Thursday, June 16, 2011
Last week I ended my stay with interpretation and started my journey with maintenance. I did not know what work maintenance had in store for me, but I jumped right in. I have to say that I immediately grew to love working with the maintenance department of the park service. It is filled with a lot of outdoor work, and I am an "outdoorsy" type of girl so I love it. We help maintain the grounds of the fort as well as preserve it. I am always working side by side with others and using team efforts to get our daily assignments completed. Everyone in maintenance puts a very strong emphasis on always wearing our protective gear, including our National Park Service baseball cap, safety glasses (shaded or clear), ear plugs, and gloves, to prevent injury. Everyone in maintenance goes out of their way and takes their time to show me proper techniques of handling equipment.
Fort Mchenry requires a lot of weed-eating to help maintain the fort and its surrounding areas. The glass in a window to the fort needed repairing so I was fortunate enough to help out with this process. I was taught how to safely measure and cut restoration glass, as well as, install and secure it back into the window frame. Restoration glass is not normal glass, it is glass made specific to the kind that would have been used in the fort in the early 1800's. This was a really interesting process, and shows me the wide variety of activities maintenance is responsible for in keeping the fort together and preserving its beauty.
The hard work we do together around Fort Mchenry is both character building and team building. I really enjoy all that we do; working hard really makes me feel accomplished at the end of the day. Every morning we start the morning off by gathering together first thing to discuss the assignments for the day and assign specific people to specific tasks. I personally believe this is a really great idea and it has proven itself because communication within maintenance is amazing.