We thank you for your past support for the C&O Canal Trust! By giving to the Trust, you not only help preserve the Park, you also partner with the Trust to bring new and life-changing experiences to people of all ages. Here are some examples of what we achieved together in 2017:
SERVICE AND SAFETY
In 2017, the Trust recruited and managed 1,588 volunteers at over 40 locations in the C&O Canal National Historical Park through its Canal Pride program. This includes over 10,000 hours, the equivalent of almost $270,000 in in-kind labor. Corporations, community groups, and the general public all pitched in to preserve and beautify their neighborhood section of the C&O Canal.
Eagle Scout Solomon Fenton led a group of volunteers on the replacement of stairs leading to Marsden Tract this year. Other scouts fulfilled their Eagle Scout service requirement in the Park at Oldtown, Williamsport, Great Falls, and the Billy Goat Trail. Another 110 scouts spruced up the Spring Gap Campground in Allegany County in May as part of the Trust’s Canal Pride Days.
INCLUSION AND EMPOWERMENT
The C&O Canal Trust hosted the first participants in its new Canal For All initiative, a program that is laying the groundwork for a sustainable and robust engagement with African American and Latino communities in Montgomery County. Groups of youth, many experiencing the C&O Canal for the first time, went rock-climbing, biking, hiking, participated in clean-up projects, and spent the night in lockhouses. We aim to expand this program to other communities in future years.
EDUCATION AND EXPLORATION
The C&O Canal Trust provided $40,000 to the C&O Canal National Historical Park’s Canal Classrooms education program, ensuring that over 12,5000 K-12 students from 230 schools participated in an educational program. Canal Classrooms uses curriculum based in the Park to teach STEAM (science, technology, education, arts, math) concepts, led by retired teachers who serve as Canal Classrooms Corp educators.
In 2017, the C&O Canal Trust released its new C&O Canal Explorer app to help visitors explore all 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal National Historical Park. With over 600 points of interest mapped in a searchable format, the app pinpoints hiking trails, campgrounds, history, trailheads, and parking at a glance, and calculates the distance from your location to nearby amenities and points of interest. Our 45 Canal Discoveries — hidden gems along the C&O Canal as identified and narrated by our Park Rangers — are also included.
PRESERVATION AND MEMORIES
Each of our six historic lockhouses have been preserved and are available for you and your family and friends to enjoy a night or three as part of our Canal Quarters program. Furnished with furniture and accessories from a different time period, each lockhouse tells a different story about the development of the C&O Canal. This is a unique opportunity for guests to step back in history and make memories living as the lock keepers used to live.
The C&O Canal Trust raised $75,000 from private donors in 2017 to support the rehabilitation of Swains Lockhouse, which, when complete, will join the Canal Quarters program. Swains Lockhouse will be the first accessible lockhouse and also multi-purpose, due to its larger size thanks to a 1890s expansion. Part of the building will house the Canal Quarters program, with accommodations for up to eight guests. The newer part of the building will become a dining room for the Canal Quarters program, which will transform into a classroom space on spring and fall weekdays for the Canal Classrooms program.