School and Youth Organization Volunteer Opportunities

The Trust loves to work with youth and their communities! School classes, scout troops, homeschooling groups, religious groups, and other youth-centered organizations may choose to join annually scheduled public cleanups or request their own private Trust-led project. These projects are a great resource for Student Service Learning (SSL)* hours, too.

Cleanup and beautification projects vary by location, season, group size, and other factors, and are determined by the Park and the Trust. Projects can include:

  • Trash removal
  • Invasive species removal
  • Painting and scraping
  • Spreading mulch or stone dust
  • Washing signs
  • Lopping and pruning vegetation

“Trust-led” means that we provide staff to plan and lead your project, provide all necessary supplies and PPE, such as trash bags and work gloves, and arrange to dispose of the trash afterward. Projects usually run about 3 hours. All you need to do is get your group together and show up!

Please note that we need at least one month’s advance notice to arrange group events, and certain times of the year may be more difficult than others. 

*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.

Photo by Cary Beall

Photo by Trust Staff

Photo by John Gensor

Interested in coordinating a volunteer event? Submit an inquiry below! Our team will review your inquiry, and you can expect to hear from us within one week.

*Please note that at this time, we have limited availability for weekday cleanup events through June; spring weekends are full. We are now accepting inquiries for volunteer events for summer and fall, both weekends and weekdays.

Related Opportunities

Photo by Bruce Davis

Photo by Mariano Guemez Alonso

Photo by Ellen Kinzer

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

Join Canal For All

Canal For All is an educational and volunteer program that welcomes young people from underrepresented communities into the Park to engage in various C&O Canal activities.

Learn More

Plan Your Personal Canal Cleanup

Personal Canal Cleanups are for individuals who want to clean up our Park in their own way. You choose the date and the location. Grab a bag and some work gloves, and you are good to go!

Learn More

Top Photo by Indraneel Samanta