07 Mar New Year New Sites
January was packed with new experiences! I got to do an intern swap with Ana, the natural resources intern, and got to experience a day in her work life. We started the day off by meeting Ana’s coworkers, some who are interns for other organizations, as well as other NPS employees. We soon found ourselves in the Presidio Nursery where there were strict protocols to follow. We had to spray off our shoes before entering the nursery to make sure we were not bringing in any foreign or invasive plants into the nursery. The nursery is home to endangered native species as well as other native species. Since there was about four of us, two of us got all the plants and handed them to the two people who stood outside- this way we didn’t have to constantly be spraying our shoes.
We started planting at Lobos Creek Valley which contains the last free flowing creek in San Francisco and home to the sand dunes of the north of the city. We planted some Cobweb Thistle, an endangered species, and some other shrubs to rehab the area next to the newly built bus stop. As we were planting, we got blessed by the rains and at that moment the beauty of Lobos Valley was extra amplified as was the interconnectedness.
Afterwards, we sat down for a plant identification course where we got to learn how to use plant ID guides and use microscopes! We ended the day with a fun and interesting meeting on bats! A day in the Natural Resources world was super fun! Thank you, Ana, for bringing me along.
Finished at Muir Woods
The Muir Woods project is a long one- we’re on year 2 of 4. We completed 2 switchbacks and some stairs. After setting in the final headers and crushing tons of rock we got to treading which is laying shell on top of the rock and smoothing it out using a pumpkin.
A pumpkin is a machine that smooths and compacts the shell making the trail smooth and sturdy to walk on. January 31st was the last day of loud work due to the spotted owl nesting season. So, anything that requires ear-protection is a no go after February 1st. We are moving into quiet work which entails cleaning up the worksite, taking back tools and dissembling the highline.
Seeing the trail that we’ve been working on for months start to look like an actual trail is so satisfying. Kyle, my supervisor asked me during our monthly eval, if there was something I wanted to take ownership of. The question has been on my mind ever since. Seeing this trail be completed brought me feelings of joy, proudness, and comradery. I, along with my crew, spent months, through cold rains and pains, working on this trail that will be used for generations. I cannot wait to start on other projects where I’ll have complete ownership in building it.
I’m still in awe that I get to work in Muir Woods on the daily. I get to see this majestic place in all type of lights and conditions. I’ve become familiar with it’s winds, rains, non-human relatives. I get to see her waking up with the sun and see the sun shine its warm rays on the ferns and redwoods.