Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Thursday

I was in the office a lot again today, but I did have some relief.  I was the field supervisor today in addition to my normal duties because my coworker was off today.  The majority of the staff worked on a small prescribed burn though, so I really didn't have to do much.  I talked to everyone in the morning and they went their separate ways to prepare for the day.  The only people not burning were stationed in the Ranger Station, working on clean-up, or taking care of completing mandatory trainings.  I plugged away at my office work, hoping that I would be able to go out to watch a little of the burn.
I had a lot to do in the office, and more things kept coming up throughout the day.  I processed some paperwork to get a fuel card PIN number for an employee.  I did some more paperwork for a new hire to make sure that the funds to pay this person were coming from the right budget.  I set up another appointment to get another estimate on floor cleaning.  I did a few more steps to prepare for a new ADA compliance tracking database.  I responded to a few calls and questions from the field.  I sent and answered at least a dozen e-mails.  It all kept me busy until well past my lunch time.  I did get to step outside for a minute or two in the morning.  I couldn't get out into the park, but nature came to our doorstep.  One of my coworkers noticed a perfect little spiderweb that had caught the sunlight just right.  She pointed it out to me and I agreed that it was photo-worthy.  This little Orchard Orb Weaver was one of many spiders utilizing the railing on our porch to provide a structure to build their webs.  Its funny, the Park Ranger in me took the time to admire the spiders and educate those around me.  Then the Assistant Park Manager in me wanted to clear the spiderwebs from the front of our Administrative Office.  The Park Ranger won today... the webs are still there.

When I was finally able to break for lunch, I stopped home long enough to make myself a bite to eat and quickly scarf it down.  I was determined to make it out to the burn zone before they were done.  The prescribed fire today was at the youth camp area.  The majority of the larger zones around the youth camp have been burned in the past month or two.  Today, they burned the small islands between the buildings and pathways throughout the camp.  The islands are not part of larger zones, but they do get built up with pine needles, debris, and woody growth.  Fire keeps the area nice and open and protects the buildings in case of unintentional fire.

The burn today was a nice, small one.  They were able to burn each plot and mop it up right away, the fire was extinguished before they moved on to the next one.  Thursday is the end of our work week, so they had to be done on time because there is no opportunity to make up for time that they might stay late.  By mopping up each section before moving on, they were able to stop when they needed to.  They were able to get a lot done today and even finished up with one slightly larger section.

While I was walking around to see their completed areas, I got called away to meet with a county inspector.  She wanted to see how we were storing and disposing of hazardous wastes like light bulbs and used oil.  We did just fine on the inspection and the inspector gave us some helpful hints to improve even more.  She also gave me some ideas on disposing of items that we would like to recycle, but haven't yet found a facility that will do so.  After parting with her, I headed back to the office.  I was given another assignment while I was there that I am looking forward to.  We are looking into replacing the bridge that divides the spring swimming area from the lagoon that leads to the river.  The bridge is beautiful, but it is showing its age and it is not compliant with ADA standards.  I am working on drawing up a proposal to request funding for a new bridge.  I did a bit of research online and requested a quick quote to start thinking about numbers.  I also took a walk down to the existing bridge to take some photos for reference.  I really like the old bridge, but I see where it needs improvement.  I hope that our replacement will be aesthetically pleasing while meeting out safety, functionality and ADA goals.

Thought of the Day #35
If you are not familiar with the acronym, ADA, it stands for Americans with Disabilities Act.  It is law that was put into place in 1990 to ensure that people of all abilities have the same opportunities available to them.  The Florida State Parks have been making an admirable effort in the past years to make sure that the parks are compliant with ADA standards.  This has been a huge endeavor to check picnic areas, pathways, restrooms, and buildings to make sure that we are in compliance.  It also has been challenging to make the changes necessary on our limited budgets.  We are making tremendous progress though and slowly, but surely finding ways to serve all of our visitors.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

This afternoon I noticed about 3-4 Orchard Orb Weavers right outside my front door! I'm glad I saw your post yesterday, or I would have just seen 3-4 "small-ish spiders". Thanks for the info.