11 Jun Big Time, Tule Grass, Plastic Waste…Oh My!
In this week’s blog I will present my projects for the summer so that you can know all about the work I am doing here in Point Reyes! I have also included a weekly update in photos with captions to highlight the most exciting parts of the past week.
First off, the main project for my summer is the 39th annual Big Time Festival, which celebrates the traditions and heritage of the Coast Miwok Tribe. Importantly, this year’s event turns our focus towards the tribe’s present and future. For this event, I will assist with outreach, designing festival events, creating a pamphlet, and promoting the event on social media. So far, I have written a draft for the pamphlet, with an excerpt about traditional ecological knowledge below.
“Traditional ecological knowledge refers to the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment, gained through many generations of learning passed down by elders about practical as well as spiritual practices… Here in Point Reyes National Seashore, the Coast Miwok worked the land for centuries, nurturing beneficial plants by removing harmful pests, pruning, and leaving enough for the plants to continue to prosper.”
My second main project aims to develop protocol for collecting tule grass (Schoenoplectus acutus) in order to eventually be used to dry and demonstrate for education programs and for fixing shelves in the kotcas at Kule Loklo, houses in the recreated Coast Miwok village. So far, I have researched the plant extensively and surveyed the park for tule grass sites with park archaeologist Paul Engel, in addition to compiling information about departments that must be consulted and mandates that must be followed.
Lastly, I am developing a plastic waste and beach clean-up program to present to the public. This topic is a personal interest of mine, so I am working on this side-project in addition to the two above, and I am currently awaiting review of the draft I have. The plastic waste talk will start with an overview of the history of plastics and their mounting issues, working towards discussion about solutions and concluding with group action at a beach cleanup to foster a shared stewardship for natural environments.
Again, thank you for continuing to keep updated with my adventures at Point Reyes, be sure to check out the photos down below, and as always, feel free to leave questions and comments down below. Until next week!