Upcoming Park Events

Hello Level Walkers!

The following notifications are from the C&O Canal NHP related to upcoming park virtual events.

Thanks, as always, for your support of the park!

Steve

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March VIP Speaker Series: Overview of the Canal For All Program
Thursday, March 31, 2022 12:00 PM-1:00 PM.

Nanette Nyce will share some of the personal stories of Canal For All with C&O Canal NHP Volunteers as well as seek your insights into helping this wonderful program continue to grow. The Trust’s Canal For All program provides opportunities for education, stewardship, and volunteerism that are safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all.

To foster diversity and to better reflect our community, the program engages BIPOC, differently-abled, LGBTQIA+, and other underrepresented or disadvantaged communities. The Trust partners with community organizations to diminish barriers to participation and to create exciting and relevant opportunities to Play, Learn, Serve, and Work in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. 

Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

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Dear Volunteers, 

In 2022, we are holding quarterly all-volunteer calls to provide you with information and updates about the park. The meetings will be recorded and shared with you afterwards so that if you cannot make the scheduled time, you will still be able to get the info. 

Our 2nd quarterly call is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 from 10-11:15am and will be held on Microsoft Teams. There is a phone call-in option if you cannot join via computer, however, please note that there will be a slideshow presentation so we encourage you to join via Teams if possible. 

During the April call Andrew Landsman, Natural Resource Program Manager, will be presenting on some of the current natural resources projects taking place in the park. Shelley Albee, Interpretive Ranger, will also highlight some of the recent and ongoing Digital Media projects. Please try to get into the meeting 5-10 minutes early to allow for any troubleshooting or issues. 

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 202-640-1187,,524952792#   United States, Washington DC Phone Conference ID: 524 952 792#

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C&O Canal NHP Status – 12 March 2022

Hello Level Walkers,

Weather is on the way and the NPS issued the following notification.

Thanks, Steve


Dear Volunteers, 

With the wintry weather forecast, the volunteer program is suspended on Saturday, March 12. The park will be open to the public, but volunteers are not authorized to work in the park. This is to ensure your safety during the inclement weather event. 

If you choose to visit the park on Saturday, you must do so as a private citizen. For updates on any park closures please check the park website or the park Facebook page.  If you have any questions, please contact your park staff program coordinator. 

Thank you and stay safe! 

Christiana Hanson

Chief of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers

Wind Safety Advisory – 17-18 February

Level Walkers – the following safety advisory is provided by the park. Thanks, Steve


Dear Volunteers, 

There is currently a wind advisory from 10pm tonight through 10am tomorrow (February 18) for Washington D.C. and the following counties: Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Washington County. The forecast is calling for winds up to 50 mph. When the wind reaches 30 mph, volunteers are required to stand down. Therefore, volunteer operations for Friday, February 18 are suspended through at least 10am or until wind speeds (including gusts) fall below 30 mph. 

Please keep an eye on the weather forecast on Friday and plan accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact your park staff program coordinator. Thank you and stay safe!

Emily Durán Hewitt

February VIP Speaker Series Events

Hello Level Walkers,

The park has announced three more VIP Speaker Series events for February. Please see details below.

Thanks, Steve


To continue the 2022 VIP Speaker Series, join one of our Community Volunteer Ambassadors Ashley Baker for three informative presentations about the impact of animal transmitted illnesses and ways to keep yourself healthy while outdoors. 

Please see the schedule below for the date and time of each presentation. The meetings will be recorded and shared in case you are not able to make it. 


February 10th @ 12PM

PART 1: Healthy Parks = Healthy People: The NPS One Health Initiative

What is the One Health Initiative? Who am I and why am I passionate about it? Why is it important to NPS and the C&O Canal?

Microsoft Teams meeting – Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting | Learn More | Meeting options


February 17th @ 1PM

PART 2: Tick Borne Diseases: Nasty Little Bugs with a Big Impact

What are tick borne diseases? How do they spread? How are they treated and prevented?

Microsoft Teams meeting – Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting | Learn More | Meeting options


February 24th @ 2PM

PART 3: “When the Outside Bites: Rabies and Mosquito-Borne illnesses”  

A deep dive into the spread, treatment and prevention of Rabies and the West Nile Virus. Ashley will also discuss their impact on C&O Canal visitors and the wider community.

