William O. Douglas Society

Carrying the vision of Justice Douglas into the future

Justice William O. Douglas

“The stretch of 185 miles of country from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD is one of the most fascinating and picturesque in the Nation…It is a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet and peace… a wilderness area where we can commune with God and nature, a place not yet marred by the roar of wheels and the sound of horns.” — Justice William O. Douglas in The Washington Post

The William O. Douglas Society is a circle of leadership donors whose generous investment in the mission of the C&O Canal Trust significantly impacts the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) that we enjoy today and the one we will preserve for future generations.

Named in honor of the Supreme Court Justice who, in 1954, helped save the C&O Canal from being paved to create a highway, the William O. Douglas Society recognizes those with the means and vision to give substantial support for our work to preserve and protect a national park where people of all backgrounds come together for rest, recreation, and exercise. It is also where we teach our children to become the public lands stewards of tomorrow, and where our region’s history and ecological heritage are preserved and protected.

As the keystone organization in the bridge between private citizens and the Park, the C&O Canal Trust provides the ways and means for all those who love and use the C&O Canal to contribute directly – through philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy – to the preservation of the Park, conservation of its unique natural assets, and educational and interpretive programming.

There are seven levels of giving within the William O. Douglas Society:

  • Canal Visionary – $50,000+
  • Canal Patron – $25,000-$49,999
  • Canal Steward – $15,000-$24,999
  • Canal Sustainer — $10,000 – $14,999
  • Canal Explorer — $5,000 – $9,999
  • Canal Traveler — $2,500 – $4,999
  • Canal Preserver — $1,000 – $2,499

Recognizing your support

It is important to us to work with each of our society members to understand their passions and philanthropic objectives so that we can build a long term, mutually beneficial relationship. As a William O. Douglas Society member you can expect:

  • Accommodation of your desired level of involvement with the Trust.
  • Support in identifying the areas of need with which you as a major donor connect the most.
  • Regular reports on the impact of your donations.
  • Special opportunities to engage in the Trust’s programs.
  • Invitations to Trust events, including the annual William O. Douglas Society reception.

Our Appreciation

We will always respect and appreciate your expertise and advice, recognize your giving and involvement, and unless you wish for anonymity, we will publicly thank you.

Please contact our development team at [email protected] for more information about joining the William O. Douglas Society.


Top image by Efrain Vargas