Mini NPS Highlights: Sneak Peeks from the Field
Written by: Alex Wojciechowicz and Marty Olea
Alex is a Cannon Maintenance Member at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (CASA) in Saint Augustine, FL. Built by the Spanish, Castillo de San Marcos was built to to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route. Hear about Alex and fellow ACE member, Jamie’s experience serving at CASA!
“The Castillo de San Marcos has become a second home for Jamie and I (Alex) during our internship experience. We have taken part in conservation projects that benefit the parks national treasures and their exposure to the public. One of the main conservation projects we have completed was the preservation of 25 iron and 17 bronze cannons and mortars within the artillery collection at the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments. Other conservation projects completed include the preservation of several doors such as the Portcullis sliding door, the forts prison door, the forts Chapel door, and the old Sally Port door. At the Castillo, we also took part in the preservation of the forts outer walls and the city gates, which entailed vegetation removal to preserve the coquina blocks used to construct the fort in the late 1600s. Overall, this experience with ACE EPIC/NPS has been life changing and the professional experience gained through our internship will be carried with us throughout our lives. We are extremely grateful for this epic opportunity and we look forward to utilizing our skills gained to continue to conserve and preserve history.”
Marty is part of the Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP), a program dedicated to providing hands-on historic preservation trade skills to protect our nation’s cultural resources. Marty serves at Tumacácori National Historical Park (TUMA), a site in Arizona that brought together O’odham, Yaqui and Apache people with European Jesuits and Franciscan missionaries, settlers, and soldiers. Read the except below to learn more about Marty’s position with TUMA!
“My name is Marty Olea Jr, I started working here at Tumacácori National Historical Park in April of 2023 as a Traditional Trades Advancement Program member. I help contribute to various historic preservation projects here in Tumacácori National Historical Park and also helped out with a project in Saguaro National Park. One of the sites that I worked on here at the park was the granary. This was a 2 story building were all the dried goods were stored. and the room also had a section where seeds and grain for the following years crops were stored in clay jars. What me and the preservation crew worked on was removing the deteriorating plaster from the previous work as it was no longer holding up. We then capped it with new adobes and replastered the walls with a new lime coat to help preserve the walls for more years.”