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Harpers Ferry Names January Volunteer of the Month

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

National Park News

Vanessa Smiley has worn many different hats at Harpers Ferry NHP; as a seasonal ranger with the park’s living history and education programs, a student intern and as a visitor use assistant. Since 2005 and her work with the Youth Conservation Corps, Vanessa had grown accustomed to conveying the park’s history and significance to visitors through interpretation, living history, and education programs.


In late November, Vanessa began working with Steve Lowe, the park’s Landscape Architect, as a landscape architect intern. Since then, Vanessa has turned out some excellent products: a 150-page park wayside guide including information on inventory, maintenance, planning, flood removal and installation; plant identification binders for over 150 native and exotic plant species; and construction designs of "standard park pipe gates."

Vanessa has been a tremendous asset to the park, Lowe comments, "she is naturally savvy with photography, drawing programs, drafting skills and document organization. She is quick to grasp design concepts, is not afraid to ask questions, desires to produce the best products she can, is extremely hard working and a pleasure to supervise."


Vanessa would love to become a future permanent full time employee with the National Park Service, however, she realizes those jobs are hard to come by, so she continues her graduate work on-line pursuing a Master of Science in Resource Interpretation from Stephen F. Austin University.


In spring 2009, Vanessa will finish out her experience at Harpers Ferry NHP, then move on to the C & O Canal National Historical Park



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