Becoming Trail Stewards:  Preserving and Making History on the Star-Spangled Banner Trail

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The goal of the Trail Stewards program is to empower local communities to become the caretakers of the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The Star-Spangled Banner Trail is approximately 560 miles long and can be found on both land and water. Being steward along this multi-state trail can mean many things, from participating in a clean-up of a local historic park or stream, to creating audio or video tours of your neighborhood's Star-Spangled history for others to use to explore long-ago events.School groups especially have a pivotal role to play in this effort.School projects in which students research, retell and interpret the historical events in their community are at the heart of the Trail Stewards Network.

This resource guide will provide an introduction to the concepts of place-based and project-based learning which are the backbone of any hands-on learning experience.Information to assist teachers and administrators in understanding and justifying getting students out of the classroom to experience local history for themselves is also included.A project-based learning module on the War of 1812 was created by the Star-Spangled Banner Trail's 2013 Teacher-Ranger-Teachers can be used a model for the creation of community specific project or can be used to explore the War of 1812 with any group of students.

Additional Resources

NPS staff is also available to help teachers identify projects and community partners who want to be involved in a Trail Stewards project. Please feel free to contact us at 410-260-2488. Our additional website for more information is and the War of 1812 Virtual Resource Center for students and teachers can be accessed at


Education, Environment, Historic Preservation, Language Arts, Military and Wartime History, War of 1812
National/State Standards:
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
•CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.17 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information to address a question or solve a problem.
•CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH. 9 Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary