Her friends, along with Zapf, drew her into the role of park volunteer. During special events she is often found grinding corn and making apple cider. In warm weather, she helps oversee the children's garden, where beans, carrots and potatoes are sown and grown.

"Kids get to see how their food grows on the farm," Shapiro said.

Cromwell Valley Park, on the north side of Cromwell Bridge Road about a mile east of Beltway Exit 29, is one of the county's "passive use" parks, meaning it has no athletic fields and is oriented toward nature programs. Its education center in the Willow Grove part of the park invites children to make gourd bird houses, tap maple trees, learn orienteering and even camp out overnight by a bonfire.

All this — including a fall festival that is even more crowded than the egg hunt — is possible through the work of those who donate their time, Rebetsky said.

"We depend very much on our volunteers," he said. "We always need more people, It's an ongoing push."

The egg hunt is organized strictly for the kids — no adults are allowed in the egg hunt area. The event is free and no reservations are required.

Times are set aside for different age groups — ages 3-4 at 10:30 a.m., ages 5-6 at 10:45 a.m., ages 7-8 at 11 a.m. and ages 9-10 at 11:15 a.m.

Even if a child's egg-finding skills are not sharp, candy-filled eggs are held in reserve and no child is completely disappointed.

"Everyone goes home with at least one egg," Rebetsky said.

If weather is questionable on egg hunt day, call the park office at 410-887-2503.