Minute Man National Historical Park (MIMA) sits on a historic landscape which has been carefully maintained for over two hundred years. In fact, the building I work out of overlooks the Old North Bridge along the Concord River where the American Revolution started when the first shot was fired between the British Redcoats and the Minuteman Militia. One of my weekly routines is tending to the park gardens which have been preserved for hundreds of years, and they still look exactly as it did centuries ago. Most of the other park workers aren’t doing environmental science alongside me, they are interpreters that lead historic tours around the park. Come visit and you’d see my coworkers occasionally dress up like Benjamin Franklin or a Redcoat to keep the park history alive with reenactments. One of our most popular visitor attractions is The Wayside, where authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott wrote famous novels such as The Scarlet Letter.
So far a lot of my job has been coordinating the Walden Pond BioBlitz. We are inviting environmental scientists from all over to identify species in the park with us and celebrate Dr. E.O. Wilson’s 90’th birthday!
The rest of my work is traveling around the one thousand acre park to take species and soil samples, meeting with private organizations that are trying to develop around the park, and leading tours about the parks nature. My most recent project has been working with Exotic Species Management to come up with new ways to combat the invasive Japanese Knotweed which has been quickly taking over the park.
Since we’re revamping the active agriculture around the park, I’ve been touring the park with farming consultants or stakeholders who want in on our farming plans. Yesterday we allowed a farmer to have his pigs graze one of our overgrown fields. We’re in phase one of revamping our agriculture, for the next few years the plan is to graze the fields to condition the land to become growable again.