Microsoft Teams meeting – Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting | Learn More | Meeting options


Image – Culvert 142

Weather Status – 21 January 2022

Hello Level Walkers,

There is more extreme weather in the forecast, and the NPS has passed on the following advisory:

With below freezing temperatures forecast for January 21, the volunteer program is suspended on Friday. The park will be open to the public, but volunteers are not authorized to work in the park. This is to ensure your safety during the extreme cold weather event. If you choose to visit the park on Friday, January 21 you must do so as a private citizen. 

Thanks, Steve

Upcoming Events

Hello Level Walkers,

Two announcements from the National Park Service follow. If you are interested, the meetings are hosted on Microsoft Teams. The links are provided below. Note – I will not be able to assist you if you have a problem with Microsoft Teams.

I will be contacting all Level Walkers individually over the next few weeks regarding some administrative matters. Please be patient, as there are numerous volunteers to contact and processing emails takes a bit of time.

Thanks, Steve


Quarterly Volunteer Call: Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:15 PM. In 2022, we will be holding quarterly all-volunteer calls to provide you with information and updates about the park. The meetings will be recorded and shared with you afterwards so that if you cannot make the scheduled time, you will still be able to get the info. 
Our 1st quarterly call is scheduled for Thursday, January 20 from 1-2:15pm and will be held on Microsoft Teams. There is a phone call-in option if you cannot join via computer, however, please note that there will be a slideshow presentation so we encourage you to join via Teams if possible. 
During the January 20 call, park engineer Joe Reed will be presenting on some of the major projects currently taking place or scheduled in the park. Christiana Hanson will also provide updates from the Division of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers. 
Please try to get into the meeting 5-10 minutes early to allow for any troubleshooting or issues. 
 If you are not familiar with Teams, here are some instructions –  You do not need to install Microsoft Teams or have an application to access the virtual meeting. Just before the Teams call on January 20, Join on your computer or mobile app by clicking – Click here to join the meeting
Or call in (audio only)202-640-1187 Phone Conference ID: 320 503 473#


VIP Speaker Series: Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Announcing the 2022 VIP Speaker Series! Join us on January 27th for the first of several presentations that will take place throughout the year. Log on to learn about fascinating topics such as special programs within the National Park Service, Lyme Disease awareness, C&O Canal historical research and more!  These sessions will be recorded and available to watch later if you are unable to make it. Stay tuned for information on future presentations.

Preview for VIP Speaker Series #1: 

Interested in International Relations and the NPS? Join Becky McCarty to learn about the Office of International Affairs program as she highlights the International Volunteer In Parks program and some of the NPS “sister parks” in Ireland, South Africa and around the world!

Microsoft Teams meeting. Join on your computer or mobile app Click here to join the meeting


Israel Creek and Culvert 93

C&O Canal NHP Weather Advisory 16 and 17 January

The NPS has issued the following advisory for volunteers.

Thanks, Steve


Dear Volunteers, 
With the wintry weather forecast, the volunteer program is suspended on Sunday, January 16 and Monday, January 17. The park will be open to the public, but volunteers are not authorized to work in the park. This is to ensure your safety during the inclement weather event. All staff in the division of Interpretation, Education, and Volunteers will be teleworking and only emergency staff will be onsite. 
If you choose to visit the park on Sunday and Monday, you must do so as a private citizen. For updates on any park closures please check the park website or the park Facebook page

Thank you and stay safe!
Emily Durán Hewitt

C&O Canal Updates

Hello Level Walkers,

Some park updates from the C&O Canal volunteer manager follow.

Thanks, Steve


Dear Volunteers, 


At our Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Event, we received questions about the topics below that may be of interest to some of you. If you have further questions, please reach out to your park staff program coordinator. 

