C&O Canal Trust Reflects on Programs This Year

By News

As the volunteer project season draws to a close, I am amazed at how quickly and eagerly people have stepped up to help take care of the park, especially when it was needed most: a time when the definition of “normal” has been upended, the park has been loved a little too hard, and when it could be unhealthy for some people to venture out into public spaces. Still, you came, and now we admire the results.

Nearly as many park-lovers volunteered with the Canal Community Days cleanup events as in pre-pandemic years – over 400 – a reassuring trend. Not just families and individuals, but school classes and student groups, corporations, and local organizations have reached out looking for new ways to support and experience the park.

The Trust acquired the Canal Stewards program from the park a year ago and since then, the number of Stewards caring for their favorite park sites has tripled, surpassing 50 in October, and continues to grow.

In July 2021, the Canal For All program restarted again after eighteen months away, reconnecting nearly 300 underrepresented and disadvantaged youth and adults with Trust-led opportunities within the park. In addition to welcoming the return of our long-time Montgomery County partners, the Canal For All Program expanded to include community organizations in Washington County as well, focusing on history and nature at Four Locks. 

Collectively, community program participants have removed over 3,000 pounds of trash and invasive species, and repaired, cleaned, and painted many features throughout the park. They’ve stood in 190-year-old lockhouses, scouted out local species, scrambled up rocks and hiked trails, some for the very first time. We thank everyone who has joined and supported Trust programs over the past year, and we look forward to seeing all of you again soon.

C&O Canal Trust Celebrates a Successful Year for Canal Community Days

By Canal Pride, News

Great Falls Canal Community Days by Francis Grant-Suttie

Canal Community Days is the C&O Canal Trust’s annual volunteer program. Each year, we recruit and manage hundreds of volunteers to undertake a range of preservation, beautification, maintenance, and conservation projects along the 184.5 mile length of the C&O Canal National Park, working closely with the National Park Service to identify priorities that can be completed by volunteers of all ages.  Read More

Trust Raises Over $150,000 at Picnic in the Park

By News
On Sunday, September 12, the C&O Canal Trust hosted Picnic in the Park to celebrate and raise funds for the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s 50th anniversary. The event was held at Carderock Pavilion where over a dozen picnic tables were beautifully decorated with photos of well-known Park landmarks and bouquets of locally-grown flowers. Read More

C&O Canal Trust Reflects on Canal For All Programming This Year

By Canal For All, News
The C&O Canal Trust’s Canal For All program was launched in 2017 with the goal of engaging young people from underrepresented communities in programs in the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). This year, the Canal For All program has grown to provide fun and educational programs  with community partner organizations in and around the C&O Canal. Summer partners included the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Girls Inc., and Community Bridges. Read More

C&O Canal Receives Funding from Great American Outdoors Act

By News
A project at Dam 5 along the C&O Canal  is one of 165 projects that will benefit from the recently-passed Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The GAOA is providing up to $1.9 billion a year for five years to the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. This money will fund deferred maintenance projects in National Parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation  areas, and American Indian schools.   Read More

C&O Canal Trust Supports Survey of Rare Plants In Billy Goat Trail System

By News
Halberd-leaf rosemallow (Hibiscus laevis). Credit: NPS/Renzi.  
The C&O Canal National Historical Park has a new Botany Fellow, partially funded by the C&O Canal Trust. Clara Thiel is completing her Master of Science in Applied Ecology and Conservation at Frostburg State University, and for the next year, she will focus on surveying rare, threatened, and endangered plant species in and around the Billy Goat Trail System of the C&O Canal NHP.  Read More

C&O Canal Trust Announces Creation of Apparel Line in Partnership with Maryland-Based Route One Apparel

By News
March 1, 2021 – The C&O Canal Trust today announced the launch of a new C&O Canal-themed apparel line in partnership with Maryland-based company Route One Apparel to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the C&O Canal National Historical Park joining the National Park Service.

The initial collection features a short-sleeved t-shirt with a rendering of the scenic C&O Canal towpath on the back. The shirts will retail for $24.99, and a portion of the sale of each shirt will support the C&O Canal Trust’s mission to preserve and protect the C&O Canal National Historical Park. The Trust is the official nonprofit partner of the Park.

