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.

Fourth graders were picked to be the group for Every Kid in a Park because they are at a perfect age to connect to nature. They are also some of the most enthusiastic, dedicated and creative volunteers. After weeks of planning, 62 fourth graders from Shepherdstown Elementary School arrived at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for a field trip.


Photo: Hilary Grabowska

These students and their teachers went above and beyond the normal field trip. In addition to going on an educational program, the students also completed three volunteer projects. The first project they worked on was cleaning the waysides in the Lower Town of the park. We expected that the groups of students would be able to clean one or two waysides. Instead, these students were so excited to clean, that they ended up cleaning five or more! At that pace, we didn’t have enough outdoor exhibits for all of the students. They cleaned over 50 waysides in Lower Town, some were even cleaned twice!


Photo: Hilary Grabowska

When they weren’t learning park history or cleaning waysides, the students were working on two videos: a Find Your Park video and a BioBlitz Dance video. The BioBlitz is a 24 hour period in which scientists and citizen scientists gather to count all the species in a park. The BioBlitz Dance raises awareness about an upcoming BioBlitz and gets kids outside.


Photo: Hilary Grabowska

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park thanks the fourth grade class of Shepherdstown Elementary School for their hard work and we invite you to watch their videos!

Find Your Park:

BioBlitz Dance:

Find Your Park Photobooth: