Following a yearlong process, the C&O Canal Trust has launched its new strategic plan, covering 2019 to 2023, that lays out ambitious but achievable goals to strengthen private support for the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) through philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy.
- Raising funds to support the Park’s multi-year plan to improve and resurface 80 miles of the towpath, while continuing to provide direct financial support for Canal Classrooms.
- Developing a volunteer Canal Ambassador Corps to extend the Trust’s ability to provide visitor services and engage with constituents in the Park and beyond.
- Enhancing Canal Quarters by making lockhouses more accessible and developing 21st century interpretive tools.
- Supporting the Park as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021.
- Extending our communication and engagement opportunities to embrace the rising generation of young professionals and the increasingly diverse communities bordering the park.
- Enhancing Trust organizational effectiveness and capacity through improved technology and modest staff growth.
The strategic plan was the result of a collaborative effort shaped by stakeholder input spanning much of 2018, including a survey completed by over 500 constituents and one-on-one interviews with 39 key donors and volunteers, partners, the leadership of the C&O Canal NHP, and Trust board members.
“It is critical that the Trust, as the keystone organization in the bridge between private citizens and the Park, has a clear roadmap for engaging our canal community to enable the Trust to provide robust funding and programmatic support to our Park,” Robin Zanotti, president of the Trust, said. “We wanted to develop a plan that reflected the priorities of both our constituents and our Park partner. Our thanks go to all who gave freely of their time and perspective to make it possible.”