As the government shutdown stretches into its second month, the C&O Canal Trust continues our work in support of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, but without our valued National Park Service (NPS) colleagues at our side. Because we share office space which was closed due to the shutdown, the Trust staff have been working from home as we plan for our spring Canal Pride events, manage Canal Quarters, and raise funds for towpath resurfacing and Canal Classrooms.
We have been fortunate that visitors have been treating the C&O Canal with respect and have not caused problems like the NPS has seen in some parks out west. However, when NPS staff return to work and have assessed maintenance needs, we will need the community’s help. Our Canal Pride events will rally volunteers to help address preservation and maintenance projects, especially those that may have become more urgent during the shutdown. If you are interested in volunteering, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when registration opens.
Our Canal Quarters program remains open for overnight stays, although visitors are cautioned that they are entering the Park at their own risk due to the lack of NPS staff and resources. We have rescheduled stays for guests who request it. Our Quartermasters continue to donate their valuable time to caring for the lockhouses and assisting our visitors.
There are several ways you can help out in the meantime. If you do visit the Park, please take out any trash you bring in, and consider picking up other litter you may encounter, as well. You can make a gift to support our Canal Pride efforts this year, which will help the NPS staff to address maintenance issues caused by the shutdown. Please note in the Comments box that your gift is to support Canal Pride. And plan to join us for Canal Pride in the spring.