We gathered again on November 17 to continue our discussion about maintaining equity in High Rock park’s cleanliness and preservation of its natural history. During this meet, Mr. Codio, senior architecture teacher and one manager of all WHSAD’s projects, with a collaboration of Chris, discussed the setup and how we use tools, how to handle them, and how to put them together without injuring others if they were accidentally trodden on. Learn about the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), which consists of clothes, helmets, goggles, and other garments or equipment that protect the wearer’s body from damage or illness. A sledgehammer, a tiny sledgehammer, a pickaxe, a stone rake, a multifunctional garden hand tool, and a tool used as a lever to move stones were among the items we received.
Another point we discussed was that some of the photographs we saw were from Leave No Trace, a nonprofit dedicated to instilling a national outdoor ethic in everyone. We noticed that outdoor activity affects the animals and soils of the ecosystem. Changing animal behavior, purposeful or inadvertent eating, decreased health and reproduction, litter, and soil erosion, among other things, appear to have severe consequences for the ecosystem in which they dwell. The quantity of people in parks impacts the ecosystem because, although it’s nice to see so many people outside, it also means there’s a more significant risk of human-caused harm on public lands. Lastly, Kat informed us of the importance of project success and failure. Actual time vs. planned project time, actual cost vs. projected cost, project deployed/introduced or canceled, and income, profit, or productivity benefits achieved vs. expected are a few measures for project success/failure. Another slide she showed us was on why some projects fail, and it turns out that not getting enough project management technique training before serving on a project is a common cause of failure.
Below are a few more narratives from my peers who have also been part of this wonderful project.
On Wednesday, November 17, we met once again at the lab on the fifth floor and continued with the discussion of how to keep parks clean and preserve them. The slides that were presented to us were from Leave No Trace, which is a foundation that focuses on building a nationwide outdoor ethic for all. We learned that impacts from outdoor recreation can affect the wildlife and the soils in the environment. Apparently, altered behavior, intentional or inadvertent feeding, reduced health and reproduction of animals, along with littering and soil erosion can cause severe impacts to the environment in which animals live. The number of people in parks can also end up affecting the surroundings because even if it’s great to see so many people outside, it also means that there are more chances of human related impacts to public lands. For example, we were shown an image of bamboo in a park and all of the shoots had a mix of green and brown to them because they are constantly touched by people, yet there was one single bamboo stick that was never touched so it was still bright green.
There are 7 principles of design for Leave No Trace which are:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Afterwards, Kat went into the meeting and began to present us her slides. She taught us about project success and failure. A few metrics for project success/failure are the actual time vs. the planned project time, actual cost vs. projected cost, project deployed/introduced or cancelled, and revenue, profit, or productivity gains realized vs projected. Another thing she presented to us was a slide on why some projects fail, and it turns out that most of the time not receiving enough training in project management methodology before serving in a project is also a cause for failure.
A project management plan is always helpful because it helps us think about what needs to be done, how we need to do it, and who will do it. Closer to the end of the meeting we did a chart as an assignment. Kat showed us a slide in which a chart showed how work breakdown structure can help a project so we all did a chart based on projects that we had all worked on before. I based mine on the water bar structure that my group did in session 2 which helped me because the process to make the model was really simple.
In the High Rock meeting on 11/17/21 Chris and Mr. Codio were talking about the setup and how we use tools, how to hold them, and how to put them down without people getting hurt if stepped on by accident. PPE (Personal protective equipment) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. The tools we got were a sledgehammer, a mini sledgehammer, a pickaxe, a stone rake, a multipurpose garden hand tool, and a tool used as a lever to move stones. We also had a talk about a program about how people from around America collect trash in parks and make sure the environment is clean and not disturbed. Kat told us about how this program had kids learn how to keep areas clean and what you can do. Afterwards, she went over how many variables affected projects, such as how much money a group had, supplies, how long it could take, permits, and what the environment was like. Up next, we discussed the steps it takes to execute on the plans.
- Acquire all the supplies, equipment, and heavy machinery.
- What are the basics and the important parts of the projects
- Execute the project and test to investigate how the design functions.
- Clean up when we bring back the equipment, extra supplies, and heavy machinery.
This part was what we were supposed to do for our projects so for me I was in a group with Waylon and D’Artagnan. Our project was a bridge going on top of a stream in High Rock. The first part was of course getting the supplies like wood and stone nails, rails and etc, equipment, saw blade hammer measurement tape, people and plans. Step 2 would just be us making the base of the bridge which is just the exoskeleton and the main supports. Step 3 would just be to complete the bridge test and anything we can to improve or make it look better. Step 4 would just be to put our wood,stone, plans, and equipment away and clean everything like rubble and debris up.
