Celebrating What is Shared by The Public

Celebrating What is Shared by The Public

Hello! Thank you for returning to my blog. I am so grateful to be here in the beautiful Boston harbor. No matter where I am working on a given day, I am not far from the water or cheerful hearts. In this blog, I want to touch upon the projects and tasks involved in my internship.

 

The park serves as a refuge, available to the thousands of Bostonians. The city is wonderful and offers so much to captivate us. But the islands and peninsulas of the harbor give us a different kind of space, a green one where we can savor some quiet existence. They are green jewels in the harbor’s blue. I myself was captivated on Grape Island, walking away from the group pulling mile-a-minute plants. Me and a turkey stood in the grass meadow, under the birch trees. There was a keen feeling of belonging — myself, a unit among an infinitude of organisms breathing one-another in and out through the exchange of gas, water, minerals, nutrients — an ecosystem. While one certainly does not need a degree in conservation biology (my major) to feel such a sense of at-oneness, a brief introduction to ecological concept is one way of orienting people into such a head space. Part of my role this Summer is to give these kinds of introductions to visitors, so we may share a more renewing time together in our park. Said another way, My job is to help the public celebrate what is already theirs; public land and Nature’s universal biological and ecological art.

Here is a very whimsical looking plant. I found it on Grape Island. If one is familiar, they might notice that the leaves are all of the round-leaf bittersweet vine  — the tree underneath has been killed by the non-native bittersweet. Every time I am away among the invasives, I am struck by the tragic beauty of our modern-day ecology. The birds love the bittersweet berries.

 

Over the course of my internship, I will be involved with a number of public engagement programs run by the park. I am tasked with developing  a number of short interpretive talks and activities for these. One such, is Stewardship Saturday, a day when nearby citizens gather on the beautiful green islands and peninsulas for the purpose of caring for this public land. Most usually we uproot or cut down aggressive plant species like garlic mustard or mile-a-minute. For me, Saturday is the last day of the work week — how much do I love ending the week in such good company and scenery! 

A picture from Stewardship Saturday


I also will have the chance to assist with science communication and public involvement in the sciences through Science Fridays. On these days I will run pop-up programs such as bivalve identification, marine invasive species monitoring, and iNaturalist events.

On Wednesdays I will be with our Climate Conservation Corps interns. Together we will create and run events across the park to engage the public in conversation and foster understanding of climate change. 

 

My final project involves me giving a talk to park staff about the best practices regarding science communications. Beyond this I will create a resource guide that is full of sources regarding an ecological topic which is of my own interest. I am so excited to have the chance to dive deep into a subject of my choosing! 

The old dock on Spectacle Island

Thank you for joining me this week. I find that I greatly enjoy making these; blogging seems to make these images and memories of mine so much more meaningful.

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