|Trail running through lush green provides|
much food for thought
Because of those months working on a removal crew, my eyes have been trained to spot the non-native plants (well, and those native plants that cause massive rashes... a lesson learned with a heavy dose of calamine lotion). I learned through my colleagues and research about the negative impacts of exotic, invasive plants. I went on to lead a number of education programs to school groups about the importance of biodiversity.
Now, back to my "running thoughts..."
|At first glance, it is a lot of green. A more extensive|
examination might reveal a heathy ecosystem (or not).
Since my brain is wired the way it is, I always appear to come back to the idea of interpretation and the public. And since my background is heavily in history, I wondered about those same ideas with the overlay of history. Think of those exotic plants as myth or legend or a poor movie presentation of a historical event. Maybe they are pretty. Maybe they smell good. But in reality, those myths or legends interfere with a more accurate understanding of the past. And how about the irritating native plants, like poison ivy? It isn't "bad." But it surely is uncomfortable. I don't care what era of history you study, you are aware of uncomfortable parts that our gut reaction is to remove or just avoid.
|An irritating native plant, poison ivy|
I will again continue that thought into history and interpretation, how do interpreters (or historians... or both) encourage a better understanding of history? On case-by-case basis, interpreters interact with visitors and can maybe instill some thoughts to encourage alternate thinking (remove a myth, for example, or inspire a new idea). But how can a broader historical understanding be encouraged? Is there a mass-approach method to encourage these types of thought?
I know this is a question that has been deliberated by many for a long time.