Personal Canal Clean-Ups

Want to help clean up the Park in your own way? You still can! Personal Canal Cleanups are a great way to continue social-distancing, get some healthy exercise outside, and make a difference in the park at the same time.

How It Works

Volunteering with Personal Canal Cleanups is simple! All you need to do is:

  1. Submit the required volunteer paperwork to us before you begin. Once you have completed the inquiry we will email it to you the required park form with instructions.
  2. Decide where you want to clean up, how often, and who will go with you.
  3. Provide your own cleanup and safety materials (see below)
  4. Carry out any trash you’ve collected to dispose of outside of the park. There are no trash receptacles in the C&O Canal. 
  5. Report back! Email us your success stories to get credit for your hard work (see below)

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.

What You’ll Need

  • Heavy duty trash bag(s) of any size
  • Work gloves
  • Personal items such as water bottle, snacks, hat, face mask, etc.
  • Trash grabbers (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Wagon or bicycle trailer (optional)

What to Report to Us

  1. Date(s) and time(s) you volunteered
  2. Where you volunteered (park site, towpath miles, etc.)
  3. Who volunteered with you (Note: all volunteers must have current Volunteer Service Agreement forms on file with us. Families in the same household may fill out one form together with all adults’ signatures on it.)
  4. How many bags of trash you collected. Photos required for SSL hours and optional for everyone else.

Photo by Don Ramsey

Photo by John Gensor

Photo by Ellen Kinzer

Interested in a Personal Canal Cleanup? Submit your inquiry below, and we will respond to you within one week.

Submit an Inquiry