August 8, 2018 | This summer has been particularly busy for Alec Pratt, a Stewards member with the NPS Historic Preservation & Training Center serving at Gettysburg National Military Park. The park comprises of six thousand acres of battlefield and buildings that were fought over during July 1863. Each building requires maintenance and condition assessments on a recurring basis, and that is where Alec stepped in.
“My main project was working with Angel DeJesus (Facility Management Systems Administrator/Environmental Management System Manager), who oversees the parks asset databases, to complete condition and inventory assessments on all 123 structures in the park. The structures range from large historic mansions to small outbuildings and are in various conditions of repair,” explained Alec.
Angel couldn’t be more thrilled with Alec’s effort this summer, explaining that Alec’s engineering and computer background afforded him an eye for detail and a skillset to work effectively with the park’s databases.
“Working with Alec has made for such a rewarding and fulfilling summer! We got to know each other well by working side-by-side on these projects,” said Angel. “Through our mentorship and this experience, Alec will no doubt return to college with a deeper understanding of working with historic structures and how to be good steward of our national park.”
Alec is grateful for his time at the Gettysburg National Military Park and said the staff made for a seamless transition onto the team. The knowledgeable and helpful staff allowed him to jump in head first to data collection and database research. But, overall, Alec is thankful for the opportunity to work in his hometown and to get a different perspective on the park that he has frequented throughout the years.
“Growing up as a resident of Gettysburg, I used the battlefield to run, watch the sunset, and relax. As a Steward, I have been experiencing my town in a brand new light,” he said. “I’ve entered and inventoried restricted buildings, like General Meade’s Headquarters, and found monuments that are hidden deep in the woods that most people don’t know about. Outside of seeing more of my town, I found my work engaging because every day brought something new. Even if I spent a week assessing barns and houses, each property was distinct, both in physical assets and the property itself. Knowing I would be working in the field made me excited to get up early and start the day.”