On August 2, 2012, SCIP (Andrew, Resi, Jonathan, ShuMing, and Dawn) met Marc Albert at Boston Harbor Island National Park Area. Marc is the Stewardship Program Director for Boston Harbor Island National Park Area, Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, and Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
In the morning, Marc gave us a presentation about natural resources management and the role of stewardship program in the park service. The Stewardship Program embodies the National Park Service’s mission, which “preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System.” The Stewardship Program utilizes science as a tool to preserve our parks and to make decision of managing our parks. Boston Harbor Island National Park Area is a special place with tremendous natural and cultural resources: special concern bird species, such as Least Terns and Common Terns; and the Fort Andrew in Peddocks Island, an active harbor defense fort from 1904 to the end of World War II.
In the afternoon, SCIP and Marc went to Lovells Island to learn about invasive plant management in the field. Our task was to pick the seed pods from black swallow-wort, a native species from Europe. Black swallow-wort is an herbaceous perennial from the milkweed family. As a result, monarch butterflies confuse with common milkweed and lay their eggs on black swallow-wort. Monarch larvae would die if they eat black swallow-wort. Picking the seed pods would prevent black swallow-wort from spreading. Managing the black swallow-wort not only protects the native plants on the Lovells Island, but also provides positive effects on monarch butterflies.
SCIP had a great time with Marc on Lovells Ilsand (1/34 islands in Boston Harbor Island National Park Area). We not only had a better understanding about the role of Stewardship Program in the National Park System, but also had the opportunities to preserve our park in the field.
The Mission of National Park Service:
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
Info about Black Swallow-wart: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/cylo1.htm