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Contact: Darren Boch, 973-523-2630
Paterson youth to go on national park adventure that will take them to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and white-water rafting.
Paterson, NJ – The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) are teaming up to send nearly 40 Paterson youth down south on a trip that will take them to two national parks and white-water rafting. The students are from the Great Falls Youth Corps and sophomores and juniors from Paterson’s public and private schools. They, along with their chaperones and a park ranger, will be departing the morning of June 26 and returning Friday, June 28.
“Of course the Great Falls is our favorite national park right here in our own backyard,” said Darren Boch, park superintendent of the Paterson Great Falls NHP. “But I think it’s important for the youth of this city to be exposed to the many natural and historic wonders outside of Paterson. We want them to become the future stewards of America’s most special places, and the best way to do that is to have them experience their national parks up close and personal.”
The three-day, two-night trip will take the students to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, a restored 19th-century industrial village that offers many opportunities for youth to experience history and science. Harpers Ferry witnessed the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States.
On the second day of the trip, the youth will go white-water rafting on a stretch of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers that meet in Harpers Ferry. Their trip will conclude Friday with a trip back in time to the 1870s as they ride boats down a canal pulled by mules at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which has its own ‘Great Falls.’
Robert F. Guarasci, the chief executive officer of the NJCDC, said “We are pleased to continue the Great Falls Youth Corps this summer. This trip to Harper’s Ferry will enable Paterson students to travel to another region and see an important national park up close. NJCDC is grateful for our close working relationship with the National Park Service.”
The Great Falls Youth Corps is now in its third year and is the result of a partnership between the NJCDC and the National Park Service. The 15 members of the youth corps going on the trip will be joined by 22 Paterson high school students who were selected by the principals and teachers of their respective schools.