  • Update on towpath resurfacing schedule – The towpath resurfacing currently in progress is from Lock 38/Ferry Hill (Mile 72.5) to Big Slackwater (Mile 86.7). The next phase of resurfacing will be from Spring Gap (Mile 173) to Cumberland (Mile 184.5)
  • Update on hazardous tree removal along the towpath – The following areas of the park currently have open contracts for hazardous tree removal:
    • Miles 5 – 10.5
    • Palisades trails including Billy Goat & Gold Mine, and Great Falls Tavern area
    • Miles 30.84 – 39.63
    • Miles 64.8 – 72.8
    • Miles 106 – 117
    • Miles 173 – 184
  • Update on reopening of visitor centers – Visitor centers in the park will tentatively open in 2022 pending the status of community transmission levels of COVID-19. There will be COVID-19 mitigation strategies in place when they reopen.
  • Update on location of the Williamsport visitor center – Planning is underway to rehab the Cushwa Warehouse and the Trolley Barn to improve the visitor experience at both. The location of the VC will continue to be the Cushwa Warehouse until improvements are made to the Trolley Barn in the future. 
  • Update on the low water passage at the washout at MM 52.5 – At the low water crossing for culvert 82, the park has an inter-agency agreement with eastern federal lands federal highway administration to bundle a new bridge up on the towpath with three other bridges in the park. That design is moving forward and will result in construction.
  • Update on log wall and the water level at Widewater – Widewater is currently drawn down to lower levels to avoid the canal filling up near the log wall. This is the high dry laid stone wall that has exhibited multiple sinkholes forming since December 2015. The water along level 14, approximately 4 miles long, needs to be lowered to mitigate the further formation of the sinkholes. The same wall, just upstream of Carderock, near mile marker 11 is currently being progressed forward for construction. The design is expected to be completed early next calendar year, with construction to follow. Construction would not be until late calendar year 2023 or perhaps a little later.
  • Update on desilting the canal between Great Falls and Violettes Lock – This project is planned to take place in the winter of FY23. 

Emily Durán Hewitt

Level Walker Updates – September 19

Hello Level Walkers,

I have a few topics for you:

Invasive Plant Removal at Carderock Recreation Area – The NPS is hosting an invasive plant clean-up at Carderock on Saturday, September 25. For details and sign-up please visit:
National Park Service (NPS) Invasive Plant Management Team (IPMT): Invasive Plant Removal at Carderock Recreation Area (signupgenius.com)

Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Event – The NPS sent the following update on the volunteer appreciation event: Dear Volunteers, 
We have set the date for our Virtual Volunteer Appreciation Event for Thursday, October 21 from 5-7pm. Please RSVP for the event by emailing chohvip@gmail.com so that we can add your name to the guest list and send you the Zoom link. 
Even if you previously RSVP’d for the picnic that was cancelled, please email us a new RSVP for the virtual event. For planning purposes, please RSVP by October 1. 
We will also be sending you details on where to pick up your appreciation items and goodie bag prior to October 21. 
If you have any questions, please reach out to your volunteer program coordinator. 
Thanks, and we hope to “see” you on October 21.  – Emily Durán Hewitt

Level Walker Volunteer Hours – The end of Fiscal Year 2021 is September 30 and is rapidly approaching. I have to submit all FY21 volunteer hours for the Level Walker team to the NPS. I intend to send my report on Sunday, October 3rd. If you have any reports up to and including September 30th, please at get the hours to me by the end of the day on Saturday, October 2nd. You don’t need to do your full report if you need more time, just let me know what your hours were.

Thanks for all you do!

Steve

C&O Canal Volunteer Operations Status Update

Hello Level Walkers,

The latest status update for operations on the C&O Canal follows. This is provided by the Volunteer Manager. If you go out there please be careful.

Thanks,

Steve


Volunteers, 
The park’s Chief Ranger has given the OK to resume volunteer program operations on Friday, September 3rd. However, water levels are still rising so please avoid areas that are prone to flooding such as McMahons, Dam 4, Culvert 82, etc. For a list of current closures and park condition updates, please check the C&O Canal NHP website alerts page – 
https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
All visitors are encouraged to use caution. Even once the rain stops, conditions in the park may still change quickly. Do not attempt to cross washouts or high-water areas. Remain aware of rising water levels in the Potomac River and neighboring streams. High water may impact low areas of the park, and conditions may change unexpectedly. Be aware of possible debris on the towpath, flooding, washouts, and falling trees.

Thank you and stay safe!

Emily Durán Hewitt