To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the C&O Canal becoming a National Historical Park, we are featuring 50 Canal Stories throughout 2021. Each story will take a look at a person’s relationship with the C&O Canal. Whether an NPS ranger, a volunteer, or a visitor, everyone has a story to tell about the canal! If you want to share your story, submit it to us at the link here, email it to us at [email protected] or post it on your social media feeds with the hashtag #MyCanalStory.
Anthony Bates, Partnerships Coordinator at the C&O Canal
C&O Canal Trust: What is your relationship with the C&O Canal?
Anthony Bates: I began working as the parks’ Partnerships Coordinator in Williamsport, MD, Summer 2020. During my time here at the park, I have really enjoyed the virtual meetings. The meetings have offered opportunities to establish working relationships with my co-workers and park partner organizations, that potentially would have taken longer to establish due to time traveling from one resource to the next, and difference of workstations and schedules.
C&O Canal Trust: What is it like working with the Trust and the Park?
Anthony Bates: Working at the C&O Canal National Historical Park has been a joy and I have enjoyed working with the staff and partners since my arrival. In my role as Partnerships Coordinator, I work closely with the C&O Canal Trust, and they have helped with my transition to the area by making me feel welcomed to the park and their team.
C&O Canal Trust: What is your role on a day-to-day basis?
Anthony Bates: In my role as Partnerships Coordinator, I work as a liaison between the park and park partners via developed formal and informal partnerships to help preserve C&O Canal National Historical park resources for current and future generations of park visitors.
C&O Canal Trust: What is your favorite part of working for the Park?
Anthony Bates: Working at the park has allowed for me to work with individuals/organizations to complete a common goal of creating a rememberable first impression for those who have never experienced visiting a National Park. Creating opportunities to welcome new visitors, reminds me of my first experience and how it led me to a career working for the National Park Service. Whether you’re a fan of rural settings and appreciate exotic plants/wildlife that can be viewed from the towpath and nearby trails in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of WV, or if you’re looking for an urban environment and like the amenities that Washington DC and Montgomery County, MD have to offer, the park allows for a memorable experience.
C&O Canal Trust: What is your favorite thing to do on the canal?
Anthony Bates: Due to COVID-19 I have not had an opportunity to spend a lot of time visiting all the park resources, but I really enjoy being able to see the mountainous landscape when visiting the towpath in Williamsport and surrounding areas in Washington County, MD.
C&O Canal Trust: Do you have a favorite spot?
Anthony Bates: No, not yet.
C&O Canal Trust: What does the canal mean to you?
Anthony Bates: The C&O Canal National Historical Park is a special place that offers different backgrounds an opportunity to come together and experience nature and its surroundings.