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 C&O Canal Association

National Park Service News Releases

September 8, 2014 – C&O Canal Invites Public to Comment on the Restoration of Canal Operations at Hancock

Contact: Michelle Carter, 301-714-2225

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD – The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, is conducting a public review of the Restoration of Canal Operations at Hancock, Maryland, Environmental Assessment, September 2014.

The National Park Service will be accepting public review comments beginning September 8, 2014 through October 10, 2014.  The draft Environmental Assessment presents information on projected impacts to park resources from the proposed project to Restore Canal Operations at Hancock, Maryland.  The project area begins at towpath Mile 122.12 and ends at towpath Mile 124.59.  This area includes: Locks 51, Lock 52, the Bowles (Little) Farm, the Tonoloway Aqueduct, canal prism, canal boat basin, Little Tonoloway Picnic Area, and the Little Tonoloway Boat Ramp.  The project proposes several preservation, restoration, and development projects within the Hancock area.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act the National Park Service invites public comments regarding this project. Comments received will be used to evaluate this project.

A public meeting will be held on September 24, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Hancock Town Hall, 126 W. High Street, Hancock, MD.  The public is invited to attend the Open House any time during these hours.

Further information about this project is located on the National Park Service Planning, Environment & Public Comment website http://parkplanning.nps.gov/choh.  Written comments should be submitted through this website.


September 3, 2014 – C&O Canal ramps up outdoor education for Montgomery County students thanks to partner support

Contact: Don Harrison, Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern, www.fhgft.org/contact.html
Hollie Lynch, C&O Canal NHP, 301-491-0149, hollie_lynch@nps.gov

POTOMAC, MD – On Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:00, students from Chevy Chase, Maryland, were the first to experience the new curriculum-based canal boat ride aboard the Charles F. Mercer, a reproduction packet boat.

The students’ classroom for the day was Lock 20, next to the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, future site of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) National Historical Park’s growing curriculum-based education program, Canal Classrooms. Representatives of the Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern greeted the group and presented a $10,000 check to support the expansion of curriculum based programming at the park. It was an especially fitting location for the generous donation, since the Friends not only support the preservation of the historic Great Falls Tavern, but also led the fundraising campaign to acquire the Charles F. Mercer in 2006. 

“We know this is a wonderful opportunity for the students of the Montgomery County schools to tie their classroom studies into the engineering of the canal and the history and environmental diversity of the Potomac Gorge and the Great Falls area,” said President of the Friends Don Harrison. “We hope that what they learn here will spark their interest to return and bring their families and friends to see what the C&O Canal has to offer in the way of history, nature and recreation along the entire length of this National Park. It has so much to offer - biking, walking, camping, fishing, and kayaking.”

The donation from the Friends will be used to help pilot new curriculum education programs for elementary, middle and high school students during the 2014-15 school year. New education programs were developed in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools and feature a menu of options for teachers to select programs that vary in content and duration. Programs apply science processes learned in their classroom in a tangible way as students examine the concepts in a real-world setting. All programs identify with national and state curriculum standards and include pre/post visit materials.

“During their visit to the canal, students engaged in programs that bring science, history, and engineering to life in a meaningful, practical, and relevant way,” said C&O Canal Park Ranger, Geoff Suiter. “Seeing the boat crew move the massive gates of Lock 20 provides understanding
of an early form of technology and engineering.  Having a go at blowing a century-old boater’s horn and examining canal-era toys encourages students to explore the similarities and differences between their lives and children who walked the canal towpath a century ago.”

“The C&O Canal’s engagement with tens of thousands of students every year is dependent upon strong partnerships,” confirmed C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt, “the Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern, a long standing park partner, has made the pilot of new education programs possible at Great Falls. Through these new programs we are excited to be engaging a large and diverse audience of students from throughout the Greater Washington area.”

The C&O Canal’s education plan focuses on building a sustainable program, which it hopes to attain, in part, through leveraging partnerships. The Park is well on their way, having already established a Transportation Scholarship Fund, which offers bus stipends to schools planning field trips, and begun piloting the Canal Classrooms Corps, which engages local retired teachers to assist in delivering education programs in the park.


