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.
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Maintenance in Boston National Historical Park
I spent the last week working with maintenance. I spent time with custodial, grounds, carpentry, and the electrician. I helped out with several project. My first task was to help paint a wall that had been recently repaired in the Bunker Hill Museum. I thought I knew how to paint a wall until I worked with the crew. They taught me so many new tricks to painting a wall. I will be using what I learned with them next time I find myself painting. The next project dealt with plaster. There was a ceiling outside of a gift shop that needed work. I was only able to watch for this because it was a one man job and required a skilled hand ( not me). It was fascinating watching how the repairs were made.
The next major task was replacing a toilet in the visitor center. For this project maintenance pretty much let me run the show. They handed me a toilet and an instruction book and some tools. I was able to do a considerable amount before I had to ask for help. It was my first time doing anything like that. It was surprisingly fun and challenging at the same time. It took a little longer than the average time it takes to install a toilet but for my first time I was told it was not bad. I then got a tour of where all of the chemical waste is stored. I learned about how the chemicals need to be stored and how they are removed.
I got to spend a day with special features. This is a small crew of three people. Their main tasks are to work on any historical buildings, ships, and piers. I was able to help paint and inspect the USS Cassin Young. I had a lot of fun doing that. I spent the rest of the time with the grounds crew. In the beginning I walked around the park with the supervisor. He gave me an entirely new perspective of the park. I learned about the irrigation systems, the tree removal practices and how the lawns were maintained. This was all great to learn about, and then he handed me some gloves and told me to join the crew. I mulched, weeded, and raked up leaves. They are a smart group and managed to work in the shaded areas for all of their projects. This helped out a little bit because it was about ninety three degrees outside.
Inspecting and painting the USS Cassin Young
Spending all of that time with maintenance really gave me a much better understanding of the park. I realized how many things I just took for granted around the park like a mowed lawn, trash free area, mulched flower beds, and everything else they do. I was great working with everyone in maintenance. I enjoyed helping out and seeing how much hard work goes into the park every day.