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Historic Landcapes

NCPTT’s Historic Landscapes Program encourages research and partnerships to improve the technologies available to practitioners as they undertake the complex tasks of documenting, preserving, and interpreting historic landscapes significant to a wide variety of people and cultures.

Electronic Landscape Maintenance Plan

The Historic Landscapes Program is in the process of developing a web-based tool for planning and management of historic landscapes. Prototype development during FY-08 included initial database development on a portable touch screen computer. The database software will support disconnected data collection in the field with automatic synchronization when an internet connection is available.

Bibliolography of Online Historic Landscape Resources
The historic landscapes program has assembled links to 45 historic landscape resources (books, articles, government publications, etc.) that will be accessible through NCPTT’s website. All of the resources have been added to the social bookmarking tool Delicious. Once tagged, they will be easily searchable. The bibliography will benefit historic landscape professionals and students. While NCPTT staff will continually add to the bibliography, others in the historic landscapes field will be able to contribute resources as well.

Training and Outreach

Replacing Trees in Historic Landscapes Video
Planning is in place for a video that will demonstrate best practices for planting trees in a historic landscape. Two techniques will be highlighted: replanting an in-kind tree within the stump of a removed tree and planting a tree in an archeologically sensitive area. The video will be filmed De. 9-11, 2008, at the Magnolia Plantation slave quarters and will be made incooperation with the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

Cemetery Landscape Preservation Workshop

NCPTT conducted cemetery landscape preservation workshop Sept. 16-17, 2008 at American Cemetery in Natchitoches, La. Eighteen participants, including cemetery managers, maintenance personnel, educators and volunteers participated in the two-day workshop. Instruction focused on the preservation and care of historic cemetery vegetation. Topics included condition assessment of trees, proper pruning techniques, invasive plant removal, vegetation versus built features, and stump removal.

MAHR Program Presentation
Debbie Smith spoke to students in the Northwestern State University Masters of Heritage Resources program about historic cemetery vegetation. The presentation focused on the historic use of vegetation, determining a cemetery’s historic character, and the identification of invasive vegetation.

Historic Landscape Summer Intern
The Historic Landscapes Program hosted an intern during summer 2008. Michelle Rapp came to NCPTT from the Oklahoma State University’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. In addition to working on the Electronic Landscape Maintenance Plan, Rapp created a plan for a park in the Natchitoches Historic District.


Chalmette National Cemetery
Debbie Smith consulted with Paul Vitale, NPS maintenance foreman at Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, a unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The primary issue discussed was turf maintenance. Vitale would like to see research that answers the question: What is more destructive to the stones, mechanical damage from weed-wackers or chemical damage from herbicides?

Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery
Debbie Smith consulted with officials at the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery regarding a planting plan for the hatchery’s new Caddo Memorial Plaza. Dedicated on March 7, 2008, the memorial plaza commemorates a Caddo Indian village which originally stood at the site of the fish hatchery.

Lee Nelson Hall Landscape
NCPTT has contracted horticulturalist John Harris to maintain the Lee Nelson Hall Landscape. Harris routinely weeds, prunes, trims, mulches, and protects the plants from insects and diseases.

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119