Mt. Philo State Park

Hikers enjoy a late fall day at Mt. Philo State Park in Charlotte.

Vermont Parks Forever has completed its 8th season of funding a student internship at Mt. Philo State Park, the oldest state park in Vermont.

The program memorializes Will Hagedorn of Charlotte who grew up hiking and sledding on Mt. Philo. During college he worked at Mt. Philo State Park as an intern, a job he loved. Will died unexpectedly in 2013 at 24.

In Hagedorn’s memory, his family created the William Cameron Hagedorn Mt. Philo Forever Fund at Vermont Parks Forever. Supported by family, friends and donors, the fund offers an opportunity every year for a young person to connect with nature, practice environmental stewardship, develop teamwork and collaboration skills and experience working with the public.

Like Hagedorn, this year’s intern, Jonan Story, grew up hiking and sledding on the mountain before joining park staff to learn public service and land management this summer.

“Jonan has been a huge asset,” park manager Nathanael Hancock said. “This internship is imperative to our work here at Mt. Philo State Park.”

Each year, former interns return as staff, signifying the success of this annual internship.

“The unique opportunities that interns receive goes beyond fostering independence and a love for serving our community,” said Colleen Metzler, Mt. Philo’s assistant park manager. “They learn leadership skills from previous interns that return each year. The internship program instills pride and hard work in our interns that translates to long term success as park attendants year after year.”

Multiple interns returned in both 2021 and 2022 to work as park staff.

“We are honored to provide this internship in Will’s memory each summer and foster a lifelong commitment to the environment in local students,” Vermont Parks Forever executive director Sarah Alberghini Winters said.

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