Monday, October 02, 2006


Bordeaux Mountain Overlook

Last week, Ken and Susanna had the pleasure of working with Ryan Polk, an Archivist from the Atlanta Regional Office. Ryan spent the entire week surveying and identifying the archives of the Virgin Islands National Park. It was a huge job as federal employees must maintian and save any documents related to their work at the park. Seeing as though the VINP is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, there is a half century of records filed away in offices, storage facilities, trailers and buildings. In addition, the tropical climate wreaks havoc on the old paper documents and sometimes it seemed as though Ryan's job could have been featured on Mike Rowe's "Dirtiest Jobs." Fortunatly, Ryan was able to have a short tour of the park along the Northshore and then back to town via Centerline Road, where we stopped and took a photograph of the famed Bordeaux Mountain Overlook.

Ryan Polk, Regional Archivist

Ryan and Susanna met with many individuals from the different divisions within the park. Here's Ryan working on the files at maintenance, which contain many maps and park plans, project reports, equipment data and all the documents that keep the Roads and Trails, Buildings, Signs, Water, Waste, Carpentry, Boat Mechanics and Vehicles running.

Ryan returned to Atlanta with all the information and will put together an Archive Plan for the park. Then it will be time to decide which files stay permanently with the park, which go to NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) and which files can be shredded. In addition to surveying all the archives, Susanna had the opportunity to see what was in other divisions.

(Genti Bay Ruins Eroding)
Finally, on Friday afternoon, Ken, Susanna and Ryan went out on the boat to collect some photographic documentation of the Genti Bay Ruins for ASMIS (Archeological Sites Management Information System) It was a great chance for Ryan to see the real thing - Reef Bay, Genti, Lameshure, Coral Reef Monument - all of which were mentioned in the archives. Along with finding intact ruins, they also found that some of the Genti Bay Ruins were eroding from the beach. In addition, evidence of a prehistoric settlement was documented. All in all, a very productive week.

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