Volunteers Needed for C&O Canal Pride Days

Volunteers Needed for C&O Canal Pride Days

Rain-postponed cleanup could use more help.

Cleaning up the Historic Great Falls Tavern.

Cleaning up the Historic Great Falls Tavern. Photo by John Gensor


Volunteers paint the mule pasture fence.


Pulling invasive plants.


Painting the restrooms.

Potomac residents are fortunate to have the C&O National Park in their backyard. Adults, children, and teens all use this natural playground for hiking, biking, jogging, rock climbing, bird watching, kayaking, fishing, painting, contemplation and more.

Here’s an opportunity to give back to park: Participate in the single largest volunteer event that takes place in the park each year. On Saturday, May 13, volunteers will gather at the Historic Great Falls Tavern for the C&O Canal Pride Days from 9 a.m. – noon.

The C&O Canal Trust, in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park, will host the 10th annual C&O Canal Pride Days at the Historic Great Falls Tavern. The Trust hopes that 130 or more volunteers from around the community will come to spend the morning working on projects to restore and revitalize the C&O Canal National Historical Park at Great Falls. This event was originally scheduled for April 22 and was rained out.

Volunteers will help with painting historic buildings, improving the grounds, removing invasive plant species, picking up trash, getting the Charles F. Mercer Canal Boat ready and more around the area of the Historic Great Falls Tavern.

“Canal Pride Day is a great chance to give back to your local National Park and to demonstrate with action how much it means to you,” said Becky Curtis, director of Programs and Partnerships for the C&O Canal Trust. “So many people use it as a place to recreate, exercise, and to get outdoors and enjoy nature and since this is the start of the summer, we need to prepare the park for the many visitors who come here. We were supposed to have this event on Earth Day – but Mother Nature did not cooperate. With the reschedule we lost some volunteers – so we are hoping others will come out. This year’s event has special significance as the C&O Canal Trust celebrates its 10-year anniversary as the official nonprofit partner of the C&O Canal National Historical Park and prepares for its second decade of service to the Park.”

Some local dignitaries are planning to serve as volunteers. U.S. Rep. Jaime Raskin; Kevin Mack, staffer for U.S. Rep. John Delaney; Del. Mike McKay; Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal; and Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich will all be donning their work clothes, ready for their assigned jobs.

C&O Canal Pride Days are also scheduled for Saturday, May 6 in Brunswick and Saturday, May 20 at Spring Gap. An event in Williamsport was held on Saturday, April 29.

C&O Canal Pride 2017 is sponsored by the National Environmental Education Fund; REI; M&T Bank; Guest Services, Inc.; Community Foundation of Frederick County; Friends of Historic Great Falls Tavern; The Poole Law Group; Lafayette Federal Credit Union; FedEx; Minkoff Development Corporation; Younger Toyota; Bowman Trailer Leasing; Greg and Ruth Ann Snook; and Keller Stonebraker Insurance, Inc.

To volunteer, go to www.canaltrust.org, click on Volunteer and sign up to come out to the Park on Saturday, May 13. Registration for this event is required and families are welcome, although there may not be a lot that children under 10 can help with. Be sure to wear work clothes and comfortable shoes.