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Eleven Local Breweries Release C&O Canal-Themed Beers to Kick Off Libations Trail in Celebration of the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s 50th Anniversary

By News

The Canal Towns Partnership and the C&O Canal Trust announce the launch of seven C&O Canal-themed beers by eleven local breweries as part of a new C&O Canal Libations Trail created to celebrate the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park’s 50th anniversary as a part of the National Park Service. The trail will also include wineries, distilleries, and specialty cocktails to be released later in the year.

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Artwork Contest announced to find new Canal Community Days logo

By News

The C&O Canal Trust is conducting a t-shirt artwork contest to find a logo that will represent our 2021 Canal Community Days events. Amateur artists are invited to create and submit artwork that celebrates these annual volunteer events that bring community members together to beautify the C&O Canal National Historical Park for the spring season.  The winning design will be printed on our Canal Community Days t-shirts and worn by volunteers as they work along the C&O Canal during the spring and summer months. Read More

Fourth Year of Funding Received for Towpath Resurfacing

By News

The resurfacing project that has so far as smoothed out 42 miles of the C&O Canal’s towpath between Edwards Ferry and Shepherdstown will receive another infusion of cash with a $1.147 million grant from the State of Maryland’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). This is the fourth grant the C&O Canal National Historical Park has received in support of the “Towpath Rehabilitation: A Safe Towpath” project aimed at improving more than 80 miles of the 184.5 mile-long towpath.

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Trust Announces New Board Members

By News
John S. Guttmann became Chair of the C&O Canal Trust’s Board of Directors in October, taking over from Stephen E. Chaudet, who wrapped up a two-year term. John is a Shareholder in Beveridge & Diamond, PC, a law firm that focuses on environmental issues. He also serves as General Counsel and a member of the Board of NAEM, the National Association for Environmental Management. Before assuming the chairmanship, John served the Trust as the chair of the development committee and as pro bono counsel. He and his wife Holly Cannon are residents of the Palisades neighborhood in Washington, DC, which overlooks the canal. He often bikes and walks the towpath with his dog Winston. Read More

C&O Canal Trust Answers “What Are You Grateful for?”

By Blog, Content, News
The holiday season is almost upon us, and it is bound to look very different this year while we still maintain safe ways of gathering in the midst of a world-wide pandemic. The C&O Canal Trust staff are here to remind you that while the impending holiday season is bound to look a little different this year, we are all so grateful for everything we do have, namely the Park!

Celebrate with us and share what you are also most grateful for this November!

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Trust Board Approves Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Resolution

By News
The C&O Canal Trust Board of Directors approved a Board Resolution at their June meeting affirming the Trust’s commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Although the statement had been in the works for months, its passage now – as the nation reckons with its history of racial inequity – underscores how imperative it is that we continue to integrate these important principles into all facets of our organization. Read More

C&O Canal Trust To Fund Comprehensive Survey Ahead of Rehabilitation of Billy Goat Trail System

By News
The C&O Canal Trust will help fund a comprehensive survey of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species along the trails in the Great Falls area of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, recognized as one of the most biologically diverse parks in the entire national park system. A $64,757 grant will be used by the Park to hire a one-year botany fellow and a four-month botany intern. Read More

Park Sees 49 Percent Surge in Park Visitation

By News
In March and April of this year, the C&O Canal National Historical Park experienced a 49 percent increase in visitation over the same period in 2019, with 1.07 million visits logged by automatic counters at key access points in the Park — 352,700 more visits than in March and April 2019. But even as people have flocked to the Park for respite, they have also placed a great deal of stress on its infrastructure. Trash has accumulated, assets have been damaged, new graffiti defaces several historic structures, and regular spring maintenance has been deferred.  Read More

3 Ways to Support the Canal Towns

By Blog, News, Towns and Communities
The Canal Towns, ten towns that line the C&O Canal National Historical Park, provide cyclists and tourists with lodging, food, and services that make the thru-ride possible for so many people. However, the merchants in these towns are suffering, as the tourism and hospitality industries are some of the hardest hit due to COVID-19 closures. As we enter what would be the start of the busy outdoor recreation season on the canal, please consider supporting the Canal Town businesses in the following ways: Read More

