The McNulty family has a passion for the C&O Canal National Historical Park, grown over years of exploring the Park’s diverse recreational opportunities. At the start of the pandemic, they section hiked the towpath from Dargan Bend to Georgetown, soaking in the different landscapes and wildlife. The McNultys enjoyed their experience so much they decided to give back to the Park by volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The McNultys had noticed increased traffic in the Violettes Lock area, as visitors flock to the Park seeking socially distanced opportunities for respite and exercise. Finding the immediate towpath generally free of litter, they focused their efforts on social trails and wooded areas between the canal and Potomac River. Recent high water events had deposited a sizeable amount of debris around Dam 2.
Several heavily littered popular hangout spots emerged as they headed south on the towpath. Though it was a challenging and prickly job, the McNultys managed to round up over 20 bags of trash and a grill from the thorny shrubs. To show volunteer pride (and dispose of the trash stockpile properly), they took the trash home and placed it on their curb for pick-up. The younger McNultys earned Student Service Learning (SSL) hours, a Maryland graduation requirement, for their efforts. Park visitors are enjoying a renewed area thanks to the efforts of this motivated and industrious family.
Want to host your own clean-up event? Sign up for personal canal clean-up days here.