintenance facility management (Keith Johnston), and lastly conditions and historical characters of trails (Margie Brown). I found these lectures very beneficial because they gave me much needed background information about what I should be looking for while working in the field.
We also spend days hiking on other paths, one being the Asticou path. This excursion included the collaboration of the DTP team, field school team, and NPS staff, where we learned about the construction methods on the trails first hand. In addition, we got the opportunity to document our experiences as well as develop a short film about the work that’s currently going on in the park and educate viewers about features such as water dips for example. This video could potentially be used for training and introductory sessions for future NPS interns and staff.
The best part of the overall Acadia trip was having some time out of our personal desks and getting the opportunity to bond and get to know each other better as a team. We shared many laughs throughout out long days of hiking, driving, and working at the park. I would have been great to have the whole DTP team on this trip but I am glad that I got to know Margie, Shanaisa and Ashley on a personal level, and I hope that Kristi and Erika have the same experiences as well when they go up to Acadia in July 🙂
When we got back to the office on Friday, I wrapped up the week by with meeting with Jennifer Brandt, the community outreach manager for the Hispanic Access Foundation. It was a pleasure meeting her in person and I hope that she enjoyed her trip to Boston and seeing the work that has been taking place at the Olmsted Center so far this summer.