One of the things that Arthur and I were planning on doing in the Spring/Summer of 2017 was to join the C&O Canal Association so that we could do some volunteer work as well as possibly becoming involved with the Association’s Level Walker program.
The C&O Canal Association
The C&O Canal Association was formed in 1954 as an all volunteer non-profit citizens organization concerned with the continued viability of the C&O Canal National Historic Park and all of its natural and historic resources. The Association readily assists the National Park Service with both manpower and funding. The Association also monitors conditions, both physical and regulatory, that could adversely affect the Park. The Association also works to bring attention to these conditions and openly advocates on behalf of the Park.
The Association sponsors various activities throughout the year such as hikes and special maintenance projects. There is also training available in such diverse things as invasive plant identification and removal and wildlife identification, as well as a wealth of historical information from the members.
The 184.5 miles of C&O Canal is divided into 69 segments (levels) of different lengths, usually 2 to 3 miles, some longer or shorter. Level walkers are assigned one or more levels and periodically walk the level or levels to do light trail maintenance work, pick up litter, and monitor conditions for the under-staffed Park Service. A written report is submitted to the Level Walker Chair and this information is passed on to the Park staff.
In December of last year (2016) I went ahead with our idea and joined the C&O Canal Association and have since become a Level Walker on three very different levels (one of which was one of Arthur’s favorite sections of the Canal).
My experience with the Association has been wonderful, what a fine group of people doing good things. The amount of knowledge both historical and of nature available in this group of folks is quite amazing. If you have any interest at all in preserving this wonderful resource of a National Park please consider joining the C&O Canal Association.
C&O Canal Association
P.O. Box 366
Glen Echo, MD 20812-0366