Individual and Family Volunteer Opportunities

The Trust has many volunteer opportunities for families and individual volunteers. Families and individuals may choose to join annually scheduled public cleanups or become a Trust volunteer with self-led projects. Individual and family opportunities are a great resource for Student Service Learning (SSL)* hours.

Self-led means that you and your family/small group may choose when, where, how often, and how much you volunteer, within the guidelines of your specific volunteer position description. In addition, it also means that you’re responsible for providing your own supplies and safety equipment, including PPE, and removing all trash collected to be disposed of outside the park. Neither the park nor the Trust will remove trash collected by individual and family volunteers. 

*Note: Students volunteering for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours as required by their school must first determine that their school will accept volunteer projects that are considered virtual or remote, which means that Trust staff are not onsite with you. If your school is fine with a parent accompanying you instead of Trust staff, then we’re happy to fill out SSL forms. Students seeking SSL hours through the Personal Canal Cleanup program must provide photos of the trash they’ve collected in addition to the other required details in their report.

Which one should I choose?

Personal Canal Cleanups are the most flexible of all volunteer positions at the Trust, requiring no time commitment and very little geographic commitment. 

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Photo by Ellen Kinzer

Photo by Trust Staff

Photo by Jason Turner

Become a Canal Steward

Canal Stewards are long-term volunteers who lead projects and perform various self-led maintenance around the Park.

Learn More

Volunteer as a Canal Quartermaster

Experience the life of a lock tender by becoming a Lockhouse Quartermaster! Quartermasters assist the lockhouse program through various tasks, such as remaining on-call for guests and performing light maintenance tasks.

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Check out Canal Community Days

Participate in a Canal Community Day event, the C&O Canal Trust’s public volunteer program. These events focus on specific volunteer projects that clean up and beautify our Park.

Learn More

Top Photo by Paul Graunke