I am Hilary Grabowska, a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador for the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Monocacy National Battlefield, C&O Canal National Historical Park and Catoctin Mountain Park.


On Friday, August 28, a group of employees from National Geographic met park staff at the Great Falls Tavern visitor center of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. They were not skipping work nor were they required to be there. Instead, these dedicated volunteers decided to put their Green Friday to good use.

IMG_5273

Photo: Hilary Grabowska

In recent years, National Geographic has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and one way that it has done that is to implement Green Fridays. The week of a Green Friday, employees work extra hours Monday-Thursday and on Friday, no one comes into the office. Without any people there, no one is commuting into work and the facilities in the building are not needed for three days so lights, computers and other electrical systems are shut down. Green Fridays save National Geographic 15,000 kilowatt hours and $21,000 in energy. This means, that the employees do not necessarily have to work on their Green Fridays.

But, these eight volunteers decided to put their time off to good use by helping the C&O Canal National Historical Park and the C&O Canal Association to beatify and maintain the railings on the bridges out to the Great Falls overlook. These bridges are the only way to get to the very popular overlook and the railings were in desperate need of a paint job. So, these volunteer rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Between 9am and 12pm, they painted 200ft worth of railing. Their efforts greatly helped the park keep up with maintenance of a popular trail and helped the Association complete a huge part of their volunteer project.

IMG_5274

Photo: Hilary Grabowska

Thank you Nat Geo volunteers and good job!


The C&O Canal Association is a volunteer-led organization that helps to conserve the natural and historical environment of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.