August 11, 2014 – NPS Seeks Public Comment on the Shepherdstown Battlefield Study

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a special resource study and boundary study of the Shepherdstown Battlefield in West Virginia and Maryland, located near the town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As part of the study, the NPS will hold a Public Meeting to explain the study process, findings, and to gather public comment about the findings. This informational meeting will be held in an open house format. The date, time, and location of the meetings are listed below. For directions and details about the meeting and study, or in case of rescheduling due to bad weather, please go to www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (presentations will start at 5 p.m. and be repeated at 6:30 p.m.)
Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center
5831 Dunker Church Rd, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
301-432-5124
Located about one mile north of Sharpsburg, MD, on the Sharpsburg Pike/MD 65
For directions please call the number above or visit: http://www.nps.gov/anti

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (presentations will start at 5 p.m. and be repeated at 6:30 p.m.)
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center;
233 Lowe Drive, Shepherdstown, WV 25443
304-876-7000
 Located off Kearneysville Pike/Rt. 480 in Shepherdstown, WV.
 For directions, please call the number above or visit: www.clarionhotel.com.

During the meeting, historian Thomas McGrath, author of Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign, September 19-20, 1862, will present research on the events that occurred during the two-day Shepherdstown battle. The National Park Service study team will explain the study outcomes, answer your questions, and gather your comments about the study findings, the proposed boundary, and other issues related to the study.

Comments received during this public review period will be forwarded along with the study to the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior will then make a recommendation to Congress based on the study’s findings and the public comments. The designation of new parklands would require an act of Congress.

Congress directed the NPS to complete this special resource study and boundary study to evaluate the national significance of the battlefield and its suitability as a stand-alone unit of the national park system. The legislation also directed the NPS to assess the suitability and feasibility of adjusting the boundary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or Antietam National Battlefield to include the Shepherdstown Battlefield. This special resource study has taken place in coordination with Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park over the last three years.

"Public input is the key to studying additions to the national park system. We look forward to hearing from community members and other stakeholders about the study findings” said Tammy Stidham, Chief of Planning for the NPS’ National Capital Region. 

The public comment period will take place from August 8 to October 3, 2014, to solicit public comments on the study findings. During this period, the public is invited to share thoughts on the proposed alternatives, the proposed boundary, and to identify concerns they may have with the proposed study verbally or in writing at the public open house. Written comments can also be submitted electronically at the NPS’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA or by mail to:

Regional Director, National Capital Region
C/O Jordan Hoaglund–Planning, National Park Service, Denver Service
Center, 12795 West Alameda Parkway, PO Box 25287 Denver, CO 80225-0287.

Written comments must be postmarked by October 3, 2014, to receive consideration.


July 31, 2014 – C&O Canal Hiring Local Educators At Great Falls

Contact: Hollie Lynch, Education Coordinator, (301) 491-0149, Hollie_lynch@nps.gov

POTOMAC, MD – The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) seeks local educators to assist with delivery of the new education programs in Montgomery County at Great Falls in Potomac, Maryland. The C&O Canal Trust, the park’s official non-profit partner, will offer a daily stipend. A training workshop will be held for new recruits September 3-5, 2014 at the C&O Canal Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center.

The C&O Canal and Montgomery County Public Schools have developed new education programs for elementary, middle and high school students. The curriculum based education programs encourage students to explore their local national park. All programs support national and state curriculum standards. During the field trips, each class will work on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities specifically tailored to its grade level.  Complementary classroom and on-line activities will focus on vocabulary, reading, and writing. Bus scholarships are available and will help schools afford the cost of transportation for their field trip.

To schedule a field trip or to apply for the Canal Classroom Corps position, contact the C&O Canal Education Office at cocanaleducation@nps.gov.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park provides student-driven discovery and learning along 184.5 miles of historic canal towpath between Georgetown in Washington DC and Cumberland in western Maryland. Engaging school-aged students in science, math, history, engineering and technology, the park features educational opportunities for thousands of students across grade levels, content areas and school districts. Additional park education programs are available in Cumberland, Maryland and Williamsport, Maryland and similar projects working with the local schools to engage PreK-12 students are underway.

For more information on the C&O Canal’s education programs, field trip reservations and online teacher resources please visit www.nps.gov/choh/forteachers.

July 31, 2014 – C&O Canal Hiring Local Educators In Cumberland

Contact: Hollie Lynch, Education Coordinator, (301) 491-0149, Hollie_lynch@nps.gov

CUMBERLAND, MD –The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) seeks local educators to assist with delivery of the new education programs in Allegany County for the fall. The C&O Canal Trust, the park’s official non-profit partner, will offer a daily stipend. A training workshop will be held for new recruits August 27-29, 2014 at the C&O Canal Classroom at Canal Place in Cumberland, Maryland.

