Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Snapping Turtle - GETT

Working as a ranger necessarily entails the protection of the park's resources - some of which may be covered in swamp grime, armed with steel-trap jaws and wanting absolutely nothing to do with your well-intentioned heroics. On the 26th of May, I was riding along in a patrol vehicle with my supervisor, Ranger Ryan Levins, when we spotted one such angry resource apparently sunning itself in the middle of the road - which is no place for a slow-moving snapping turtle to be.

"Where are you going, buddy?"

This is actually our second encounter with reptiles lying in the middle of park roads (the first being a very large black snake), and It's my understanding that the local fox cubs and various other creatures at Gettysburg have the same bad habit of wanting to sleep on the still-warm asphalt during the night. This usually doesn't end well for the animals, so the turtle was lucky that we happened to come along. He yet shall live to be ill-tempered and scary for another day.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Landing USPP Eagle 2 at Gettysburg

Park Ranger parked at the Pennsylvania Monument.

Today we received a visit from National Park Police Eagle 2. There was a lot of general excitement as the helicopter landed just East of the Pennsylvania Monument on the battlefield. Gettysburg is a hilly, bemonumented park that sees a lot of visitors this time of year, so choosing a landing area that minimized the potential risk to the visitors, park resources, and helicopter crew was of no mean importance. This particular landing required the closing of a small section of the park road and a parking area, as well as the corralling of a busload of excited school children.

Rangers Ryan Levins and Ricky Pierce coordinate the road closure in anticipation of the arrival of Eagle 2.

Eagle 2 lands in the field just East of the Pennsylvania Monument.

Video of Eagle 2 landing. Sorry about the shaky camerawork. I was walking and watching the crowd while holding the camera in the general direction of the helicopter.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

147 years later, Wis. Civil War soldier gets medal

A recent, interesting story that has its roots at a ProRanger Philadelphia Partner Park...

DELAFIELD, Wis. – Seven score and seven years ago, a wounded Wisconsin soldier stood his ground on the Gettysburg battlefield and made a valiant stand before he was felled by a Confederate bullet.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ProRanger Orientation

On May 13th and 14th at the Custom House in Philadelphia, PA the 13 selected students for the 2010 ProRanger Philadelphia Cohort met with the ProRanger staff and the supervisors from their assigned parks. This time was spent discussing the students upcoming internships, ethics, operational leadership, Fundamentals of the National Park Service, and the student handbook for the ProRanger Philadelphia Program. Also, during the time together students were presented their uniforms (as well as the proper way to wear them compliment of Northeast Regional Chief Ranger Jill Hawk). This time spent together helped to ease the anxiety that many of the students were feeling towards the upcoming internships. Please find below a few pictures from the first day of orientation.

Lytia Solomon, who will be headed to Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, takes careful note of Northeast Regional Branch Chief Stephen Clark’s suggestions for exchanging and tailoring of uniform parts.

Keith DeFabio, Giancarlo Graziani, and Owen McDaniel, observe how to properly wear the Park Ranger uniform.

Northeast Regional Chief Ranger Jill Hawk asks Law Enforcement Park Ranger Glen Clark to demonstrate the proper wearing and attention to detail of the uniform.

Alex Buligon and Layla Schade are all smiles as Regional Chief Ranger Jill Hawk describes how the ProRanger Philadelphia program fits into the mission of the NPS.

Northeast Regional Chief Ranger Jill Hawk discusses some of the history and traditions of the National Park Service.

Supervisory Park Ranger Steven Williams and Park Ranger Shuni Routh exchange contact information with Timothy Oh.

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Tom Jones explains to Alex Buligon and Travis Gerhardt where and when to report on their first day.

Employee Development Specialist Deborah Burnett confirms some final details with Michael Hanna who will be interning at Morristown National Historical Park this summer.

Northeast Regional Branch Chief Stephen Clark and Staff Park Ranger Lisa Hunter pause for a moment from Orientation for a photo opportunity.

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Dave Ballam exchanges contact information with Aaron Lyle and Kathryn Snyder.

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Tom Jones and Southeast Regional Chief Ranger William Reynolds welcome Alex Buligon and Travis Gerhardt to the NPS and introduce them to Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland where both will spend 12 weeks during their internship.

Supervisory Law Enforcement Park Ranger Ryan Levins shows Layla Schade a map outlining the historical features and boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Dave Ballam welcomes Aaron Lyle and Kathryn Snyder to the NPS and outlines what they can expect during their summer internship in Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia.

Chief of Operations Paula Risell discusses the operations in Independence National Historical Park to Melissa Burch and Giancarlo Graziani where both students will intern beginning this May.

Northeast Regional Chief Ranger Jill Hawk welcomes Temple University students Giancarlo Graziani, Owen McDaniel, Aaron Lyle, Michael Hanna, Timothy Oh, and Kathryn Snyder to the summer 2010 ProRanger Philadelphia Orientation.

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Shuni Routh introduces herself to Timothy Oh and describes what he will experience during his summer internship in Colonial National Park in Yorktown, Virginia.

The 2010 ProRanger Philadelphia Cohort – Rosalia Fiorello, Alex Buligon, Travis Gerhardt, Keith DeFabio, Giancarlo Graziani, Owen McDaniel, Aaron Lyle, Michael Hanna, Timothy Oh, Kathryn Snyder, Layla Schade, Melissa Burch, and Lytia Solomon listen attentively as Stephen Clark suggests how to take a vested interest in their summer Internships.

(All photos and captions were provided by Mr. Anthony Luongo)