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C&O Canal Trust Concludes Programming for 2023 with Five Events in November

The C&O Canal Trust is celebrating the conclusion of our yearly Canal For All and stewardship events for 2023. We ended this year with a bang, notably, with five final events this past month. In November, the Trust welcomed over 60 participants into the Park for various clean-up and outdoor education and recreational activities.

For those who have not yet explored one of our most visited national parks, Canal For All provides the opportunity to learn about how to safely access the Park while also learning about its history and natural resources.

Girls Who Hike at Great Falls Overlook by Trust Staff

Girls Who Hike on the Towpath by Trust Staff

At the beginning of the month, on a busy Saturday at Great Falls, seven participants with Girls Who Hike Virginia joined Trust staff for a 3.5 mile “beginner friendly” hike. They explored the River Trail, towpath and the Great Falls Overlook. This event is an example of what the Canal for All program offers to local community groups, with the goal to welcome folks that were new to hiking and wanted to become more comfortable with the outdoors.

With winter on the way, there was an emphasis on how to properly prepare for a cold weather hiking excursion. Although the temperature almost hit 70 degrees, everyone had a chance to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate before hitting the trail. One of Girls Who Hike’s official ambassadors, Patricia Pacheco, led a wonderful discussion about enjoying the outdoors safely in the cold. Patricia also gave us a peek into her hiking bag with the “10 essentials for a great hike”.

In addition to recreational opportunities, Canal For All also encourages participants to cultivate environmental responsibility. This past Veterans Day, 14 members of the American University chapter of PeaceJam met with Trust staff at Lock 3 in Georgetown to participate in a trash clean-up project. This group has been a long-time partner of the Canal for All Program and enthusiastically looks forward to our annual clean-ups. The group collected approximately 150 pounds of trash and cleaned multiple NPS signs. PeaceJam used pond skimming nets to collect trash and leaves out of the canal.

PeaceJam Volunteers Clean up Lock 3 by PeaceJam

Home Depot Volunteers Painting Picnic Tables by Trust Staff

Home Depot Volunteer Paints a Grill by Trust Staff

Home Depot Volunteers Rake Leaves by Trust Staff

The Trust welcomed several corporate groups this month for various beautification projects including Hagerstown Home Depot, Brunswick Appalachian Trail community, and World Bank. In early November, ten volunteers with Hagerstown Home Depot painted seven picnic tables and seven grills, spread 1,000 pounds of paver base, removed 150 pounds of trash, and raked leaves at Little Tonoloway. The section of the towpath that passes through Weverton is extremely popular and considered a high- use area. The Brunswick Appalachian Trail Community removed 100 pounds of trash. This was the third event held there this fall to remove trash.

Brunswick Appalachian Trail Community Removes Trash at Weverton by Trust Staff

Brunswick Appalachian Trail Community Volunteers at Weverton by Trust Staff

World Bank Volunteers Paint Fence at Pennyfield by Trust Staff

On November 15, as part of their company-wide Community Connections Campaign, twenty volunteers with the World Bank painted 2,600 feet of white fence at Pennyfield. They also toured Lockhouse 22, marveling at the interpretation of an 1830s-era lockkeeper’s house and the workings of the lock itself. Some of the volunteers were familiar with the canal at Pennyfield, but for others, this was a first-time visit to the Park. Events such as these support the Park, expand accessibility to the lockhouses, and provide meaningful experiences for community members.

Time spent in National Parks enriches the lives of visitors, and in turn, visitors ensure that national park treasures are protected for future generations. We are so incredibly grateful for your support. Thank you for making a difference every day in the livelihood of our beloved C&O Canal. The C&O Canal Trust’s volunteer service and Canal For All programs are made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Make a gift today to support these important programs.