Learning to Teach Cultural Landscapes

Last Wednesday and Thursday, the OCLP had a special visitor in our downtown office. Stacey Meier, who teaches at the Mather Building Arts and Craftsmanship High School in New York City was here to learn about the myriad ways that OCLP works to preserve cultural landscapes. Stacey leads a class in cultural landscape preservation for high school freshman taught at Mather. This public high school was named after Stephen Tyng Mather, the first director of NPS and is run in partnership with NPS. Students are trained in trades and skills that are needed to steward the 400+ properties cared for by the NPS across the United States. These skills include carpentry, masonry, decorative finishes, and landscape management.

Stacey spoke with us as a group about her work at Mather including the curriculum at the school and her approach to teaching the sometimes abstract concepts of historic preservation to high school students. After this initial introduction, Stacey met with each of the staff one-on-one to learn about the specific facets of landscape preservation the OCLP deals with in more detail. She spoke with Chris Beagan and Ella Weber about their work creating recommendations for a living collections database. Stacey heard about the ongoing agricultural management planning at MAVA from Alex von Bieberstein. Tim Layton told Stacy about OCLPs ongoing work to create GIS shapefiles for each of the units that have cultural landscape inventories created by the center. She also learned about the NPS Climate Change Response Program, section 106 review, and how the OCLP scopes its projects. All of the Designing the Parks interns presented our work as part of a teach back for the Hispanic Access Foundation representative, Jessica Loya. Stacey saw the work that we have accomplished during the first nine weeks of the internship program during this talk. Stacey was given an orientation to the full breadth and variety of cultural landscape management as practiced by the OCLP. It will be exciting to hear how Stacey incorporates this into her curriculum as she prepares the next generation of preservationists.

Until next week,

Angelina

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Stacey on the far right with the crew at MIMA.

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