Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Cleaning and Custodial Services for the Main and South Interior Buildings
Our custodial services are provided under the terms of a “green” contract. The first of its kind in any federal facility, the contract requires the use of only the most environmentally-friendly products, chemicals, and methods. Overall, the results of this “green” contract include a marked improvement in indoor air quality (e.g., all vacuums are equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that collect 99.97 percent of all particulates; carpet cleaning now is done with a dry chemical product that does not promote the growth of bacteria and fungus as wet methods do) and a significant reduction in waste generated (both general and hazardous) as a result of custodial activities. Our contractor is a NISH-affiliated firm that employs disabled workers.
Generally speaking, most services related to the cleaning of offices (e.g., vacuuming, emptying trash, dusting, etc.) are provided by our custodial contractor during business hours. Much of the work in public spaces (e.g., the cleaning of rest rooms, sweeping and refinishing of corridor floors, the cleaning of garages, etc.) is accomplished during evening hours between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
The following is an overview of many of the services provided by our custodial contractor and the frequency for each service. The services provided by our custodial contractor are part of the basic services included as part of the rent paid for use of the space.
Executive space cleaning which includes dusting of all horizontal surfaces, cleaning glass desk tops, spot vacuuming or sweeping of carpeted areas where there is obvious dirt or debris, and spot cleaning carpet areas to remove stains.
Thorough cleaning of all public and private rest rooms and restocking paper products.
Emptying of waste containers in all public rest rooms, elevator lobbies, and kitchenettes.
Policing of all outdoor grounds, the South Interior Building parking lot, and all Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building garage ramps.
Maintaining the floors in all corridor areas.
Thorough cleaning of kitchenettes.
Machine scrub, damp mop and buff of main corridor on basement, 1st, 2nd and 6th floors.
Stripping, resealing and refinishing of corridor floors
When requested, large carts can be placed in the hallway near the requestor's office for the purpose of collecting trash or materials to be recycled.
As requested, special cleaning is done in vacant offices.
When requested, routine services can be provided on an unscheduled basis to maintain the occupant's workplace in good condition. As an example, we occasionally are asked to provide a special vacuuming service in rooms following special events.
When requested, carpet cleaning. This work is done during evening hours, and must be scheduled in advance. Occupant offices are responsible for removing furnishings from and returning them to the office.
General landscaping services are provided on an ongoing and as-needed basis by a GSA contractor. Services include trimming of grass, trees, bushes; leaf collection and removal; irrigation; and (for the South Interior Building) plantings for the flower beds. The GSA Horticulturist assists us, as needed, with the organic garden.
Pest-control services are provided by a GSA pest-control contractor using integrated pest-management (IPM) methods and materials. A representative from this firm normally provides service to our buildings each Monday.
Snow removal is provided by our custodial contractor. Snow-removal is accomplished according to a plan that was developed by the contractor and approved by the Building Manager's Office.
Recycling. Our custodial contractor is responsible for collecting materials from our centralized collection containers throughout our buildings.
All food, snacks, and sugar should be stored in a proper container to avoid infestation of pests.
Do not leave food wastes in the waste can in your office overnight. Please take these items to a waste container that is emptied on a daily basis (e.g., the waste containers in all rest rooms, elevator lobbies, and kitchenettes).
Please do not place waste cans in the corridors. Contact the Building Manager's Office if there is a recurring problem with picking-up trash before your normal duty hours.
Large items such as empty cardboard boxes can be placed in the hallway at the end of the workday and will be picked up by the custodial contractor in the evening. Mark such items as “trash” or “recycling” to ensure our staff knows it is to be picked up. (Refer to the Recycling Guide to determine whether a particular item can be recycled.)
Please report slippery spots or spills to the Building Manager's Office immediately. A delay here could result in someone slipping and, possibly, suffering an injury.
Requests for service or repairs or complaints should be forwarded to the OFAS service desk on (202) 208-2222, or you may come to room 1420, Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building. Please provide the requestor's name (i.e., the person to whom we can speak about the problem) and telephone number, and a brief description of the problem or service(s) needed.