Sometimes, archaeologists can prevent ruins. Yes, I said prevent, not preserve. Camp Naco is teaching me life lessons about just how hard it can be to prevent ruins.
After working with a devoted team of ruin preventers for the past eight years, it is time to start counting successes. Camp Naco will soon be declared “asbestos free” as a $400,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant is completed. My field trip on August 8 revealed that five buildings are now stabilized. Three more are almost there. One yields optimism. And one remains at the mercy of the elements due to a lack of funds.
There is a lot of good news regarding Ruin Prevention in the previous paragraph. Nevertheless, I am obsessed with the Camp Naco building that “yields optimism.” That building is teetering between stabilization and ruin. Even though we just reached the target of $7,500 for our “Roof Camp Naco” effort, I am compelled to initiate another $7,500 campaign to save the officer’s quarter, building C2. If we quit now, we push this building toward ruin.
Because of all the progress that has been made this summer, C2 has become even more important for the future. It is our priority place to restore to residential use. And getting a residential presence re-established at Camp Naco is really the key to long-term success.
So, stubborn optimism (you know me!) forces me to launch round 2 of the effort to prevent new ruins at Camp Naco. Already, we are nearly $1,800 toward our new target of stabilizing C2, but your help is needed to move us forward.