The C&O Canal Trust welcomed more than 70 individuals to the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) in October for volunteer service and educational programs.
Groups with the Washington County Division of Stormwater Management and Kite Pharma worked with the Trust to collectively remove nearly 2,000 pounds of trash from Weverton between mile markers 57 and 59 during two volunteer events. Trust volunteers responded to an immediate need for trash cleanup in the area, providing vital support to the Park and visitors. Along with general trash, the groups removed items like a frying pan, fishing nets, metal folding chairs, and a card table. Volunteers with Shepherd University helped remove over 200 pounds of trash from Lock 38, another busy access point in Washington County. Read More
Photo by Szemere Photography
Photo by Trust Staff
Photo by Francis Grant-Suttie
Image Credit: Jane Schmidt
We look forward to welcoming our canal community to Park After Dark at the Historic Great Falls Tavern on Sunday, September 17, 2023—just one month from today! Park After Dark is the largest annual fundraising event to benefit the C&O Canal National Historical Park. It is a wonderful opportunity to come together, highlight the work of the C&O Canal Trust, and gain insight and vision for the future from Park and Trust leadership. There are a variety of ways to be part of Park After Dark. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust’s Canal For All program works in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) to provide opportunities for education, stewardship, and volunteerism that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all. To foster diversity and to better reflect our community, Canal For All engages BIPOC, differently-abled, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented or disadvantaged communities. We partner with community organizations to diminish participation barriers and create exciting and relevant opportunities to Play, Learn, Serve, and Work in the Park.
In 2023, Canal For All has grown to serve nearly 300 youth and adults and will exceed that number by the end of the year. The program’s impact and diversity have expanded in notable ways. Several new community organizations have partnered with the program, expanding our demographic reach to include adults with Down syndrome, LGBTQ+, and our first groups in Virginia. Read More
The Trust hosted a Latino Conservation Week celebration on July 22 at Great Falls. In partnership with Community Bridges and Girls Who Hike Virginia, the Canal for All event welcomed 25 youth and adults for a fun day of crafts, hiking, and plant species identification. Latino Conservation Week is an initiative of the Hispanic Access Foundation created to support the Latino community in enjoying the outdoors and participating in activities to protect natural resources. Over 220 events were held nationwide by numerous community, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations from July 15-23. Read More
The C&O Canal NHP was awarded the 2023 Excellence in Historic Preservation and Sustainable Design award from the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT). The award recognizes the park’s efforts to combat the impacts of flooding with long-term, sustainable solutions along a 0.9-mile stretch between McMahons Mill (mile 88) and Lock 42 (mile 89) in Williamsport, Maryland. The rehabilitated historical retaining wall and towpath ensure future generations will continue to learn and enjoy the C&O Canal in its historical context. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust partnered with Smithsonian Associates to provide a day-long tour of the C&O Canal National Historical Park on June 2. Thirty-six participants braved the heat to explore several parts of the Park, including Great Falls and Rileys Lock. The tour included a guided tour of Lockhouse 22 at Pennyfield. Lockhouse 22 is one of seven rehabilitated lockhouses in the Canal Quarters program, which gives visitors the opportunity to book up to three consecutive nights in a historic lockhouse. Read More
If you love the C&O Canal National Historical Park and enjoy recreating in the Park, we’ve got a great way for you to combine your passions and support the Park! Sign up for TowpathGO and rally support from your friends and family for this unique peer-to-peer fundraising challenge. Join us for this year’s TowpathGO!
Congratulations to Brian Rimm on his winning design for this year’s Canal Community Days Logo Contest! We received a record number of design entries from more than 20 different artists, and are grateful to everyone in our Canal Community who took the time to enter. We hope to see you at our volunteer events this spring wearing this great design!
Get to know the new C&O Canal Trust President and CEO Lauren Riviello! Lauren is no stranger to the Trust; she’s been the director of development for two years, and her connection to the Park dates back to her childhood in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. We asked her a few questions as she steps into her new role with the Trust. Read More
The C&O Canal Trust is conducting its annual t-shirt artwork contest to find a logo that will represent our 2023 Canal Community Days events. Artists are invited to create and submit artwork that celebrates these annual volunteer events, bringing community members together to beautify the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP). 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 throughout the spring and summer. Read More
Williamsport, Md. – The C&O Canal Trust’s board of directors is pleased to announce it has named Lauren Riviello as its new president and CEO. Riviello has more than a decade of nonprofit leadership experience and is deeply passionate about the Trust and its mission. She has served as the Trust’s director of development since February 2021 and will assume the role of president and CEO on April 1, 2023. Read More
Walk Maryland Day by Charissa Hipp
Wednesday, October 5 is the 8th annual Walk Maryland Day. Members of the C&O Canal Trust staff will be hosting walks throughout the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) during the day. The public is invited to attend these walks and participate in Walk Maryland Day, a celebration of Maryland’s official state exercise. With 347 miles of trails in the park, the C&O Canal NHP is the ideal place to enjoy the outdoors and take a walk.
- 10:00 a.m. – Point of Rocks, 2 miles round trip
- 11:00 a.m. – Billy Goat C Trail, 2.8 miles round trip
- 5:00 p.m. – Brunswick Boat Ramp, 2 miles round trip
- 5:30 p.m. – Cushwa Basin at Williamsport, 3 miles round trip
- 5:30 p.m. – Little Tonoloway at Hancock, 2.7 miles round trip
- 6:00 p.m. – Railroad Bridge Bridge Parking on Canal Rd. at Sharpsburg/Shepherdstown, 2-3 miles round trip
- 6:00 p.m. – Dam 5, 2-3 miles round trip
Participants are encouraged to register as a Sole Mate on the Walk Maryland Day website.
Williamsport, Md. — After more than seven years as president of the C&O Canal Trust, Robin Zanotti has announced she will retire in early 2023. Zanotti is participating in a year of succession planning and transition management with a succession planning team led by the Trust’s Board of Directors. This is meant to ensure the change in leadership is seamless and the organization maintains its momentum in both revenue and program growth. Read More
Canal For All at Four Locks by Francis Grant-Suttie
Photo By Trust Staff
‘Great Falls from Olmstead Island’ by Kara McNulty
Image Credit: NPS
Photo Credit: Francis Grant-Suttie
Photo Credit: Francis Grant-Suttie
Photo by Francis Grant-Suttie
A Biodiversity Treasure in Peril
The C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP) is beloved for its natural beauty, rich recreational opportunities, and accessibility for over five million visitors. What is less well known is that it is one of the most biologically diverse national parks in the nation. Since its creation in 1971, nearly 200 rare, threatened, or endangered (RTE) plants, some of which are globally rare and unique. But that number appears to be dwindling. Between 2008 and 2020, just 106 previously identified RTE species were found along the C&O Canal. Invasive non native plants, regional urbanization, and surging visitation have all taken their toll on the fragile habitats that make such diversity possible. With the addition of unfolding climate change, the National Park Service (NPS) is facing complex challenges to conserve these resources. Read More
Great Falls Canal Community Days by Francis Grant-Suttie
Early morning jog at Violettes Lock by Paul Graunke