C&O Canal NHP Status Update – May 27

Hello Level Walkers –

Following update is from volunteer program manager, Emily Hewitt.

Thanks!

Steve


 

Dear Volunteers,
We have some updates on the park’s operating status. The park is working to increase access in a phased approach. The volunteer program continues to be suspended until further notice. The following information can be found on the park website.
Park status at this time:
Reservation Only Campgrounds – beginning to open at Antietam Creek, McCoys Ferry, 15-Mile Creek, Paw Paw, Spring Gap. Campsites must be reserved through www.recreation.gov. These facilities will have every other site open in order to encourage social distancing. Please bring your own water as pump handles will not be replaced and turned on at this time. Restrooms will be cleaned twice weekly. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, soap, and toilet paper as these items have been the subject of theft.
Hiker-biker Campsites – open in Frederick, Washington, and Allegany Counties (Calico Rocks to Evitts Creek). Please bring your own water as pump handles will not be replaced and turned on at this time. Restrooms may be open and will be cleaned twice weekly. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, soap, and toilet paper as these items have been the subject of theft.
Restrooms, Vault Toilets, and Portable Toilets – beginning to open at campgrounds, boat ramps, and day use areas in Frederick, Washington, and Allegany Counties. Restrooms will be cleaned twice weekly. Please bring your own hand sanitizer, soap, and toilet paper as these items have been the subject of theft.

Water Fountains and Wells – beginning to open in Frederick, Washington, and Allegany Counties.

Gatherings of more than 10 persons are prohibited.
C&O Canal NHP will cancel permits and reservations and will not accept applications for demonstrations, special events, or park site reservations until further notice.
Visitor Centers continue to be closed.
 
Parking Areas – may be closed, including the Great Falls, Fletchers Cove, and Carderock Recreation Area. Parking at Anglers is limited to provide access for EMS and rescue services.

While the listed areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. When recreating, please follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Please let us know if you have any questions.
Stay well!
Emily H. Hewitt

Volunteer Update – May 22

Hello Level Walkers!

The wonderful people in the volunteer office have been busy this week! I have three things to share with you.

Thanks!

Steve


Dear Volunteers,
There have been no changes to the park closures. To review the status of park operations, please visit the alerts page on the park website. You can also continue to stay informed by following the park Facebook page.
This week the Volunteer Office would like to offer you opportunities to explore the park and consider some learning opportunities, both from the comfort and safety of your home. Attached is a C&O Canal virtual scavenger hunt to test your knowledge of the park. Thanks to Claire, Cheyenne, and Kara for producing the virtual scavenger hunt! Scavenger Hunt Activity
Also attached is an article from volunteer Lowell Markey with resources you can use to learn more about the NPS, history, interpretation, and more. Thanks to Lowell for the great write-up! LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR NPS VOLUNTEERS
We hope you enjoy these opportunities, and feel free to let us know how you did on the virtual scavenger hunt!
Emily H. Hewitt

Volunteers & Staff,
You still have 2 weeks to submit photos for the 2021 calendar. Please send us your beautiful shots of all things C&O Canal.
We ask that you submit your photos via Google Drive to chohvip@gmail.com. To do this, compose an email and hover your mouse over the plus sign next to the attachments, click on the drive icon (resembles recycling logo), upload the photos you would like to share, and send to chohvip@gmail.com. If you have any issues with this, please feel free to attach photos to a standard email sent to the same email address.
Please label your photo files with the name of photographer and location.
– Ex. BigSlackwater_Jane_Doe.
The deadline for submission is Friday, June 5th, 2020. If your photograph is selected, you will be contacted and credited in the calendar.
Thank you and stay well!
Emily H. Hewitt

Volunteers,

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Volunteers-In-Parks program, we are making a video to celebrate our most valuable asset – you! As such, we are requesting pictures new and old to make a short video to celebrate the rich VIP programs at the C&O Canal. The video will be featured on the park’s social media and website, so please only make a submission if you are comfortable with being featured online!

Please print (or make your own version!) of the attached “I Volunteer Because…” document, and provide your own brief statement about what volunteering means to you. Have someone take a picture of you in your VIP uniform holding the “I Volunteer Because…” sheet. Send the picture to us at chohvip@gmail.comI volunteer because

We also welcome pictures from throughout your time volunteering at C&O Canal, so if you have any standout pictures or memories of your time here, send them our way!

We are accepting submissions until June 6. Depending on the number of submissions, we may not be able to include all we receive in the video project, however, your photos may be used for future digital creations, like at appreciation dinners or other social media posts. If you have any further questions, please let us know at chohvip@gmail.com .

Thank you for your service as a volunteer at C&O Canal, and we look forward to seeing your submissions and collaborating on this project!

Sincerely,

Claire Connor, Kelsey Cooke, and Kara Bourland


Volunteer Update – May 15

Hello all!
Here is another update from Emily, our awesome volunteer manager at the C&O Canal.
Thanks,
Steve

Dear Volunteers,
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine as we finally get a little respite from all the rain. As we all know, flooding is a fact of life on the C&O Canal. This week, Cheyenne put together the attached information on how you can help with stormwater management. Maybe we can all use these sunny days to add some fun projects to our backyard to-do lists. Stormwater Volunteer Communications
The park’s new Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers is settling in to her new role in the park. Please see the attached message from Christiana Hanson to all of you. Message to Volunteers from Christiana
Enjoy the nice weather and stay well!
Emily H. Hewitt
She/Her/Hers
Volunteer Program Manager
C&O Canal National Historical Park

Image – Historic Mile Marker 22 – Level 9

Volunteer Update – May 8, 2020

Hello Level Walkers,
The park remains open, but volunteer activities are still on hold.  Here is another update from C&O Canal Volunteer Coordinator Emily Hewitt.
Also – a reminder – don’t forget to submit your 2021 C&O Canal Calendar candidate photos to the park via Google Drive to chohvip@gmail.com. To do this, compose an email and hover your mouse over the plus sign next to the attachments, click on the drive icon (resembles recycling logo), upload the photos you would like to share, and send to chohvip@gmail.com. If you have any issues with this, please feel free to attach photos to a standard email sent to the same email address.

Please label your photo files with the name of photographer and location.
– Ex. BigSlackwater_Jane_Doe.
The deadline for submission is Friday, June 5th, 2020. If your photograph is selected, you will be contacted and credited in the calendar.
Well Wishes,
Steve

Dear Volunteers,
I hope you have been enjoying the many blooms and blossoms of spring. There is one plant that is pervasive this time of year that is not such a welcome sight. Did you happen to see the post about invasive garlic mustard on the park Facebook page? If you see garlic mustard in your yard or during a walk in the neighborhood, now is the time to pull it before it goes to seed.
Speaking of invasive plant removals (and other volunteer projects) the annual Canal Pride Days events have been postponed due to COVID-19. The C&O Canal Trust is considering how small volunteer events to help the park might take place later in the year. Stay tuned for more information by following the C&O Canal Trust Facebook page.
In April, we highlighted many natural resource opportunities for Earth Month. So this week, Claire has the attached cultural resource piece to share and asks you to consider the following question. As we compare and contrast our present day lives to the recorded experiences of those who came before us, what do you identify as being intrinsically the same, and what is vastly different? Developing Perspective Through Historic Resources
We hope you are enjoying this natural and cultural resource information. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on Facebook or via email.
Please stay well!
Emily H. Hewitt
She/Her/Hers
Volunteer Program Manager
C&O Canal National Historical Park
Emily_Hewitt@nps.gov

Image – Baby Raccoons near Oldtown – Level 62