Wednesday’s High Rock session was more focused on the impact that we the people leave on nature, and what we could do to fix our negative impact. Pollution and carelessly throwing our trash on the ground has had impacts on wildlife, soil, vegetation, and water resources. And in regards to parks, careless management could lead to a decline in visitors. While learning how we impact nature, Mr. Chris brought up the fact that the state park system of the United States generates an average of around 792 million visitors throughout all the country’s parks. This amount of people visiting yearly is great, but it could also lead to more negative impacts towards nature. This was when Mr. Chris and Ms. Kat brought up the Leave no Trace program. This program educates about improving their outdoor ethics, outdoor behaviors, and has made people more knowledgeable about minimum-impact practices. The main method of education was broken down into seven main principles:
- Plan ahead and prepare.
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
- Dispose of waste properly.
- Leave what you find.
- Minimize campfire impacts.
- Respect wildlife.
- Be considerate of other visitors.
The history of the Leave no Trace program dates back to the 1960’s, where it originated in backcountry and wilderness areas. In the 70’s, Federal Land Managers developed basic Leave No Trace concepts (the principles). At this time, the program was titled No Trace. Between the 80’s and 90’s, Federal Land Managers continued developing concepts with the support of the National Outdoor Leadership School. Around this time, the organization was established as Leave no Trace. By now, the organization has gained over 700 partners, and has trained around 35,000 volunteers to help spread awareness, and guide others to have a more positive impact on nature.
High Rock returned for another session on wednesday the 17th. This was session 4 and it was slightly different from the others that we were previously a part of. During this session Chris talked about many subjects that related to the conservation and preservation of parks, and Kat took over the second half to talk about effective planning of projects and the tactics that were used by the High Rock team in their own park. The reason I say this session was different is the fact that we didn’t do much hands-on work, which many of the kids found a little discouraging towards the end of the session and lost focus of the wider picture. While the focus of this session wasn’t to create a model, or figure out the environmental effects of bridges, I think what Chris and Kat were going for was to cover the more basic parts of project planning. The reason being was to prepare us for our upcoming projects, so that we could create effective plans and designs and come out with a complexe and thought out model in the end.
Chris started off the session by talking about some efforts that keep our parks clean. One of the more encompassing efforts was Leave No Trace (LNT) in which Chris talked about the history of this organization, what it’s history was like, and what it is and does today. LNT started off as a grassroots idea in the 1960’s that originated in the backcountry and wilderness areas. This was the foundation for a more collective effort to evolve and turn into something greater years later. In the 1970’s federal land managers developed and listed the basic “Leave No Trace” principles, and the program was officially established. During the 1980’s and 1990’s federal land managers continued to work on the concepts of LNT, and in the 1990’s Leave No Trace became its own organization. And now we come to the present day, where LNT is 35,000 volunteers strong and is partnered with over 700 other organizations and communities. Recently, LNT has turned 25 and has accomplished many great things, as stated in a blog post on lnt.org by Susy Alkaitis
“In 25 years, Leave No Trace has evolved into an organization that, with boldness and intention, provides cutting-edge, research-based critical education and programs for people in all outdoor environments. It has transformed into a conservation ethic empowering every person, individually, to build a personal framework that is unique to them. This—the Leave No Trace spirit of personal engagement—is an incredibly powerful facet of the conservation movement.”
During the Second half of the session, Kat took over and talked about the different planning techniques that the High Rock team uses. The main focus was on a system called a Work Breakdown Structure. With a WBS, you create steps on a project and then populate each step with more specific steps to create a detailed structure. At the end of it, you create a system of steps that act as groups, and you move from one group to another. This system is particularly useful because it allows the creator to specify details such as the following things,
• Detailed planning can be performed.
• Costs and budgets can be established. Objectives can be linked to available resources in a logical manner * Specific authority and responsibility can be assigned.
• Breaks the project into a series of hierarchical tasks.
• Framework for the planning, scheduling, and cost control of the whole project.
• Provides structure to the planning and management and is throughout project management.
The participants of session 4 were asked to create one of these Work Breakdown Structures based around whatever activity they chose. Group 1 which included Me, Amelia Velez, and Adam Fatihi, decided to reference a previous High Rock session, 1 specifically, to create a structure on constructing a Rock Water Bar. We took into consideration all the tools we learned about in the previous sessions such as Grubbing tools (tools that deal with dirt) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We created a structure and made the steps and processes to the best of our abilities and used our current knowledge of what we thought constructing a real water bar would entail. In the end I think we created a very thorough and detailed structure and shared it with Kat and Chris during the group presentations.
Overall this was another great session, and made me realise that sometimes you have to go over the basics before going out and doing anything. Basically you have to learn how to walk before you can run. Going over the different structures and learning how to properly manage a project will no doubt be key in the future when we start creating and designing our projects. It was also great learning about Leave No Trace and their efforts to keep our parks clean and preserve them for future generations. I had a great time learning about all these subjects, and as always I look forward to the next High Rock session.