Thursday, June 2, 2011

Valley Forge NHP Week 2- Benjamin Amoah

I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend.   My week was an abbreviated one because I had to attend my sister's graduation.  I made up for missing a few days by going in on Monday.

Monday I spent my first hour walking from my house to the Ranger Station.  During this walk I experienced first hand how treacherous State Route 23 can be.  I walked part of the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail on the way to the Ranger Station.  The total distance was about 3 miles.

When I got to the Ranger Station, I had to fill out  an excel document.  The excel sheet documented all the violations and tickets that were issued over the course of the year.  From the excel sheet, I learned some of the violations that can take place at the park at any given time.  In the afternoon I read  the General Management Plan.  The book discusses the history of the park, the plans for the present and the plans for the future.  The plans include the preservation of the park's natural resources, wildlife management, and transportation in and through the park.

A map of the land-uses of Valley Forge

Tuesday Angela and I were in the Administation building.  We spent the first part of the day with Pat Madden and learned about the park budgeting and the divisions within the park.  We sat in on meeting about room safety and we inspected the rooms in the administration building.

As we were leaving for lunch, we happened to witness a medical emergency first hand.  Our supervisor, Mike Valora arrived and treated the patient onsceen before the local ambulance took her to the hospital.  In the afternoon we met  Karen Heitz, the IT specialist and did some computer training courses in relation to welcoming diversity within the workforce.  Lastly, we dicussed payroll and permits with Lisa Waterman.  Permits are needed for special uses within the park, such as weddings and professional photography.  People have to fill out a form stating their desired use, time they wanted to use the park, and where in the park.  Issuing special use permits can be a very complicated process.

As we arrived to the Ranger Station Wednesday, we were met by two dogs.  The dogs were found chasing a runner after escaping from their yard.  The dogs were very cooperative and friendly.  Afterwards, we helped build the new machine for the gym. Once we were finished, we were able to contact the onwer of the dogs and the owner was able to pick them up.  We went to the Montgomery County Radio Room (MONTCO,) the site where local officers and park rangers are dispatched from.  Here we learned about how the dispatchers receive calls, find the locations of the calls, and send the appropriate emergency personnel.  In the afternoon, we went on a hike with Ranger Quinn Hackwielder.  On the hike we visited some buildings and enjoyed the scenery.  

My week was short but it was sweet.  Many events can occur in a given time so it is hard to predict what will happen next.  

-Benjamin Amoah

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