Our team kicked off Monday morning by visiting the Pressley Associates Landscape Architects with Chris Beagan (Historical Landscape Architect) to meet with Marion Pressley FASLA, one of the firm’s principals. Marion serves as a true inspiration because she is a woman who started out in the field when it was primarily dominated by men. Although women in the design field are becoming more common, there are definitely still obstacles that we have to face to be taken seriously and to be seen as a force to be reckoned with! As a female trying to get into the world of architecture myself, I consider Marion’s journey as a phenomenal one and I hope to achieve a similar level of success as she has someday.
Overall, the firm works towards designing landscapes that embrace, protect, and enhance the environment—to promote sustainability, enable community involvement, and influence stewardship. Pressley Associates has completed several Boston area landmark projects, including designs for Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Kenmore Square, Harvard Square, restoration of the Emerald Necklace Park System and Northeastern’s campus. Specifically, Marion’s historic preservation work includes several National Park Service projects such as the carriage road system at Acadia National Park, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park, and the Independence National Historic Park.
Aside from the great presentations that were prepared for our group, the one thing that I took away the most from this visit was the series of life lesson quotes that Marion shared with us throughout our conversations, some being:
“Always educate yourself”
“Gain experience in something your weakest in”
“The best way to learn something is to teach it”
“Don’t rush, take the time to learn what it is you actually want to do with your life”
Thanks Marion for the much needed advice about life, school, and careers, sharing your story, allowing us to see what’s going on at Pressley Associates, and most importantly taking the time out of your busy schedule to accommodate us into your day. It was a pleasure.
I have provided a link to the Pressley Associates website below if anyone is interested in learning more about their firm and what they do!
This Monday, I also attended my last Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) webinar, which was hosted by two guest: Desiree Smith, the coordinator for the Latinos in Heritage Conservation Group and Alex Romero, the superintendent of the George Washington Parkway Memorial in DC. They each spoke about their stories and experiences within their work / organizations and provided us with the opportunity to ask them questions regarding historical and heritage conservation and how to reach a targeted audience in a location with many non-Latino cultural resources. This session served as a great closing webinar to wrap up our internship experience and to think about what our next steps in Latino conservation stewardship could be. Thanks Desiree and Alex!
Both experiences with Marion and HAF put in perspective that although I am considered a “minority” because I am a woman and a Latina, I can surpass adversities and I am proud that I have the opportunity this summer to showcase that we can do whatever we put our minds to and we are not alone, especially in the world of design and at the NPS. Minorities can and are making a difference in the world and I hope to inspire others to do the same! #LatinoEmpowerment #WomenEmpowerment
To wrap up the week, we meet the Branching Out Park Based Team to hear about what they are doing this summer and how their positions differ from the Field Based Team that we have met a few weeks ago. This team of 4 is split up in several sites (Fairsted, Minute Man, Adams, and JFK’s Birthplace) where they are working on individual projects that range in topics such as invasive species, plant health care, and preserving historical elements on site. What was great about hearing from this team was being able to ask for recommendations (from their internship experience), that will help us move forward in our MAVA project. Thanks Branching Out for a great discussion!
Lastly, I wanted to share a very cool photo with you guys. The OCLP has gotten their own sign hand-made by Brad, who is the official sign maker for the Acadia National Park trial system. Thank you so much, it came out beautiful – everyone loves it and it looks great in the office!
Until Next Week…my final week 😦