NCPTT recently partnered with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation to host a roundtable to discuss creation of a historic landscape preservation maintenance curriculum. Held at the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, Md., the meeting focused on identifying unmet training needs in the field of historic landscape preservation maintenance.
Lively discussion among the 15 invited NPS and non-NPS historic site managers, grounds supervisors, cultural resource managers, landscape architects, and horticulturalists resulted in the first steps toward understanding and identifying the unmet training needs of field staff responsible for the day-to-day preservation of the nation’s most significant historic landscapes.
Participants identified training subjects unique to historic landscape preservation maintenance and discussed a variety of training delivery methods including face-to face, internet, video, and publications. All agreed that reaching field staff and engaging them in the trainings was a necessary component of any proposed curriculum.
The group discussed a number of curriculum options, including a certificate program and/or a program that mirrored the National Park Service’s Preservation and Skills Training (PAST) program, administered by the Historic Preservation Training Center in Fredericksburg, Md. Participants also discussed the development of a flexible curriculum that would allow individuals to complete an entire training program that also allowing others to pick classes of interest à-la-cart.
Next steps include identifying existing landscape preservation maintenance training resources, locating additional landscape preservation resources that can be adapted for field staff training, and development of a core curriculum.
Among the historic sites represented at the meeting were Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia, Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C., Gari Melchers Home and Studio in Virginia, and Prospect Park in New York. National Park sites and programs included Mount Rainier National Park, George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Adams National Historical Park and Hampton National Historic Site and the Historic Preservation Training Center.
Partner support is essential to the success of the proposed curriculum. As work on the curriculum develops, we will be looking to involve more organizations and historic sites.
To learn more and hear from workshop participants, check out the podcast recorded during the roundtable.