Located at the crossroads of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, Harpers Ferry is a paradise for history and fishing buffs. Not surprisingly, the area’s landmarks naturally bring in a lot of outdoorsy and military families. So, the National Park Service decided it was time they gave back to their community of heroes. The service teamed up with the National Park Trust, Our Military Kids, Trout Unlimited, and KBP Foods this past weekend. Together, these organizations provided military youths “with access to recreational fishing opportunities and resources to enjoy together.”
“We are thrilled to be working with strong community partners to bring the sport of fishing to our incredible Our Military Kids alumni and their military parents!” said Kara Dallman, retired U.S. Navy Veteran and Executive Director of Our Military Kids. “These families have served and sacrificed, and this day is about relaxing, enjoying, and soaking in the beauty of one of many national parks.”
The program allotted its participants fishing gear and licenses in order to cast a line into the Shenandoah River. The NPS also arranged a fishing demonstration by Trout Unlimited representatives for top-notch techniques.
Of course, the Trout Unlimited staff was more than happy to participate in the charitable event.
“This event presented the perfect outdoor recreational opportunity for Trout Unlimited’s Service Partnership Program to show our gratitude to those who give selflessly for the nation,” said Eric Gregory, Northern Virginia Chapter Service Partnership Coordinator for Trout Unlimited.
NPS Rangers Join Fishing Program for Military Families at Harpers Ferry
The fun for these well-deserving families didn’t just end with riverside fishing. According to the NPS, a few rangers even provided their own program. Following some fishing activities, the rangers explained the role of the park in our nation’s history. During the program, military families could tour Harpers Ferry’s museums and exhibits. They even got to enjoy an energizing breakfast that KBP Foods donated during the festivities.
“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate and connect our military families with opportunities to recreate in and enjoy their national park,” said Harpers Ferry NHP superintendent Tyrone Brandyburg. “This is one small way to thank them for their service.”
The cherry on top of the whole experience was the fact that the families received their Annual Interagency Military Pass. This provides them with one year’s access to more than 2,000 federal recreational sites, including all National Park Service sites.
“Teaching each family how to fish and then providing families with fishing equipment that they can take with them will allow participants to continue enjoying this sport and create more family memories in the great outdoors,” shared Grace Lee, National Park Trust executive director.