Harrybrooke Park & Harden House Museum in New Milford has established the Elizabeth Harden Leadership Program.

Elizabeth and Frank Harden left the park the people of New Milford. While they had no children of their own, they loved having children visit their estate back in the 1950-60s.

"In honor of Mrs. Harden's love for children, we have launched a program to help kids understand the importance of volunteer support and to teach how non-profit organizations survive,” said Harrybrooke's Executive Director Billy Buckbee.

The volunteer program is open to high school-aged students from New Milford and surrounding towns.

"Mrs. Harden helped and loved children and we believe the park delivers her message every day,” Buckbee said.

“We wanted to go even further and help these kids as they become young adults,” he said. “This program teaches all aspects of the non-profit life from the grounds, to the garden cultivation to museum curating and even to event planning.”

Buckbee said the program aims to offer “students the chance to learn the history and importance of this park so that the next generation can help keep her open."

The program is flexible in hours and opportunity.

"Not every student will want to do grounds-keeping, and others may thrive there,” Buckbee said. “It's great exposure to all that we do here, and helps them understand that it takes many types of people to cultivate a park such as this.”

Buckbee said nearly 10,000 hours of volunteer support keeps the park open and we accept new volunteers at any time.”

For more information, call 860-799-6520 or email harrybrookpark65@gmail.com.