Believe it or not, ten weeks have passed and today is my last day! Leaving the OCLP, I am filled with gratitude for the wonderful people I’ve met, the interesting projects that I’ve worked on, and the multitude of fascinating new ideas that I have gathered along the way. Here are some of the things I’ve learned this summer:
- Prior to this summer, I had had the idea that I really wanted to use my degree in landscape architecture to create places where different people would come together and learn about different cultures. My idea was vague and I didn’t know how to create such places outside of the walls of a museum or classroom. Now I see that this is what the OCLP does. I’ll never forget when Bob Page said that the OCLP is designing the “largest classrooms” and preserving parks for the purpose of telling stories. I’ll also never forget my “a-ha” moment after our tour of the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters NHS when I found myself so surprised by my new interest in George Washington. Who would’ve thought?
- Along the same lines, I now have a new appreciation for history. In my conversations with Christine Arato, I learned about the potential of the past to reveal the motives and tendencies governing human behavior today. I learned the importance of building a “collective memory” so that when we encounter injustices today, they will trigger us to take action.
- While working on the Agricultural Management Guidelines for Martin Van Buren NHS, I have learned about ways to preserve the historic farmland character while also protecting the land, air, water, wildlife habitat, and other valuable resources. Over the past week, I have been diving deep into my research topic of how to maintain wildlife habitat within farmland. I’ve learned about rotationally grazing alternate paddocks to protect grassland birds, creating nesting sites for bees along roadsides, and more. I love the challenge of finding creative ways to preserve cultural and natural resources simultaneously, so this week has been really fun!
- I love how people at the NPS are dedicated to public service! From the park rangers and the people at this regional office, I have really sensed their dedication to helping the public experience the benefits of nature and the illuminating stories of the past. In particular, I’ve been really excited to learn from numerous NPS employees about their work in telling the often overlooked stories in history. In my conversations with Chris Beagan about his involvement in LGBTQ Heritage Initiative, I’ve been introduced to the different heritage studies and National Historic Landmark and National Register programs that help get diverse stories on the map. I see the NPS making progress in telling a more inclusive story of America, and I hope to someday get involved in NPS sites related to my Asian American history.
- Everyone at the OCLP is so nice! Alex, Chris, Margie, Eliot, Tim, Jeff, John, Bob, Kim, Ericka, Sasha, and Shanasia have been so kind to me and more than willing to share their knowledge! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone and am sad to say goodbye to them.
Thank you to the Olmsted Center and the Student Conservation Association’s Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program for giving me this amazing opportunity. It’s been a great 10 weeks!!
Back to UC Davis!