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Canal Story

Canal Story #43: Craig Griffin

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.

Tell Us Your Canal Story

Craig Griffin, Volunteer Canal Steward

Craig Griffin: Trash-er-Cise!  That is my hobby, picking up trash while getting exercise at the same time.  I do this many places but Point of Rocks Boat Ramp in Maryland is my favorite place to trashercise on the C&O canal.  Hello, I’m Craig Griffin, a 61 year old retired guy who lives in Herndon, Virginia.  I adopted the area about 10 years ago.  I like to train watch, fish, and kayak so this is an ideal area for me to volunteer.  While my daughter and wife help only on occasion, I try to visit the park at least once a month to remove litter, cut back branches, and move fallen tree limbs.

When my daughter was in middle school, she needed volunteer hours so I put her to work cleaning the signs at Point of Rocks. My favorite sign was the primary entrance sign that had white engraved lettering.  She cleaned each letter in the sign with a toothbrush, water, and mild soap.  It is a tough sign to clean!
I retired in 2013, so I have more time to volunteer cleaning at the boat ramp.  I have found many interesting items over the years.   Most items go in the trash and recycling bin, but some I keep to donate to charity. This includes many clothing items,  fishing gear, toys, and bicycling gear.   Recently, I found a Unicorn!  Well, not a real unicorn, but a stuffed animal toy unicorn.   (See picture).

Lastly, thank you to all the volunteers and staff, many of whom I have met over the years.   Together we make the park a better place for plants, animals and humans.