Preserving the past to protect the future
The National Park Service celebrated its centennial in August 2016, and Patricia Sacks has been an integral part of it for a full third of those 100 years. The National Park Service cares for a network of 417 natural, cultural, and recreational sites across the nation, a legacy that deserves to be protected and revered. The organization also helps communities across the nation preserve and enhance important local heritage and recreational opportunities. Among her duties as a landscape architect, Sacks facilitates value analysis studies. Recently, at Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston National Historical Park, with National Park Service staff, U.S. Navy personnel, and City of Boston waterfront planners, her team explored repair and use options for Pier 2, currently the oldest wooden pier in Boston Harbor and a National Historic Landmark. Sacks is part of a long tradition of landscape architect leadership in the National Park Service; in fact, the American Society of Landscape Architects advocated for the organization’s creation in 1916. Then and now, experts like Sacks work to execute the service's mission “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations" – a very delicate balance. “My National Park Service career in stewardship has focused on enabling access and engagement to inspire in visitors the desire to preserve and protect our national park system in perpetuity,” Sacks said. Banner image: Posing for a photo on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean while working on Shuttle Stops at Point Reyes National Seashore.