06 December 2023

My summer in Philadelphia

I am almost halfway through my fellowship. I've learned so much about Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers through meeting new people and hearing about what they do in the program. I feel really accomplished in the work I've done so far and I'm excited to continue my projects until the end of my fellowship. In August, the other PWSR fellows and I, along with my site supervisor went to a Visitor Use Management Conference in Acadia National Park. I had never been to Acadia, so it was a really amazing opportunity to see the park and meet other people who are passionate about similar work. I was told that the best moments at conferences happen in between the presentations when people are mingling, and I really got to experience those learning moments in Maine.


For three days in the beginning of September, I joined a few committee members on Lower Delaware council, along with Sarah Bursky (River Manager, NPS), and Mark Meyer (VRI Specialist, NPS), to go out on the river and do a viewshed analysis on multiple areas along the Delaware. It was a really amazing last "in the field" experience before winter. The process was long, but it will eventually give us numerical data to protect the Delaware's natural beauty.


The PWSR fellow in Concord, NH (Hannah Volk) and I are in charge of writing and releasing the Water Column, which is an internal newsletter where we write up recent success stories, it is sent around internally to other NPS partners. The newsletter is one of my favorite projects, Hannah and I are able to take a step back and look at the program's accomplishments. We send it out every few months so it’s not a constant project which is nice, more of like a program wide check-in.


My last update is that I attended and presented at the 11th Annual Delaware River Watershed Forum in Wilmington, DE.  I presented alongside my site supervisor, Sarah Bursky, two LODE community members Robert McEwan, Cindy Kunnas. Our title was: Growing Human and Ecological Resilience in The Basin by Expanding Wild and Scenic River Designation. We talked about the effort happening on the Lower Delaware to designate 20+ tributaries of the Delaware River and how it designation benefits the community.


Since it is still my first year living in Philadelphia, I am very excited to see what the winters are like! Coming from New England I feel like it won't be that bad…

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