Reading a Site
DELAWARE WATER GAP WORKSHOP
As a leader of RISD’s 2017 Alternative Spring Break, our goal was to introduce RISD students to a range of volunteering opportunities centered on environmental conservation and activism, at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. I was responsible for the direct service component, which included reaching out and working with all of our partners, facilitating the workshops and reflecting with the students on the experience.
On site we workshopped for 30 hours over the course of a week to address identified needs for the National Park Service at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The projects specifically centered around designing spaces and experiences with the park’s historic properties, proposing an Art Trail at Peter’s Valley School of Craft and a cabin retrofit at Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) which are all located within the park.
Each team of 7 worked with a liaison, employing design thinking and inter-departmental collaboration to address a mitigation strategy. At the end of our ideation period, we presented new strategies developed through the design process. Delaware Water Gap was extremely impressed with our work, and offered to host one our participants to keep working on the proposals.
As an ASB leader I learned how to facilitate a design workshop with community partners, and through my project how to read a site and the importance of adaptability.
On site I lead the group that worked directly with the National Park
Service creating a mitigation strategy for the 703 historical structures
in the park, focusing on a derelict farm. Tying in the interpretive themes
and visitors experience in the park’s Interpretation Master Plan, the team
created a “Frame of Reference” solution that encouraged learning
and participation in the benign neglect in the park.
big thanks to my co-leader Emma Werowinski for an incredible week!