The ProRanger Philadelphia program is an academic, technical skills training, and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service.
Students take coursework during the academic year at Temple University and participate in internships at National Park Service sites during the summer. Follow their experiences here.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Stone Pointing with Masons
During week six, I was with the historic preservation
branch of maintenance. I spent the first portion under two masons and learned
about some of the work they have been doing on a historic barn foundation.
Antietam Battlefield prides itself on being one of the best preserved
battlefields, and this certainly was a project contributing to that. During the
time of battle, only the barn foundation was in existence. Due to that detail
the project being worked on was to only restore the foundation and leave it as
that. After the first day spent organizing, I was able to
experience some mortar mixing and stone pointing. I had some prior experience,
because in class we designed and mixed cement for an ultimate loading. However,
I have never pointed stone nor been exposed to the practical techniques
exhibited by masons.
Antietam Observation Tower
As I spent more time with my site supervisors, we got to
talking and decided on working out a little trade. The masons were both avid
hunters and I am somewhat of a foodie. I gave them both a recipe for a good
pasta dish and in exchange they gave me some great deer jerky and freshly
caught trout to fry up…I think I made out on the deal.
The other feat accomplished this past week, was cleaning and reinstalling bird determent in the observation tower. We kept the tower
open during the process, because of that our group fell under visitor’s scrutiny.
Criticism was given for disregarding the bird’s feelings in the process of
installing anti-nesting devices. The fact of the matter is, it is much easier
to install the determent than to have an employee’s time wasted in constant cleaning
of the tower. I suppose that most visitor’s perspectives are tied to a one time
visit. Without consistent exposure to the mechanics of the battlefield, it’s difficult
realizing helpful solutions to the unit's maintenance. I imagine I will have
many more of those types of interactions to look forward to.