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Volunteers are the foundation of Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (DLNHC). Without them, we wouldn’t be able to make meaningful community connections! That’s why, in this month’s newsletter, we’ll highlight multiple volunteers that commit their time and efforts to help different aspects of our volunteer program.
Let’s begin with Jennifer Trumbore, a volunteer who helps keep the D&L Trail connected! Jennifer has volunteered with the organization for five years. She mainly volunteers through the Trail Patrol program, a program that helps monitor the D&L Trail and provide information to other trail users.
When time is willing, she enjoys helping with other trail-related projects. In fact, one of her favorite volunteer memories was volunteering for the D&L Heritage Half Marathon. Jennifer and her friend volunteered to help mark the course the day before the race. They found it exciting because they “got to drive on the D&L Trail in a truck,” which is something a Trail Patroller would usually find concerning! They also stopped at Diggity Dogs & More, a D&L Trail Friendly Business, for breakfast sandwiches. It’s now become a regular stop for them when they’re in the area.
Jennifer loves walking, biking, and gardening. She and her family frequently make homemade strawberry jam with their own crops! Her love of the outdoors is what led her to volunteer with DLNHC. She started by joining our Get Your Tail on the Trail program, a health and wellness initiative that encourages people to get active outdoors. She figured, “I’m on the Trail already” might as well volunteer while enjoying nature! Eventually, she and her friend, Bob Fritz, were able to get trained as D&L Trail Patrollers. They still patrol the trail together today. She volunteers to help people feel welcome and comfortable on the trail and wants everyone to have a good experience, just as she has. If you see Jennifer out on the Trail, say “Hi!” She loves meeting new people.
Our next volunteer highlight is Savannah Saugier, who helps with our collections by sorting and inventorying materials in our archives facility. Savannah has become a well-known volunteer at our offices. We see her in the archives on a weekly basis! It’s no surprise as she went to college as a history major and is a self-proclaimed “history nerd.” Many of us at DLNHC are as well!
Our time with Savannah is partially thanks to her dad, who helped her research local museums after she graduated from college. The National Canal Museum was included in his list, and Savannah was instantly intrigued by the location as it’s not too far from her home in Allentown. When she came to visit, she loved Hugh Moore Park, the canal boat ride we offer, and of course our beloved mules, Hank and George. Volunteering for our organization brought her love of history to life and sparked a feeling of adventure because you never know what awaits you at Hugh Moore Park.
Coincidentally, one of her favorite memories of volunteering for our organization was at one of our Volunteer Appreciation events at Hugh Moore Park. We built a bonfire for smores and played an icebreaker game so everyone could get to know each other. It’s one of Savannah’s favorite memories because it made her feel included.
Our final volunteer highlight is John Rohal, who has become integral to the Museum and Education team. John dedicates his time helping at the National Canal Museum and with our Educational Programming throughout the year. John has always had an interest in history. His parents used to take him on historical trips as a child, which is where his spark ignited. One of his favorite historical sites to visit is Gettysburg, as he has a special interest in Civil War history. Other interests include industrial history and, not surprisingly, the operation of the canal. One of his favorite resources to learn more about US American Industrial History is Geography, Geology, and Genius written by our very own, Martha Capwell Fox.
Growing up in Bethlehem, John still remembers playing on the canal towpath as a kid, and he likes spreading that awareness to kids that visit the Museum today. As a coach throughout the years, John is used to guiding kids as they learn new things. He also has his own grandchildren to keep him busy! All of them are starting to get into sports like soccer, baseball, and even gymnastics.
His knowledge of history and patience with children makes him a great Educator during our educational field trips and Kids on the Canal Saturday
’s. John’s favorite thing about volunteering is getting to work with and meet new people. Everyone has knowledge to share, and John enjoys sharing his own knowledge as much as listening to others.
We’re happy to have such friendly and knowledgeable people to help with our volunteer efforts. We couldn’t continue our work on the D&L Trail, at the National Canal Museum, or our collections without all their help and expertise.
Thank You to all who contribute their time and efforts to helping our mission each month.
If you have a DLNHC volunteer story you’d like to share, please reach out to Anna at [email protected].