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 C&O Canal Association

National Park Service News Releases

November 17, 2017 – Education Coordinator at C&O Canal National Historical Park Receives Prestigious National Park Service Award

Contact: newsmedia@nps.gov 

The National Park Service announced today that Hollie Lynch, the education coordinator for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, is the recipient of the 2017 Freeman Tilden Award, the National Park Service’s highest honor for excellence in interpretation and education. Lynch was recognized for her role in developing and implementing a series of innovative curriculum-based park programs for 200 schools in Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. 

“Hollie turned the historic C&O Canal into an outdoor classroom for more than 10,000 elementary and high school students last year,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “Her unique educational programs brought history and science to life, turning textbook subjects into multisensory experiences that will be long remembered.”

In multiple locations along the 185-mile long C&O Canal, the park provides a classroom without walls for teachers and PreK-12 students in neighboring school districts. The programs support national and state learning standards, feature pre/post visit materials, and offer students hands-on and STEM-based activities.

Lynch designed the programs in partnership with local educators. She also recruited and trained volunteers for the Canal Classroom Corps which helped lead the presentations. Through their combined efforts, many teachers now view the park as a dynamic classroom that enhances curriculum and provides students with meaningful learning experiences.

Since 1981, the annual Freeman Tilden Award has recognized outstanding contributions to the practice of interpretation and education by a National Park Service employee. The award was created to stimulate and reward creative thinking that results in positive impacts upon the preservation of the parks and the visiting public. The award is named for Freeman Tilden, who has inspired generations of interpreters across the world and whose Interpreting Our Heritage continues to be a definitive text for the discipline.

June 30, 2017 – Conococheague Aqueduct Restoration Construction & Detour

Contact: Matt Graves, matt_graves@nps.gov, 301-582-0813

WILLIAMSPORT, MD – The National Park Service (NPS), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) awarded an $8,997,112 contract for the restoration of the Conococheague Aqueduct to Corman Construction, Inc. of Annapolis Junction, MD on June 5, 2017. The next phase of the restoration project for the entire Williamsport interpretive complex will return the Conococheague Aqueduct to its 1920s appearance and create the first watered, operational aqueduct along the C&O Canal since 1924. During construction, visitors will be directed to follow a detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct located near Williamsport, Maryland between milepost 99.75 - 99.60.

Construction is anticipated to begin in late July 2017 and extend approximately 18 months, weather dependent, until December 2018. During this time visitors will be unable to travel over the aqueduct and through the construction area and will be directed onto a 1.1 mile long detour route around the Conococheague Aqueduct. The upstream end of the detour departs from the towpath near milepost 99.75, travels along Fenton Avenue, an alleyway, state Route 68, and U.S. Route 11 until rejoining the towpath near milepost 99.60 (directly adjacent to the Cushwa Basin). Prior to closure of the towpath, signage will be posted to clearly mark the detour route. (See detour map.)

The Conococheague Aqueduct is one of eleven aqueducts on the 184.5 miles of the C&O Canal and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 97 years ago, in April of 1920, the upstream wall of the Conococheague Aqueduct gave way, crumbling into the creek below. The C&O Canal Company temporarily repaired the aqueduct with a wooden wall, but the canal only operated for three more seasons before being closed in the spring of 1924.

The project will restore the aqueduct to its appearance in the early 1920s, with a new upstream wall designed to appear as the wooden temporary replacement wall.  More importantly, the aqueduct will be restored to the condition where it can once again hold water, the first C&O Canal aqueduct to be restored to full operation. When complete, Williamsport, Maryland will be the only place in North America where visitors can ride boats across an aqueduct and through a working canal lock.

For more information about the project and the park, call 301-582-0813.

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