Last updated: July 11, 2013
Week Two of the George Perkins Marsh Internship has drawn to a close, and yet they still find new and exciting things for us to do every day. During the beginning of the week we found ourselves working with the Ottaquechee Cooperative for Invasive Species Management Area (OCISMA), around the Bridgewater school removing invasive plants such as multi-flora rose, barberry, and non-native honeysuckle. It was interesting to hear about why some of these plants are categorized as "invasives", not just because they are efficient at growing and choke out other species, but because of specific traits that can make them potentially harmful to a specific environment. For example, barberry can often be found with large overhanging branches that provide a warm and secure environment for Lyme-Disease-carrying ticks. The spread of tics follows the same pattern as the spread of barberry, just delayed by a few years. Therefore, it is in the public's best interests to try and halt the spread of the plant not just to continue environmental biodiversity, but also to guarantee the health and safety of the people around them.
On Friday and Saturday we got to work with the Interpretive Department again, and I found that to be vigorous and stimulating. Roving is interesting and fun, because it allows me to go out and walk around the park, something I enjoy, while at the same time assisting other hikers and walkers and helping to improve their park experience. I'm getting a moderate amount of exercise, while at the same time giving directions, recommending favorite viewing spots and just helping people. It's a win-win situation!
Speaking of giving directions, this week was the first time I got to go out and sit in the Chamber of Commerce's Booth on the Woodstock Green. It really just gives you a whole new perspective on the pace of the town. I've hung out in town before, and I've relaxed on the Green, but I was always hanging out with someone else, or waiting for an appointment. I've never really had the opportunity to just sit and watch the town, and it was interesting. The most common question that I got asked was "Where is the bathrooms?", but I didn't mind answering the same thing again. If it makes people appreciate this town a little bit more, and maybe come back in the future, then every question is worth answering. However, by far the most interesting question that I got was "Is this the Woodstock? The one from the 60's?".
Working with the public provides a whole new perspective on the park, the town and Vermont in general. I always love it when I hear people say that it's their first time in Vermont. Their excitement and general amazement with everything around them is infectious. I may have been here awhile, but every time I meet someone like that I feel like I'm experiencing everything for the first time again.