My Time as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the C&O Canal Trust

By Blog, News
I’m 10 months into a year-long internship as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) with the C&O Canal Trust. Towards the end of college, I knew I didn’t want to go straight into another degree program. I was interested in program evaluation, policy research, community, and international development. I was keenly aware that there was a disconnect between the theories and case studies I was reading about and the reality of community development and the nonprofit world. I strongly wanted experience in the nonprofit or public sector before I continued my education. For these reasons, I applied to the AmeriCorps VISTA program and accepted a one-year position working with the C&O Canal Trust and the Canal Towns Partnership. Read More

New Superintendent Tina Cappetta Previews Her Vision for the C&O Canal

By News

Tina Cappetta took up the position of Superintendent of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in January 2020, following nine years as Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Hampton National Historic Site, and Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Over her 30-year National Park Service career, she has held positions in 10 parks around the nation, including at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in upstate New York, where she was the superintendent. From 2002 to 2004, she was Chief of Resources at the C&O Canal NHP.

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Canal Pride Has Provided $1 Million in Value to C&O Canal

By Canal Pride, News
Entering its thirteenth year, Canal Pride is testament to the value of bringing volunteers, funding partners, and in-kind donors together to ensure that the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) remains a safe and welcoming venue for all those who love the Park. Since 2008, the C&O Canal Trust has recruited over 11,000 Canal Pride volunteers who have given 32,844 hours of service in the park, valued at close to one million dollars. These park beautification projects are a great benefit to the C&O Canal, as the maintenance division often has its hands full caring for the 184.5

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Poolesville Joins the Canal Towns Partnership

By News, Towns and Communities
The Montgomery County town of Poolesville recently joined the Canal Towns Partnership, a community and economic development organization made up of 10 towns along the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). “We are excited to have our first new canal town come on board since the inception of the partnership in 2011,” said Abbie Ricketts, the chair of the Canal Towns Partnership.

Through tourism marketing and advocacy, the Canal Towns Partnership aims to amplify the voices of its small canal town members so they can fully reap the economic benefits of trail tourism. The C&O Canal NHP hosts 4.5 million visitors a year, many of whom visit the Canal Towns in search of food, drink, shopping, and lodging.

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Artwork Contest announced to celebrate Canal Pride program’s 13th anniversary

By Canal Pride, News

The C&O Canal Trust is conducting a t-shirt artwork contest to commemorate the 13th anniversary of our Canal Pride events. Amateur artists are invited to create and submit artwork that celebrates the 13th anniversary of this volunteer-driven event. The winning design will be printed on our Canal Pride t-shirts and worn by hundreds of volunteers as they work in the C&O Canal National Historical Park during the spring and summer months. Read More

Support the Trust in 2020

By News

Help the Trust get off to a great start in 2020!

As a small nonprofit that depends on charitable donations for 77 percent of its revenue, we need your help to continue working to preserve and enhance the C&O National Historical Park! Read More

Volunteers Contribute Thousands of Hours to the Park

By News, Volunteer

Welcoming close to 5 million visitors annually and stretching 184.5 miles long, the C&O Canal National Historical Park requires many boots on the ground to maintain its trails and towpath, operate programs, and assist visitors. The National Park Service would not be able to do this without the invaluable efforts of the many volunteers who contribute thousands of hours of service each year. Read More

E-Bikes on the Towpath

By News

You may have heard that e-bikes are now legal to ride in National Parks and on other public lands. Whether you’re delighted to be able to take your e-bike on the towpath, or worried about how this will impact your experience in the Park, please read on.

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Bike Your Park Day 2019

By News

The last Saturday in September is Bike Your Park Day, an initiative created by the Adventure Cycling Association to promote biking in national parks, state parks, and other public lands. Lowell Markey, longtime volunteer with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, led an interpretive bike ride on September 28 to celebrate this year’s Bike Your Park Day. Visitors got to experience the new towpath surface near Shepherdstown and discover the history of this part of the park.

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