The C&O Canal and Allegany County Public Schools have developed new education programs for PreK through fifth grade students. The programs encourage students to explore their local national park and support Common Core curriculum standards. During the field trips, each class will work on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities specifically tailored to its grade level.  Complementary classroom and on-line activities will focus on vocabulary, reading, and writing. Bus scholarships are available and will help schools afford the cost of transportation to the field trip sites. Public and private schools in the Cumberland region are invited to join park rangers this school year.

To schedule a field trip or to apply for the Canal Classroom Corps position, contact the C&O Canal Education Office at cocanaleducation@nps.gov.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park provides student-driven discovery and learning along 184.5 miles of historic canal towpath between Georgetown in Washington DC and Cumberland in western Maryland. Engaging school-aged students in science, math, history, engineering and technology, the park features educational opportunities for thousands of students across grade levels, content areas and school districts. Additional park education programs are available in Williamsport, Maryland and Potomac, Maryland and similar projects working with the local schools to engage PreK-12 students are underway.

For more information on the C&O Canal’s education programs, field trip reservations and online teacher resources please visit www.nps.gov/choh/forteachers.


July 28, 2014 – C&O Canal NHP Receives 2014 Park Stewards Grant

Contact: Hollie Lynch, 301-491-0149, Hollie_lynch@nps.gov

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is one of 28 national parks selected to receive a 2014 Park Stewards grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The Park Stewards Grant will support the development of a Citizens Scientists Program at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park developed in partnership with the Washington County Public Schools’ Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview and a South Hagerstown high school science teacher.

Now in its sixth year, this program gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore the relevance of national parks to their lives, and enables them to become civically engaged stewards of their national parks through year-long service-learning projects.

“With our Park Stewards program, teachers and students are able to explore science, nature, sustainability, and more through America’s largest living classrooms – our national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.

The Citizen Scientists Program will feature a curriculum based education program involving water quality monitoring, macroinvertebrate stream analysis, and invasive plant identification as well as a service learning component that will allow students to continue data collection throughout the school year and develop a model for service learning that is replicable year after year. The program will support the Common Core Curriculum Standards, the Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards (included in the attachments section), and the Next Generation Science Standards.

“The C&O Canal is excited for new opportunities to engage high school students in their local national park,” stated Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt. “The program encourages students to apply content knowledge and critical thinking skills in a real-world setting while instilling a sense of stewardship and conservation for their local national park.”

University of Phoenix is now serving in its third year as the program’s official educational sponsor. The University is committed to opening opportunities for education and workplace readiness, and supporting sustainable solutions for environmental health. Its support of the Park Stewards program helps both teachers and students build a deeper connection to and sense of stewardship for America’s national parks, while offering students the chance to explore new career horizons.

“University of Phoenix is proud to once again support the National Park Foundation in helping build future generations of national park enthusiasts and supporters,” said Pat Gottfried, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Apollo Education Group, parent company of University of Phoenix. “The University has long supported environmental stewardship in our operations, offered sustainability-related degree programs and engaged in environmental philanthropy across the nation. We welcome the opportunity to continue to reinforce this commitment through our support of the National Park Foundation and the teachers and students it impacts.”

Since 2009, the Park Stewards program has made it possible for 110 high school teachers to work in parks over their summer break, creating engaging curriculum to teach to their students in the coming school year. During their time in the parks, the teachers and park staff also develop service-learning projects for students to take part in during the school year. The projects tie to state academic standards and make meaningful impacts in the national parks.  Examples of projects include monitoring water quality, creating digital history apps, hosting a BioBlitz, and designing art sculptures.

In addition, two students from each grantee school team will be selected for summer internships that will help support and grow their interest in national parks and the National Park Service.

The National Park Foundation also wishes to thank Subaru of America for their generous support of the Park Stewards program.

A listing of the 2014 Park Stewards grantees and their project descriptions can be found on the National Park Foundation website.

For more information on the National Park Foundation and how to support and protect America’s national parks, please visit www.nationalparks.org.


     C & O Canal Association     P.O Box 366      Glen Echo, MD 20812-0366     Phone: 301-983-0825      Email: inquiries@candocanal.org