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Weir Farm Honors Bridgeport Intern With Park's First Young Steward Award

Weir Farm honored Tanner Burgdorf of Bridgeport, a natural resources intern, as well as Claire Tensa of Danbury and Josh Pfohl of Ridgefield, both youth ambassador interns. The awards were presented at the park in a ceremony on Sept. 22.
Weir Farm honored Tanner Burgdorf of Bridgeport, a natural resources intern, as well as Claire Tensa of Danbury and Josh Pfohl of Ridgefield, both youth ambassador interns. The awards were presented at the park in a ceremony on Sept. 22. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. — The Friends of Weir Farm awarded the first Young Stewards awards to three seasonal interns who worked at the national historic site this season.

Weir Farm’s Youth Internship Program exposes interns to a variety of National Park Service careers and hands-on experience by completing projects and working with park staff, partners and volunteers.

Awards were presented to the three interns in recognition of their accomplishments:

  • Tanner Burgdorf of Bridgeport, a natural resources intern
  • Josh Pfohl of Ridgefield, a youth ambassador intern
  • Claire Tensa of Danbury, a youth ambassador intern

"This award was established to provide recognition to interns at Weir Farm National Historic Site who have served so many roles during the 2017 season to help park visitors feel welcome and assist the park staff and volunteers in many meaningful ways" said Judy Wander, president of the Friends of Weir Farm NHS Board of Directors. "This new award was established to honor exceptional performance and we are pleased to have three outstanding interns to recognize this year."

Burgdorf was selected as the natural resources intern through a longstanding youth engagement partnership with Groundwork Bridgeport. He has played a key role in recruiting youth from Bridgeport to participate in service-learning projects at the park, including work projects on National Trails Day and National Public Lands Day. Additionally, he has taken on a project to inventory, photograph and map all the dry stone walls in the park.

With a new park partner, Conservation Legacy's Environmental Stewards, Weir Farm selected two Youth Ambassador Interns to increase outreach and engagement for the park. Both interns have risen through the ranks of the park's youth engagement ladder, having both previously served as park volunteers.

Pfohl conducted an assessment of the park's digital history offerings and developed a thorough report including recommendations for virtual engagement. His Strategic Plan for Digital Resources will be used to guide future park programs. His passion for national parks and public history, coupled with his personable attitude and energy, have enhanced visitor services at the park.

Tensa is a lifelong visitor and supporter of Weir Farm and has excelled as a park ambassador. She created a database for community outreach events and made recommendations about future outreach. She has built community support for the park through off-site events, social media, and on-site visitor services. He great attitude, expert knowledge, and dedication to Weir Farm have helped thousands of visitors and virtual visitors connect with and enjoy the park.

Friends of Weir Farm National Historic Site is an official not-for-profit partner for the park that works cooperatively with the National Park Service to promote and enhance Weir Farm National Historic Site. Click here for more information on the Friends.

Weir Farm National Historic Site was the home of Impressionist painter J. Alden Weir. The site commemorates and preserves the legacy of three generations of artists. Click here for more information on the national historic site.

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